Celebrate Dominican Independence Day with Hearty Dominican Stew

This stew, most commonly known as sancocho,is a traditional dish in Dominican Republic that is usually prepared for special occasions like Dominican Independence Day, which is this weekend.

Sancocho contains a mix of vegetables and roots such as yautia, pumpkin, plantains, cassava, corn, among others. But it is versatile enough where you can add as much as you like, and whatever is in season.

What’s not healthy about that?

• 1 lb. flank steak
• 1 lb. goat meat
• 1 lb. boneless pork shoulder
• 1 lb. chicken breast
• 4 teaspoons lemon juice
• 4 – ½ teaspoons salt
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 5 cubes beef stock
• 1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• ½ teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• Dumplings (optional)
• ½ lb-1 lb. yucca
• ½ lb-1 lb. butternut squash
• ½ lb-1 lb. malanga yautia
• ½ lb-1 lb. ñame
• 1 corn on the cob

1. Cut veggies, keeping plantain and yucca pieces separate from the rest.
2. Cut yucca and plantain into 1-inch thick pieces. Squash, malanga and ñame should be cut into 1-inch cubes. While cutting veggies, prepare beef stock using the cubes.
3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron pot. While oil I heating, cut all meats about 1 ½ inches this and place in four separate bowls. Season and toss each bowl with ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
4. Brown each bowl of meat separately over medium-high heat, then transfer to beef stock.
5. After all meats have been browned and transferred, add a cup or two to the pot to scrape up the bottom.
6. To the same pot, add vinegar, onion powder, sage leaves, chopped garlic, oregano, coriander and chili powder. Mix well and transfer to the stock pot with meat.
7. Add plantain and yucca pieces and simmer for 10 minutes. If including dumplings, add at this time, cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Cut corn into 2-inch pieces and add to pot along with remaining veggies. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until veggies are soft.
9. Serve with white rice and avocado.
Note: Stew will thicken with starchy vegetables. In this recipe, we added 4 additional cups of water.

Dumpling Recipe:
1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅓ cup milk
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add milk and stir to make soft dough.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez.

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