A Warm Winter Latin Stew

A Warm Autumn Latin Stew  

My twin sister loves to make Latin stew during the colder months. The flavor closely mimics, and is reminiscent of, my mother's sancocho. 


With hearty potatoes, rice, sweet corn, chicken, and herbed carrots in an aromatic broth, it's no wonder why crock pot creators will never be out of a job.  


Simple Sancocho
Serves 6

My father taught me how to make a Sancocho which I endearingly call "A Warm Winter Latin Stew" because it is great to cozy up to in cold temperatures like we get here in the Northeast. The smell of the olive oil, vinegar,  sofrito, and sautéed onions, reminds me of those snowy evenings as a child when the snow would lightly fall, Frosty The Snowman would play on the television, my sisters and I would sip hot chocolate with giant marshmallows in shiny red and green mugs, and mom and dad would be prepping the Sancocho and dessert. This is a great one-pot meal that you, and your family, can warmly enjoy for days. 


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sofrito (Frozen Sofrito Recipe Here)

5 garlic cloves, minced 

1-1/2 pounds chicken parts

1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped

5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 small cans tomato sauce

4 quarts water, beef, or chicken stock

2 green bananas, peeled and slice into 1-inch pieces

1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium sweet potato cut into cubes

1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered

2-3 carrots, shaved and chopped

1 bag frozen corn

A cap full of vinegar

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper



In a large pot, over medium heat, combine olive oil, sofrito, meat of choice, and vinegar. Let sizzle for 1 minute and stir. Add in garlic, onions, and peppers. Stir meat until it is brown on all sides and onions begin to caramelize. Add and fold in tomato sauce and let cook for a few seconds. Pour in your preferred stock liquid of choice and mix together. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45-60 minutes or so, then cook on high until until stock is reduced by half. 

If you are using beef, the total cooking time will be 3-3.5 hours. If you are using chicken or turkey, the total cooking time will be an hour to 1.5 hours. Add in oregano, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper and mix. Fold in the cubed potatoes, corn, carrots, green bananas, and sweet plantains at the last hour of cooking. Season to taste. 

Serving Suggestions: Serve over rice, in a bread bowl, or as a hearty soup.