My favourite kind of recipe is the kind I recently got from my friend Soraya. It’s not so much a recipe as a list of ingredients and some basic instructions. That’s how I like to cook. Show me a picture and give me a shopping list and I’m off to the races.
Full disclosure: I have never made Colombian food before, let alone tried my hand at Puchero. I will say though, that Soraya’s son tasted the end product and said it “tasted the way it’s supposed to”. So that’s a start.
I’ve included Soraya’s recipe below and added a “recipe-like” format for those of you who are into that sort of thing. She didn’t give me quantities (my kind of woman) but I’m including some quantity guidelines for you as if you were cooking for 6 people. That said, you should still have some leftovers. You’re going to need a BIG pot. If your pot isn’t big enough, you can split the ingredients up between two pots and consolidate everything onto platters before you serve. Prepare yourselves – this dish is heavy, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want a lot of that yuca.
Serves: 6 Time: 2 hours
- handful of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 yellow onions
- 1 lb pork cut into chunks
- 1 lb beef cut into chunks
- 6 Colombian chorizos (according to Soraya it has to be Colombian or it’s not Puchero)
- 6 medium sized potatoes
- 3 ears of corn cut in half
- 2 lb yuca/cassava
- 2 very green plantains
- head of cabbage
1. Put all the ingredients (except for the avocado, cabbage, and cilantro) in a very big pot and add water to cover. Cook over medium heat for about 30/40 minutes.
2. Check for tenderness and take out potatoes and cassava when ready.
3. Then simmer on low heat and and check the meats for tenderness until ready.
4. Meanwhile make at least 1/2 cup of guiso (see below) per person. Let everything cool down.
5. About an hour before serving, strain the grease from the pot of the pot, reheat over medium heat and cover everything with whole cabbage leaves.
6. When the cabbage is soft (10-15 min), lay the cabbage leaves out on two trays – one for all the meat, the other for the vegetables.
7. Cover everything in a generous amount of guiso and serve more guiso on the side.
8. Serve with white rice, avocado, cilantro, and a bowl of the broth.
Note: The leftovers are also delicious. Cut into pieces next day and stir fry with some butter for brunch.
Serves: 6; Time: 30 min
- 2 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 green onion chopped
- 6 tomatoes chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- cumin and/or Sazon Goya with saffron to taste
- salt to taste
- olive oil
1. Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion to the pan until soft.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat until tender.
3. Simmer until you get your desired consistency – For Puchero the guiso should be thin enough to bathe all the other ingredients. For arepas it should be nice and buttery.