Sancocho: Dominican Republic's comfort food

This traditional soup from the island of Hispañola is one of the Dominican Republic’s national dishes

Chef Steven Diaz says it “was essentially created in an effort to utilize everything in the cupboard, along the same lines as a beef stew in the U.S.” Raid your cupboards and get cooking, Dominican-style.


Serves 6-8 people

1½ lbs stewing beef

2½ lb whole organic chicken cut into 3” pieces

1 lb lean pork shoulder, cut into 2” cubes

8 oz yautia or yellow malanga root

12 oz pumpkin squash, cut into 3” pieces

7 oz white malanga root

2 green plantains, peeled and cut into 4” pieces

4 oz cubanelle pepper, chopped

6 oz Spanish onion, chopped

1 oz fresh cilantro, washed

2 oz celery, chopped

4 oz garlic, minced

8 oz waxy potatoes, peeled cut into 2” pieces

8 oz carrot, cut into 2” pieces

8 oz yuca or cassava root, peeled and cut into 3” pieces

2 ears sweet yellow corn, cut into 1-1/2" wheels

1 qt natural chicken stock

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp kosher salt

Black pepper, freshly ground

For serving:

Lime-cut into wedges

Tabasco sauce


  1. In separate bowls, season the different cuts of meat with oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Let marinate for 1-2 hours.

  2. In a large braising pot, sear the meats separately until brown on all sides and reserve.

  3. Add beef back to braising pot with only enough water to cover, cooking at a simmer. Repeat the process with pork and finally chicken, each time adding only enough water to cover the meat.

  4. When the different types of meat are almost fork tender, turn off flame and set aside, being careful not to overcook.

  5. In a separate small pot, over medium heat, sweat the onions, yellow malanga root, carrots and celery with the cubanelle peppers for 6-7 minutes.

  6. Add the squash, cilantro and the chicken stock and simmer until tender.

  7. Strain and reserve the solids, and puree in a blender until smooth.

  8. Add the pureed vegetables to the braising pot with the beef, pork and chicken.

  9. Add the corn, yautia, plantains and potatoes. Place on medium-low heat and cook until these vegetables are tender.

  10. Adjust the seasoning and consistency of the stew to your liking. Serve with white rice, slices of avocado, lime wedges and Tabasco sauce.