Sancocho is a very Caribbean stew, generally served as a main course. Once you have managed the basics, it quickly becomes a ‘anything at hand’ stew, as tasty with beef or goat as with chicken or lamb. This is a very basic stew found everywhere in the Caribbean, with every family having their own variation.
- 3-4 pounds goat
- 1/2 lb. pigs’ ears, jowls, or tails, cut into small pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions, chop coarsely
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp sage
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 allspice (appx 1/8th teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
- 1/2 lb. calabaza, in chunks (You can use acorn, butternut, or other sweet squash as a substitute)
- 1/2 lb. peeled yam, in chunks
- 1 green plantain, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 chili pepper (scotch bonnet)
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large pan. Add meats and onion and fry for 5 minutes over high heat.
- Cover with water, reduce heat to lowest setting, and simmer until meat is tender, 2-3 hours.
- Add remaining ingredients except salt and cilantro. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Fish the bay leaves and chili pepper out. Salt to taste.
- Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
- Lamb: Instead of goat, add 3-4 lbs. lamb. Add a bit of cumin.
- Beef/Oxtail: replace goat with 2 1/2 lbs. boneless beef or 5 lbs oxtail. Replace cilantro with tomato, peeled.