Sancocho Dominicano (Dominican meat and vegetables stew) is a traditional Dominican recipe made from a variety of meats and root vegetables, including pork (or chicken), beef, sausage, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and other vegetables native to the Dominican Republic. This Dominican stew recipe is often served during Christmas dinner and Easter.
What Is Sancocho?
Qué es sancocho? Dominican Sancocho soup (also considered a meat stew) is comprised of a variety of meats and vegetables, largely root vegetables (víveres). Sancocho in English translates to “to parboil”. Typical vegetables and spices in this Dominican soup are: onion, garlic, oregano, yuca, plantain and auyama (Auyama en ingles is pumpkin or squash).
How To Make Sancocho Dominican
Dominican recipes, including this Dominican Sancocho recipe, can be labor intensive, however the only labor intensive part of this Dominican recipe is peeling and chopping the root vegetables. This 3 meat sancocho also involves chopping quite a bit of meat, but they’re easy cuts to manage and prep. If you’re utilizing smoked pork chops, that does add quite a bit of time since you have to infuse the smoke into the meat before making this recipe. Unless, of course, you buy pre-smoked meat at the store. We love Smoked Recipes and always do it ourselves for a more authentic flavor.
- Prep and Cook the Meats – Chop the meat into 1″ bite-size pieces. If you don’t purchase pre-smoked meat at the grocery store (such as smoked pork chops), you’ll want to smoke the meat, in advance, before starting this recipe. Add olive oil to the pre-heated pot and brown the different meats.
- Make The Broth – Add the sofrito, garlic, herbs, onion and green pepper to the large pot and stir. Add in the broth and let simmer for 20 minutes. Grab a Substitute for beef broth or chicken broth substitute if you need to.
- Cook the Vegetables – All the vegetables should be peeled and cut. Add them in steps, based on the different cooking rates, and simmer until all veggies are soft. It’s a good recipe to use up Sous Vide Corn on the Cob.
The History of Sancocho Dominicano Receta
Sancocho is traditionally comprised on seven different types of meat. Hence why it’s usually served on special occasions. Our version cuts it back to three, however you can easily add your favorite (or whatever meats you have in your freezer). The most common is beef, followed by a combination of beef and chicken (Sancocho de res y pollo).
It has Latin American roots, however each region has their own twist. As you’re reading this sancocho recipe, keep in mind you can make a few twists to it to really make it your own. Here are a few popular versions to consider:
The recipe below is the Dominican version. Zero tomatoes or noodles.
Sancocho de Siete Carnes
Translates to “seven meat sancocho”. It’s the “ultimate” version of Dominican stew.
Sancocho Puerto Rico
While Sancocho is considered a “special occasion” meal in the Dominican Republic, it’s considered a “rustic” dish in Puerto Rico. It always includes corn on the cob, whereas it’s not always included in the Dominican version. Hot sauce (Pique Criollo) is usually added at the end as well.
Served with a side of white rice, avocado and ahi picante (hot sauce). It’s also garnished with onions, lime juice and cilantro.
Sancocho de Pollo
Sancocho made with chicken (gallina vieja). It’s the most inexpensive version to make. It’s more of a chicken stew vs. meat stew.
Panamanian Sancochos (Sancocho de Gallina Panameño)
Made with chicken and is believed to be the best hangover cure!
This version is similar to root vegetable soup or vegetable stew. The meat is replaced by legumes and/or mushrooms.
Wikipedia does a great job of highlighting the various Sancocho recipes by region.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- If you can’t find fresh Yuca, check the frozen section! The pic above shows the brand we use.
- Other good meat options: chicken thighs, pork chops (even smoked pork chops), goat, or even other cuts of beef or pork. If you happen to have leftover Sous Vide Ribeye, Instant Pot Roast Beef, Smoked Beef Tenderloin, Smoked Rack of Lamb or Prime Rib meat (Prime Rib Recipe, Sous Vide Prime Rib or Smoked Prime Rib) or Instant Pot Carnitas, it would be perfect in this stew recipe. Not traditional meat, but lovely just the same.
- Since Longaniza can be difficult to locate, we replaced it with andouille sausage. If you can find Longaniza, swap it in for a bit more authenticity.
- If you use fatty meat, you will see the oil rise to the top while cooking. Use a large serving spoon to scrap off the oil and discard to avoid oily Dominican soup.
- To stretch out the soup, feel free to add more water or broth. This is a great recipe to utilize Instant Pot Bone Broth or Vegetable Stock. We use the bone broth in this Dominican recipe and a few others, namely Ensalada de Coditos and Ensalada de Papa.
- A large stockpot, dutch oven, or caldero is a must. Even a pot bordering on “large” won’t cut it.
- What is Culantro? Culantro IS NOT Cilantro. Don’t get the two confused. While the flavor is similar, it’s not an exact swap as they’re two separate plants. The culantro in our Sancocho recipe comes from the sofrito.
- Sofrito – If you can’t find Sofrito, or don’t want to wait for it to arrive from Amazon, just use a chicken or beef bouillon cube.
- Can’t find some of the ethnic root vegetables at your local grocery store? No worries – just sub in equal parts of the root vegetables you can find.
- Root vegetables cook at different times, so you’ll want to drop in the vegetables that take the longest time to cook, first. In this Sancocho Dominicano Recipe, the plantains and yuca (if using frozen yuca) will take at least 30 minutes to soften, whereas the squash and potatoes take less. So stagger the addition of the vegetables you do use.
- As with the vegetables, the meats cook at different times as well. Beef will take longer to soften than chicken or pork. Either cook them separately (before adding them back into the pot together once they’re all cooked, or stagger the addition of them.
- Save time by peeling and chopping the vegetables while the meat is simmering in the broth.
How Do You Thicken Sancocho?
No extra ingredients are needed to thicken this bad boy out. Just mash a few of the root vegetables before serving and that will thicken it up. This Dominican sancocho recipe is already pretty thick so you probably won’t need to mash up any vegetables unless flavor or texture wise you want to.
What To Serve With Dominican Sancocho
What Drinks Pair With Sancocho
Grab a nice cold glass of beer to enjoy with this Sancocho. Dominican food pairs beautifully with cerveza. Heck even a Michelada would be killer!
## I’d love to hear from you! Use hashtag #foodieandwine when you’ve made this recipe and post to social media! Leave a comment below, after you’ve made it, to let me know your thoughts!
Sancocho Dominicano Recipe
- 1 Lb Pork Stew Meat, Cubed (*Note 1)
- 1 Lb Beef Stew Meat, Cubed (*Note 2)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Links Andouille Sausage
- 3 tbsp Sofrito (*Note 3)
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1.5 tsp Cumin
- 1.5 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1.5 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 Cup Diced Green Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
- 8 Cups Water or Broth (*Note 4)
- 1 Large Plantain, Sliced Into 1/2" Rounds
- 2 Cups Yuca (Fresh or Frozen) (*Note 5)
- 2 Medium New Potatoes, Cubed (*Note 6)
- 1 Medium Sweet Potato, Cubed
- 1 Cup Butternut Squash, Cubed
- 2 Ears Corn
- Salt and Black Pepper (To Taste)
- Season the pork and beef with salt and pepper and let sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes (This is a great time to start chopping the vegetables).
- Add the olive oil to a large dutch oven or stock pot and pre-heat over medium high heat. The meat should be browned on all sides.
- Add the sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sofrito, garlic, cumin, oregano and paprika and sauté until fragrant, approx. 1 minute.
- Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the water (or broth) and add the chicken bouillon cube. Bring to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the plantain and yuca (if using frozen yuca, not fresh) and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the yuca (if using fresh yuca, not frozen), potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Add the corn and cook for a final 10-15 minutes, until the root vegetables are tender.