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Sancocho Puertorriqueño

September 2018

This classic Puerto Rican stew was a go-to for José and the #ChefsForPuertoRico team in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It is hearty and comforting, and is very adaptable - feel free to experiment with the recipe. Check out a Latin market for some of the specialty ingredients like adobo, sofrito, yautía, and plantain.

Serves 6


2 pounds beef top round, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons adobo
3 tablespoons sofrito
1 large onion, cut into small dice
2 garlic cloves, pounded to a paste
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ cups Spanish tomato sauce
2 quarts chicken stock
8 ounces yautía, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
8 ounces potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 green plantain, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 ear of corn, cut into 8 parts


  1. Season the meat with the adobo, and set aside. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until it starts to smoke. Add the meat and sear for about 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Add the sofrito, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until the onion loses its raw taste. Add the tomato sauce, and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally so that no scorching occurs. At this point the mixture should look like a thick meat stew.
  3. Add the chicken stock, and bring to a full boil. Add the yautía, potato, plantain and corn, and return to a full boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are fork-tender and the meat is very soft.
  4. Removed the sancocho from the heat, and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve hot on its own or with a side of white rice or tostones.