Puerto Rican Beef Stew

  • Author: Aida's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 35 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x


The Puerto Rican Beef Stew (Sancocho) is a soup simmered with beef stew meat that enhances the hearty tropical root vegetables with rich beef flavor.  This dish is very similar to the Beef Stew prepared in the United States.



  • 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


  1. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil.  Add salt.
  2. Add beef stew meat to saucepan.  Cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except for the root vegetables (viandas) and dumplings.  Stir well.
  4. Cover saucepan with lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. Prepare the dumplings by grating the green plantains and place in a bowl.
  7. Add the salt, minced garlic and skim milk to the grated plantain.  Stir well.
  8. 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.
  9. 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