Sancocho de Siete Carnes (Seven Meat Hearty Stew)

Sancocho de Siete Carnes (Seven Meat Hearty Stew)

Sancocho in the Dominican Republic is synonymous with party.

Dominicans are spontaneous and happy people who do not need much of an excuse to party. Where there are two or more Dominicans, a party may break out at any moment; some occasions, however, call for more lavish and elaborate celebrations.

Sancocho de Siete Carnes (Seven Meat Hearty Stew)

A baptism is an occasion for family and close friends to meet and celebrate with the parents the joy of the arrival of their new child. The religious celebration is followed by a brunch, attended by the closest friends and family members.

Typically some picaderas (hors d’oeuvre) are served.

The next big occasion will come when a girl celebrates her 15th birthday. Her friends, dressed in beautiful gowns, will attend the celebration of the girl’s symbolical passage into adulthood. Picaderas, soft drinks for the teenagers and beer and cocktails for the grown-ups will be served. Sometime in the night there will be a buffet comprised mostly of typical Dominican dishes.

Sancocho de Siete Carnes (Seven Meat Hearty Stew)

The night ends with a piece of the monumental cake that has been the center of attention all night long.

Nothing, however, will top the regal exuberance of a Dominican wedding. On this occasion, to which guests will wear their best clothes, the bride will outshine them all. Dressed like a princess from a fairy tale, she will be the center of attention, her only competition being the biggest, fanciest cake the madrina could afford. There will be picaderas, drinks and a buffet, and the party will probably end in the early hours of the next morning. It is not rare to see the bride and groom leave when the party has ended. Dominicans would not let their wedding night get in the way of a good party.

But heck, we don’t need an excuse! It need not be somebody’s birthday, baptism or wedding, all we need is a sancocho, or asopao, some frías, Merengue and we’ll call it a party.

Sancocho de Siete Carnes (Seven Meat Hearty Stew)

About sancocho

Sancocho is, without doubt, the Dominican people’s most cherished culinary treasure. It is a dish that is usually prepared for special occasions. Its preparation is long and it contains many ingredients. However, the time it takes to prepare is the time best enjoyed with friends, while drinking a little rum or a cold beer.

The traditional sancocho is made with beef only (usually flank, or similarly inexpensive cut), however the Sancocho de Siete Carnes (seven-meat Stew) is the deluxe version. You can skip the other meats if you want.

Sancocho is the star of the Dominican foods, a stew that is the ultimate Dominican comfort food. Learn how to make it with this recipe.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara
Dominican Sancocho de Siete Carnes Recipe (Hearty 7-Meat Stew)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dominican Sancocho is the star of our tables, a stew that is the ultimate Dominican comfort food. Learn how to make it with this recipe.
Serves: 8 generous servings (aprox)
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] beef for stews (flank, chuck or round)
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of goat meat
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of pork sausage (longaniza)
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of pork for stews (belly or chump end)
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of chicken
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of pork ribs
  • 1 lb [0.45 kg] of bones from a smoked ham
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped coriander/cilantro or parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of mashed garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of oil (corn, peanut or canola)
  • 2.5 quart [2.5 lt] of water
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] of yam (ñame) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] of auyama (West Indies pumpkin) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] of taro (yautia) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 unripe plantains, 2 cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] of cassava cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 corn cobs cut into ½-inch slices (optional)
  1. Cut all the meat into small pieces.
  2. Coat the meat with the lime juice (except the pork sausage).
  3. Place all the meat in a large bowl and add the coriander, oregano, garlic, and half a teaspoon of salt. Rub meat to cover with the spices. Marinate for at least half an hour.
  4. In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat, add the beef and stir (be careful with hot oil splattering). Cover and and simmer for 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water if it looks like it might burn.
  5. Add the pork and simmer for 15 minutes, adjust water when necessary. Add the rest of the meat to the pot (except for the chicken) and simmer for another 15 minutes, adding tablespoons of water as needed to prevent it from burning.
  6. Add the remaining meat and simmer for another 5 minutes, adding tablespoons of water as needed to prevent it from burning.
  7. Add 2 quarts [2 lt] of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the ñame, auyama, yautía and the two plantains that you had previously cut. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  8. Grate, or scrape with the knife the remaining plantain to make it into a pulp, add to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients (minus the salt) and add water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level. Stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking.
  9. Simmer until the last ingredients you added are cooked through.
  10. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot with white rice, slices of avocado and garnish with hot sauce or agrio de naranja

The trick to this dish is adding the meat from the longest-cooking to the shortest-cooking, please pay attention to the order in which meat is added into the cooking pot
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{ 33 comments… add one }

  • Martin April 29, 2015, 12:35 PM

    Where can I find (West Indies Pumpkin), (Yautia), and (Cassava)

    • Aunt Clara April 30, 2015, 7:03 PM

      I would start at a latino market/store. You can use kabocha squash in lieu of West Indian pumpkin, they are very similar. Cassava you can also find at Asian markets, and Yautía at African shops.

  • Fabiola de la isla de Oahu April 13, 2015, 12:26 AM

    Aloha! Where is the updated version with the boiled flour rolls and the ajíes? I don’t want to miss a thing when I make it. I love Colombian Sancocho so this will be my 1st from the D.R. Also do you recommend adding beer? Mahalo.

    • Aunt Clara April 13, 2015, 10:08 AM

      There are many types of sancocho. Each country that has it has its own version, and in those country each person will make his/her own different version. I don’t add those to mine, you can try it for yourself but I can’t tell you if it will work out.

      Good luck.

  • Iddis Sanchez March 6, 2015, 1:46 PM

    Hello Aunt Clara,

    Thank you for posting this recipe! It reminds me of my late grandmother, who used to cook it and bring this huge container to our home all the time. I’ve always wanted to learn more about Dominican food. Even though I am 100% from the most amazing country in this world, there are things I still don’t get from its kitchen. Sancocho is one of them, because I have tried to do it several times but it will come out too dark in color, not like the one on your post, or the one my grandma used to cook for us, it used to look like somewhat yellowish. So please, I’d like to know a tip so it doesn’t come up so dark in color.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m really pleased with your translation for the word “ñame” or “yam.” That is how I see it at the supermarkets all over NY, NJ, and PA.

    Best of luck!

  • Rosario January 11, 2015, 6:39 AM

    PLease correct your recipe!!! If “yams” are used instead of “ñame” the result will be a sweet soup instead of the traditional sancocho…not the Dominican flavor at all!! Keep on posting…your recipes are always interesting, especially for the novice, far from the D.R., cook.

  • Adriana Madrigal November 13, 2014, 12:04 AM

    Hello there, just wanted to confirm something about the recipe. I should only season and marinate the beef? What about the pork, chicken and goat?

    • Aunt Clara November 22, 2014, 8:46 AM

      Thanks, Adriana, I just clarified this point in the recipe.

  • Margarita Gomez September 25, 2014, 8:32 PM

    Even thought, I am New Yorker and Dominican knows how to make sancocho which is my most favorite dish and my dearest mom who passed away ( Andrea Dolores Collado, mi bailarina de merengue ripiao) used to make it for me. Up to now I still see Aunt Clara website to see sancocho recipe again and again to cook it, what I call it “the hangovers soup”. LOL
    Sometimes I add a can of beer, but you have to let seat for half an hour after you open the can of beer before put in the sancocho. Love this dish. Try it an experience this dish.

  • Linda July 19, 2014, 12:13 PM

    Hi, I was just looking at a travel show and it was showing someone cooking this stew and I just had to find a recipe. Thanks for having one on your site as I plan to make this sometime next week. It looks so good.

  • Keri R July 19, 2014, 12:11 PM

    I just saw this on No Reservations and I immediately became hungry and wanted to learn how to make it! Im Italian but I love food from all different cultures especially the most prized dishes. This recipe great very detailed step by step. I hope mine comes out delicious. I have a co worker who is Dominican so he will be my taste tester. Thank you Aunt Clara

  • Geri Rodriguez May 15, 2014, 4:20 PM

    I am going to try this recipe, since my son likes it.

  • Michy April 14, 2014, 7:43 PM

    When simmering at the end, should I simmer while covered or uncovered? Thanks

    • Aunt Clara April 16, 2014, 2:22 AM

      Whenever a pot needs to be covered it is specified in the recipe. Good luck!

  • Penelope Reyes January 16, 2014, 12:25 PM

    I love dominican food.

  • liz June 9, 2013, 8:37 PM

    Hi aunt Clara,
    I just love your website with the detail recipes and the historical background makes it like no other. Plus, the fact that is interactive and you take the time for the updates and follow ups!
    Being Dominican and loving the food but not learning how to cook them while growing up these website really gives a second chance to enjoy a piece of my culture away from home.
    I would like to ask your suggestions as to what side dishes to have with this delicious recipes f also can it be made ahead of time, lets say a day before an event?

  • Erika Amaro February 4, 2013, 4:57 PM

    Hola Aunt Clara,
    Thank You so much for your wonderful recipes and i feel the same way about our foods. What are we doing to ourselves? Pretty soon we wont be able to eat anything. It hurst my heart that gods wonderful creations are being contaminated and rendered useless nutritionally.

  • amber nicole November 6, 2012, 12:48 AM

    I just saw this on No Reservations & I can’t wait to make it

  • kathy perez August 19, 2012, 11:28 PM

    hola tia clara, estoy feliz de haber encontrado esta pagina de nuestra comida dominicana. gracias porque esto hacido como recordar nuestras cultras,y de donde salimos…y esas comidas que nos hacian nuestras madres….printie algunas de tus recetas para siempre hacer algo diferente. Me atrevo a opinar qque a la receta del sancocho le faltaron algunos ingrediente, como la yuca,sanahoria y otra muy importante la auyama, para el color. el cilantro, aji, y cebolla entera. esa foto se ve tan rica que se me antoja…muchaas gracias.

    • Aunt Clara August 20, 2012, 12:21 AM

      Thanks, Kathy, for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Of the ingredients that you list many are already listed in the recipe. And remember that each cook has his/her own version of this recipe. This is my version, you can adapt it to your taste.

  • Andres August 1, 2012, 12:51 PM

    Thank you for your excellent recipes. I grew up here in the USA but still hold on to my native food of Sto. Dgo., most of these latin restaraunts do not cook spanish food like the natives back home, and being a picky eater, I desire for that reach spicy dominican food. Your webside of Dominican recipes has been a great help to me by teaching me step by step how to cook some of those favorites dominican food, even my mother gets jealous of me sometimes…lol.
    Thank you again

    • Aunt Clara August 1, 2012, 12:55 PM

      Thanks to you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I am very glad we have been of help.

  • Patty May 24, 2012, 2:51 AM

    I love your recipes. Most recipes I find online leave out so many "detallitos" that really make the dish get that Dominican flavor. Thanks for posting them :) Dios te bendiga!

  • Jazmina Ferdinand May 23, 2012, 3:26 PM

    me encanta esta receta, dominicana y todos lo que tengan el gusto de comer este plato nunca se olvidara de este. La version en ingles me ayudo en una tarea. tambien el sancocho de habichuela o frijol es muy bueno.

  • Henry Hernandez December 2, 2011, 11:15 AM

    With all due respect, ñame is NOT yams. Yams are sweet potatoes and I never saw them sold in the islands. The recipe calls for ñame which is a root much like yuca and yautia (malanga). It is white in the inside and tends to turn purplish when cut and left in the open. The skin is very much like yuca (casava). The dumplings which are found mostly in the Puerto Rican Sancocho are not made of flour. They are made by grating very green Johnson bananas and plantains. They are mixed together with salt, pepper, garlic some asafran or achiote to give it a bit of color. The mixture is spooned and dropped into the sancocho when all the roots are cooked so they don't disintegrate. The Cuban Ajiaco (sancocho) uses very lean pork meat or beef. The Puerto Rican Sancocho normally takes ox tail as the meat of choice. Cuban and Puerto Rican Sancocho (Ajiaco) calls for chayote (vegetable pear, mirliton) which is a prickly pear shaped fruit which is cooked like a vegetable and grows on vines. It is difficult to find even in the islands and was mostly found in home gardens. I had sancocho in Puerto Rico which also contained bread fruit (Pana). All those variations are great. I haven't tried a sancocho I don't like. Then again my wife has never made it.

    • Aunt Clara December 2, 2011, 12:08 PM

      Thanks for the tip (although we are not the only ones using that translation, we found many sources for this: 'Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires[22] sweet potatoes labeled with the term "yam" to be accompanied by the term "sweet potato."'). Apparently the word yam is used for different type of roots, not surprisingly. But yam is the correct translation.

      Thanks for talking about the differences about the different sanchochos, very interesting.

      BTW, chayotes (tayotas in the DR) are very common here. I can't think of a time I didn't see them in the supermarket. There are a few recipes here with tayotas.

    • Shanelle January 11, 2014, 5:04 PM

      Yes I agree. I am Dominican 100 por 100 and we say yautia or name and we def don’t call it yams. Yams is sweet potato especially when referring to the ones in a can that is used for candied yams. and yes the yautia we use can be either white or pink, I buy both at the bodega.

  • Sonia November 19, 2011, 10:29 AM

    There is NOTHING like a Dominican sancocho!! You serve it with a side of white rice (w/concon, of course), tostones verdes and avocado (the large ones, not those tiny ones). Wow, what a feast! Then, you finish off the meal with a good cup of Dominican coffee and a little piece of dulce de cajuil (candied cashews). Of course, you better do some exercise before you eat this delectable meal because you will be putting on the pounds unless you only have the dulce once in a while. We Dominican do love our food, don't we?

  • yomaira hernandez October 28, 2011, 7:01 PM


  • Letty Chen October 5, 2011, 6:29 AM

    Thank you 😉

  • Letty Chen August 8, 2011, 3:22 PM

    Hi, I am reading this recipe and the Spanish version as well and the Spanish version does have *10 Bollitos de harina (boiled flour rolls) (optional) and the English version is missing 2 ajíes verdes grandes cortandos en cubos. Also which cut of Beef would you recommend, because all the ones that come to mind with bone in are ribs, tail and leg. Also which cut of pork. I think those are the only questions for now. Thanks.

    • Aunt Clara October 5, 2011, 6:13 AM

      Hi Letty, I have updated the recipe and added the information you requested.