Sancocho is undoubtedly one of the Dominican Republic’s culinary treasures. It is generally served on special occasions only, as it takes quite a while to make and includes lots of ingredients. Yet the preparation time is probably one of the best things about this dish, as it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends over a cold beer or glass of rum.

Sancocho is traditionally prepared with beef.

Ingredients:
• 1 whole chicken, chopped into pieces

• 6 pork chops

• 1 lb of minced beef

• 1 lb of manioc cut into large pieces

• 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces.

• 3 or 4 bananas cut into medium-sized pieces

• 1 yam, peeled and cut into pieces

• 1 yautia (tannier) cut into pieces

• 1/4 squash, peeled and cut into pieces

• 2 corncobs cut into pieces

Seasoning:

• 1 large finely chopped green chilli

• 1/2 sprig of parsley

• 2 small finely chopped red onions

• 2 cloves of crushed garlic

• 2 or 3 large coriander leaves

• 2 chicken stock cubes

• 1 beef stock cubes

• 2 tablespoons of vinegar

• 1 tablespoon of gravy mix

 

Preparation:

Pour 2 ½ tablespoons of oil and a little sugar (half a teaspoon) into a large pot and place on a high heat. Add all the meat at once to tender and brown. Cover and allow to cook (approx. 20-30 minutes), stirring from time to time until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the meat and put to one side. If the chicken is becoming overcooked, remove and leave until the end. And it does not matter if the meat is whole; in fact it is even better.  Add water to the meat stock (fill the pan to half full) and bring to the boil; add the remaining ingredients and place the vegetables on top to season, cover and allow to boil (for approx. 40 minutes) or until the ingredients are cooked. Then add the meat and the spoonful of gravy mix. Ten minutes before the sancocho is finished, add the vinegar (around 2 spoonfuls). Test for salt and season if necessary. If you wish to include the typically Dominican banana dumplings (see below), place on top and allow to boil until the sancocho is finished.  Banana dumplings: peel the raw bananas and chop finely. Add slightly salted water and roll into balls measuring approximately an inch across. Corn flour dumplings: mix the flour with a little milk and salt and a teaspoon of butter. Roll into balls just like the banana dumplings.

 

Handy tips
This dish should be served with white rice and avocado.