My mom is here today – she cooked rice and beans for us, which we ate with a roasted chicken from the deli section. We finished our meal a short while ago and then I remembered Sabroso Saturday. I need a recipe! She recited this from memory, making it seem easy and routine. Of course there are no measurements. This is a non-recipe, handed down from one generation to the next, because it’s so simple. It’s all about what looks good or smells good when you get to the store.
You should know, to my mom cooking is natural like breathing. For years she kicked us out of the kitchen, while she prepared a full meal for a crowd, every single day. Mami thinks nothing of making a sancocho. It’s much easier for her than making meat and potatoes, or any other food that needs a side dish. Sancocho is comfort food, one pot, one bowl. Most times, anyway.
This photo shows the last time Mami made a sancocho for the whole family. It was a spring day where the weather started out nice but hinted at rain.
We went out in the rain for groceries with my sister and Lesli - after we were already on the road, the rain turned to a storm. It got so bad, the store even lost a window! Employees were running around with cardboard and planks to seal up, while we hunted for the best of everything. All of us came back home soaking wet and then the fun really started.
We had bought so much of everything, that the meats and vegetables overflowed from one pot, so Mami had to get another.
Sancocho de 7 carnes
(Stew made with 7 meats)
- Meat: beef, chicken, pork, guinea fowl, goat, rabbit, smoked ham (leave out any you don’t like or have)
- Vegetables: Celery, corn, green guineos, malanga, plantains, potatoes, squash, yautia, yuca (skip the sweet potatoes or anything that would go in a salad – we’re going for firm starchy vegetables)*
- Seasonings, herbs, spices: adobo, basil, bouillon cube, garlic, onion, oregano, salt, pepper
Add seasonings to meats and put them in a large pot with room in it.
Cover with water, bring to a boil.
When the meat is starting to get tender (before it’s falling off the bone), lower heat to simmer and add vegetables.
When vegetables are soft and starting to crumble, the broth will start to thicken.
Add cilantro, keep on simmer for 10 to 15 minutes then turn off flame.
My favorite way to eat sancocho is over white rice, with chunks of avocado and hot sauce. We have no photos of that, because once we smell the food, everybody comes over to sneak a bowl.
*You can find lots of these in the frozen section, and sometimes even a blend of “sancocho” vegetables, but Mami says it’s better to buy them fresh. Whatever looks good, or smells good, or makes you smile when you see it in the store, that’s what you put in the sancocho.
I wrote this post as part of the Sabroso Saturday blog hop originated by MsLatina. She writes a post each week at her site – then other bloggers add links to their recipes. I would suggest grabbing note cards, stocking up on ink for your printer, because you will want to try more than one of these recipes!