Latin Beef Stew with Pumpkin, Yuca and Plantains

Sancocho is a Latin American stew that is usually served at special occasions and holidays. While each country has its own take, the recipe typically consists of hearty meat and vegetables like yuca and squash, simmered in a savoury, seasoned stock. Smoked paprika and ham hocks give it a distinctive smoky flavour.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Makes: 12 servings
+ Add to My Flavour
Enter Cooking Mode

All You Need

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 3 lb (1 1/2 kg) boneless beef chuck*, trimmed and cut into 1-in (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into ½-in (1 cm) cubes
  • 2 Club House Bay Leaves
  • 5 1/4 cups (1 3/10 L) Kitchen Basics Original Beef Cooking Stock
  • 1 can (156 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) McCormick Gourmet Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Club House Garlic Salt
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Club House Oregano Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Club House Ground Cumin
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 lb/500 g)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) cubed, peeled and seeded West Indian pumpkin (calabaza)** (1-in/2.5 cm cubes)
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) cubed, peeled fresh yuca or thawed frozen yuca** (1-in/2.5 cm cubes)
  • 2 plantains**, cut into 1-in (2.5 cm) pieces and peeled (about 2 ½ cups/625 mL)
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, divided


  1. Heat oil in 6- to 8-quart (6-8 L) Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add beef in batches; cook 8 minutes or until beef is browned on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Set aside.

  2. Stir onion, bell pepper and bay leaves into pan; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly soft. Return beef to pan.

  3. Stir in stock, tomato paste and seasonings; mix well. Add ham hocks, vegetables and 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the cilantro. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 3 to 3 ½ hours or until beef and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

  4. *Or use 1 lb (500 g) each cubed beef for stew, boneless pork shoulder, cubed, and chicken thighs. **Feel free to substitute winter squash, such as butternut or acorn squash, or other tropical tubers, such as ñame (West African yam), taro, yautía (malanga), batata blanca (boniato, tropical sweet potato or white sweet potato), or green bananas, or corn-on-the cob, cut into 1-in (2.5 cm) pieces. Use a total of 8 cups (2 L) cubed squash, tubers and fruit.


Need a little inspiration? We’re ready with a few suggestions.