One of the most famous meals of the Dominican Republic. We used to make this after a day of swimming at the river.
- 4 pounds of chicken
- 2 pounds of beef
- 1.5 pound of goat meat
- 4 large plaintain bananas (green and ripe)
- 2 bananas (green)
- 2 pounds of yucca (cassava,tapioca,manioc)
- 2 pounds of malanga
- 2 pounds of spanish pumpkin
- 2 pounds of white yam (taro)
- 6 liters of water
- 1.5 tablespoon of oregano
- 5 coffe spoons of salt
- 2 tablespoon of "naranja agria" (these are oranges that are very, very sour)
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 coffe spoon of garlic (smashed)
- Some leaves of parsley
- Some leaves of cilantro
- 1 tablet of chicken bouillon
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- Sofrito (Cilantro)
- How to prepare the ingredients: The day before (to save some time) you can cook the meats and store them in the refrigerator. The way to cook them is the following:
- Cut the sausage in small pieces (half an inch each) and fry the pieces. Save the vegetable oil.
cilantro = coriander, cilantro
auyama = spanish pumpkin, butternut squash, winter squash
puerro = leek, green onion
Cooking the meat
Place a large pan (ideally one that's not too deep - a wide bottomed, heavy lidded, braising pan is best) on the heat with some vegetable oil, say about half a cup.
Once the oil is reasonably hot you can add the meat (The meat should sizzle appetizingly when it goes into the pan, BUT be careful the hot oil doesn't splash you...or anyone else!!). Don't add too much meat in one go, and let the heat come back into the oil as add each 'batch'. Make sure all the meat is 'seized', or 'browned' on all sides...this will help keep it moist and reduce the chance of it flaking to bits during the cooking process.
Once all the meat is browned, immediately add about a teaspoon of salt and a pint of stock. Stir well.
Let the pot just come to the boil then turn down the heat and let the meat simmer, with a good heavy lid on the pot, for at around 40 minutes before starting the rest of the cooking.
After this time the meat will be more than half cooked, turn it off for the time being. Now you can start the second step.
Take another big cooking pot, quite deep this time, put it onto the heat and add three liters of water.
Add all your plantain, yuca and the other vegetables to the cooking pot together with the coriander, the rest of chopped onion and the chopped green peppers. Also crumble into the pot the other stock cube, and stir.
After heating the pot for 15 minutes, by which time it should be coming to the boil (if not already turned to simmer) carefully mix in all the contents of the meat pan. Add more water if necessary, so that all contents of the pan are just covered, and bring back to the boil before turning down to a simmering heat again.
From now on the Sancocho will start developing a good color and thickening. You need to check it every ten minutes to ensure it doesn't get too dry, it will have the tendency to do this as moisture evaporates and stock is absorbed by vegetables. You should add a little more water if necessary.
Now you can start to cook the rice using your preferred method. We tend to wash the rice well (until water runs quite clear - which means sticky starches have been removed) and allow a fairly generous 75 grams/3 ounces of uncooked rice per person. We bring the rice to the boil with twice the amount of water to rice and a little oil, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the water is absorbed.
After about one hour or so of total cooking time your Sancocho sauce should be nicely thickened by the starchy vegetables (but not too dry) and the meats should be lovely and juicily tender (try them before you turn off the heat, and give another 10 minutes if necessary). Your typical Dominican dish should be ready to serve and enjoy.
A few additional suggestions to 'tweak' or complement your Dominican Sancocho recipe: