What can an exotic bowl of meaty soup filled with vegetables make you say except for yes, please! Sancocho Peruano is simply delicious. You will not find a soup that is like Sancocho Peruano anywhere else.
What Is Sancocho Peruano?
Sancocho, in general, is very hard to describe as there are several variations of the dish. Furthermore, every region in Peru has its own way of making the perfect Peruvian Sancocho.
Some people describe it as a thick soup with beef and vegetables, while others call it a stew. Some people prefer a Sancocho with a lighter broth, while others prefer a thick broth. Either way, Sancocho Peruano is a delicious bowl of hot broth full of healthy vegetables and beef.
History Of Sancocho Peruano
It is believed that Sancocho is originally a Spanish dish from the Canary Islands. It does actually resemble classic Spanish soups like Cocido and Olla Podrida.
Nevertheless, Peruvians put their own spin on the Sancocho, and it became a famous dish within the country. Traditional Sancocho Peruano was made with various types of meats, including poultry, beef, sausages, and pork. With all those meats, you could feed an entire town of people!
Root vegetables, cabbage, rice, and chickpeas were then added to the Sancocho. However, the vegetables were cooked in a separate pot to prevent the soup broth from becoming too thick.
Since most people are not cooking for the entire village, the types of meat are now limited to 1-2 types of meat. The meat was also reduced because Peruvians started becoming more health-conscious and did not want to overindulge like their predecessors.
Tips For Making Sancocho Peruano
If you desire a clear broth, do not cook the vegetables with the soup. Cook them in another pot for 30-50 minutes or until they are tender. Then drain the cooking liquid and add the vegetables to the Sancocho just before you serve it.
If you are adding vegetables to the beef, cut them into large chunks. Smaller vegetables will release more starch and thicken the soup a bit too much.
As the brisket cooks, the intramuscular fat will melt and float to the surface of the Sancocho. You can skim the fat from the top by running a cooking spoon across the soup and placing the fat into a separate container.
Sancocho Peruano Ingredients
Yes, Sancocho Peruano has a long list of ingredients like most of the Sancochos do. However, it will all be worth it once you taste this delicious soup.
Water: Water is the cooking liquid for the beef brisket. You can also use chicken or beef broth as the cooking liquid. However, since the brisket cooks with the water, it infuses its flavor into the water.
Beef Brisket: Beef brisket is perfect for Sancocho as it is not overly fatty but loaded with beefy flavor. If you cannot find beef brisket, you can use chuck roast, beef short ribs, or beef shanks.
Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the whole dish.
Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a mild spice to the Sancocho.
Carrots: Carrots add a sweet flavor and color to the Sancocho.
Leeks: Leeks have a sweet onion-like flavor that is perfect for adding depth to this dish.
Turnip: Turnips taste amazing when paired with other root vegetables, and Sancocho Peruano is no different. They have a spicy flavor that, when cooked, becomes sweet and earthy.
Lima Beans: Lima beans have a sweet, nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with the veggies in the Sancocho.
Green Beans: Green beans add color to the Sancocho and soak up the flavor of the other ingredients.
Potatoes: Potatoes absorb the flavor of the other ingredients and help thicken the soup. You can use russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes if you do not have white potatoes. Just make sure the potatoes are waxy potatoes, so they do not fall apart in the soup.
Yucca: No Sancocho is complete without yucca, also called cassava. It adds a mild nutty depth of flavor to the soup.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes add a mildly sweet and starchy flavor to the Sancocho.
Celery: Celery adds a mildly salty, slightly bitter flavor to the Sancocho.
Onion: Onions add a sweet yet tangy umami flavor to this dish.
Corn: Loose corn is a no no in Sancocho. Therefore corn on the cob is great to add a sweet flavor as well as texture.
Parsley: Parsley finishes off the Sancocho and adds a bright, herbaceous flavor to the soup.
How to make the perfect Sancocho Peruano?
Start by boiling some water in a large pot and add your seasoning and beef brisket to it. Let it cook for an hour and remove any foam that rises up to the surface. Chop your vegetables in large chunks and them to the beef. Vegetables that need longer go in first.
Remove the vegetables when they’re done and wait for the beef to finish cooking. Cook your corn in a separate pan. Strain the broth and fix any seasoning if needed. Add your beef and vegetables and serve!
Serve with a fresh green salad and a refreshing drink and enjoy the unique flavors. Next-day Sancocho is a treat as well. You can even add fresh vegetables or cooked chicken to make it more hearty.
What are the best potatoes for making Sancocho?
The best potatoes for this Sancocho are white potatoes or any other low-starch potatoes. You need potatoes that will hold their shape when cooking and those low in starch and high in moisture will do just that. Just look for any waxy potatoes and you’re good to go.
What is the difference between Sancocho and Asopao?
The main difference between the two dishes is that Sancocho has vegetables and meat while Asopao is mainly rice and other accompaniments. Asopao resembles Risotto in some senses as it is a thicker rice soup while Sancocho is just a thick soup with meat and vegetables.
Is Sancocho a stew?
Traditionally, Sancocho is known as a thick soup or broth with meat and vegetables in it. It’s cooked for a long time and thickens up as it cooks so it could also be classified as a stew. Whatever you call it, it’s still delicious!
How do I make Sancocho with chicken?
You can easily substitute the beef for some skinless chicken legs or thighs as these pieces handle longer cooking times better. You can use chicken breasts if you desire to, but you will have to keep an eye on them not drying out.
What are the best side dishes to serve with Sancocho Peruano?
Since the Sancocho Peruano is a hearty stew, you need side dishes with it that compliment the flavors well. You can serve this dish with different types of bread that are good at soaking up liquid. Fresh green salads, avocado slices, and sour cream will also all work great with this dish. If you’re looking for authenticity, serve it with hot bell pepper cream, Creole sauce, and bread.
If you want to try some other Sancochos:
- 6 1/2 cups Water
- 1 pound Beef Brisket, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 1 Leek, sliced
- 1 Turnip (or white radish), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lb. soaked Lima beans
- 1 can of Green Beans
- 1 small Cabbage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 4 white Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lb. Yucca, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb. Sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 Celery stalk, sliced
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2 ears of Corn, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 bunch of Parsley, chopped
- Place the water into a large pot, set it over medium-high heat, and let it come to a boil.
- Add the beef brisket, salt, and pepper, and let it cook for an hour. Remove any foam that forms on the surface.
- Add the carrots, leeks, turnips, lima beans, and green beans. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Now, add cabbage, potatoes, yucca, sweet potatoes, celery, and onion. Cook for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables as they start becoming tender. Keep removing until all the vegetables are removed from the broth.
- Once the beef brisket is tender, remove that from the broth as well.
- In another pan, add water and bring to a boil. Add the sliced corn and let it cook. for 25 minutes or until tender.
- Strain the Sancocho broth and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and remove from heat.
- Pour the Sancocho broth into 4 deep bowls.
- Add two large spoonfuls of vegetables, and the corn on the cob. Arrange the beef brisket in the center of the bowl and garnish the whole dish with parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!
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