Puerto Rican Beef Stew

Serves 6


It is said of a person who has been under the sweltering sun that he is sancocho—blistering hot or "stewing." This Puerto Rican stew best illustrates the one-step cooking method, a typical food preparation that has prevailed for five hundred years in Puerto Rican homes, primarily because it allows the latitude for batch cooking a nutritious meal in a single pot.

The barbacoa technique employed by the Tainos has evolved more sophisticated and complex cooking technology, but the spirit and the legacy of the barbacoa are constant as we struggle against the drudgery of the modern work day and subsequent meal preparation. When you come home, why not spend 15 minutes of preparation and 45 minutes of "R and R?" The pot over the heat does the cooking you end up with a delicious beefy stew.

  1. In a preheated kettle over low-to-medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, beef cubes, and onions, stir until beef is brown on all sides and onions begin to caramelize. Fold in chopped pepper, celery, gingerroot, chili pepper, cilantro, cumin, salt, white pepper, burgundy wine, tomatoes, and 1 quart of beef stock. Cook down until stock is reduced by half.
  2. Stir beef, then fold in all the remaining vegetables and beef stock. Continue to cook until meat is tender and the vegetables soft.

Serving Suggestions:
Since this soup contains beef and vegetables, it is hearty already. Serve alongside a fresh bread and use the bread to soak up some of this delicious flavor.


Recipes From La Isla

Octopus Salad
Puerto Rican Beef Stew
Red Beans Stewed in Wine Sauce
Spicy Taino Chicken

Recipe from:
La Isla
New & Traditional Puerto Rican Cuisine
by Robert Rosado & Judith Healy Rosado
$28.00 (Hardcover)
Lowell House
Released 1995
ISBN: 1-565-65-339-4
(Reprinted with permission.)


This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007