The Spanish term for the Puerto Rican Beef Stew is Sancocho. During the winter season, we tend to prepare stews and soups to keep us warm inside. The Puerto Rican Beef Stew will definitely keep your soul and body warm. Its creamy beef broth enhances the hearty tropical root vegetables with rich beef flavor. The aroma of the tropical herbs and vegetables permeates the air while cooking this stew. This dish is also very similar to the beef stew prepared in the United States except that we use tropical root vegetables for our Sancocho!
In the past, I would spend many hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking this delicious beef stew. No more! This beef stew can now be prepared promptly because I package the tropical root vegetables (viandas) in advance. You, therefore, reduce the food preparation time when making this dish. I just cook the meat, add the necessary condiments and place the frozen root vegetables (viandas) in the pot to cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
∗The term Viandas refers to our tropical root vegetables and starchy fruits collectively.
Let’s Start Cooking the Beef Stew Meat!
Cut beef stew meat into 1-inch cubes. Trim meat of excess fat and rinse.
Pour 10 cups of water into a large saucepan (Dutch Oven) and bring to a boil. Add salt and stir.
Now we are ready to add the beef stew meat to the saucepan. Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Let’s Add the Ingredients to Enhance the Flavors of the Beef Stew!
After the meat has been cooking for 20 minutes, pour the extra virgin olive oil into the saucepan.
Let’s pour the tomato sauce. I am excited to announce that this tomato sauce is homemade – tomatoes from my garden.
We are going to add the seasoning envelopes with coriander and culantro to add color and flavor to this dish.
The seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto are now sold at regular supermarkets. If you are not able to purchase the seasoning envelopes, click on the link to create your own Special Blend of Seasonings.
Add the minced garlic, chopped onions and chopped green bell peppers.
Now we are ready to add our tropical sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) and culantro. They have such a pleasant aroma that brings out the flavor of this dish.
Add the ears of corn and stir. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
We Are Now Ready for the Viandas!
Add the frozen viandas that was prepared in advance. Cover saucepan with lid and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Click on the link on How to Prepare Root Vegetables for Beef Stew in advance.
You can peel and cut the viandas the same day if you so desire. The instructions on how to peel and cut the viandas are provided in the link above.
After 5 minutes of cooking, remove lid and separate the viandas with a spoon.
Cover saucepan with lid and cook over medium heat until the viandas are fork tender.
Let’s Prepare the Plantain Dumplings Known as Bollitas de Plátanos!
Cut both ends of the plantain and make a slit lengthwise from top to bottom with a knife. Insert a spoon or flatware knife in the slit between the flesh and skin, pressing skin backwards to peel the plantain lengthwise. With your hands, remove the peel and continue this process until the skin is completely removed.
Grate green plantains, using the super-fine blade of a box grater into a bowl.
Add salt to the plantain dough.
Pour about 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk depending on the size of the plantains and add minced garlic.
Stir until all the ingredients are well blended.
The dumplings are optional. When I was living in Puerto Rico, Sancocho was always served with dumplings in my household. Therefore, I prepare this dish with dumplings.
Let’s Start Cooking the Plantain Dumplings!
When the beef stew (sancocho) is ready to be served, fill a melon baller with the plantain mixture. Release the plantain mixture from melon baller on top of broth. Cover saucepan with lid and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes.
If you are going to place the plantain mixture by tablespoonfuls on top of broth as shown on my YouTube video, you will need to turn the dumplings to the other side for an additional 7 minutes.
The dumplings (bollitas) should be done after 7 minutes. The dumplings will also thicken the beef broth while cooking.
It’s Time to Serve Our Puerto Rican Beef Stew (Sancocho)!
We are ready to serve this delicious and hearty Puerto Rican Beef Stew!
I like to place several dumplings in the middle of the bowl and surround the dumplings with the broth, corn and viandas. A side dish of white rice is also served with the beef stew (sancocho).
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Puerto Rican Beef Stew (Sancocho)!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
The Puerto Rican Beef Stew (Sancocho) is a creamy beef broth that enhances the hearty tropical root vegetables with rich beef flavor.
- 10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt (low sodium) or to taste
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 3 sweet peppers (ajíes dulces), halved and seeded
- 1 culantro leaf or 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup onions, chopped
- ¼ cup green peppers, chopped
- 2 ears corn, cut into 1-inch slices
Root Vegetables (Viandas)
- ½ pound yautía (taro root), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ pound ñame (yam), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ pound yuca (cassava), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 ounces calabaza (West Indian Pumpkin), peeled, seeded and without strings, cut into 1-inch chunks
Green Plantain Dumplings
- 2 large green plantains, peeled
- ¼ teaspoon salt (low sodium) or to taste
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- Bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add salt.
- Add beef stew meat to saucepan. Cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the root vegetables (viandas) and dumplings. Stir well.
- Cover saucepan with lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the root vegetables (viandas) to the saucepan. Cover saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes or until the root vegetables are tender.
- Prepare the dumplings by grating the green plantains and place in a bowl.
- Add the salt, minced garlic and skim milk to the grated plantain. Stir well.
- You can place the plantain mixture by tablespoonfuls on top of broth or you can fill a melon baller with the plantain mixture. Release plantain mixture from melon baller on top of broth.
- Cover saucepan with lid and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes or until dumplings are done.
Prepare the root vegetables in advance to reduce your food preparation time. Visit my food blogging post on How to Prepare Root Vegetables for Beef Stew!
If you are going to peel and cut the viandas the same day of preparing this recipe, then add 40 minutes to the Prep Time.
- Category: Soups and Stews
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keywords: Puerto Rican Beef Stew