Ajiaco Cubano recipe - How to Make a Hearty Cuban Stew
courtesy of the
Cocina Cubana Club founded by Pascual Perez &
The origins of this stew have long been debated.
But what we do know is that Cubans have been eating ajiaco since the
1500's. This recipe and the comments below are
from my friend and cookbook author Sonia
This dish is very hearty, so it should be eaten with nothing else
except bread and a light fruit dessert. This recipe will feed 20,
but you can cut in half and it can be frozen in batches.
10 quarts water
1 lb beef jerky (tasajo)
2 lbs flank steak, cubed
2 lbs pork, cubed
2 lbs pork spare ribs, separated (optional)
1 3lb hen, cut up
4 ears corn, cut in fourths
2 lbs malanga (a yellow taro) peeled, cut in chunks
4 green plantains (soaked in lime juice) peeled, cut in chunks
2 lbs yuca (frozen or fresh) peeled, cut in chunks
2 lbs Cuban boniato (sweet potato, not yam) peeled, cut in chunks
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled, cut in chunks
1 lb ñame (a white taro) peeled, cut in chunks
1 lb guagui (a greyish taro) peeled, cut in chunks
4 ripe plantains, peeled, cut in chunks
4 limes for soaking green plantains
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
The day before: Cut the beef jerky in large pieces and soak in water
to cover. Soak overnight. Next day, drain and place in a very large
and deep stockpot. Add the 10 quarts of water and the cut up hen.
Boil for one hour. Add the flank steak and pork pieces. Add the
spare ribs. Boil for one more hours. Remove fat and froth that will
rise to top.
While meats are cooking, make the "sofrito", peel and cut the "viandas"
(vegetables). When meats are tender, add the viandas, except ripe
plantains and pumpkin. Cook about one more hour.
Add the sofrito and cook another 20-30 minutes. Add the ripe
plantains and pumpkin and cook 30 more minutes or until pumpkin and
plantains are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
If broth is too thin, thicken by mashing some of the viandas in a
little broth and adding it back to the pot. Serve in a large soup
tureen and give each guest a large, flat rimmed soup bowl.
You can place lime slices in little dishes along the table. The
ajiaco tastes really good with freshly squeezed lime juice, but let
each guest decide if they would like to squirt their own. Yields about 15-20 servings.
Main Cuban recipe pages:
• soups •