Recipe courtesy of Pascual Perez and chef Sonia
, a member of Hispanic Kitchen
Servings: 20 - see note
Note: 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 3-lb. 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
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled, cut in chunks
1 lb ñame (a white taro) peeled, cut in chunks
1 lb guagui (also known as malanga) peeled, cut in chunks
4 ripe plantains, peeled, cut in chunks
4 limes for soaking green plantains
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sofrito (see recipe below)
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
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
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 add their own.