One of our favorite soup/stew dishes is Puchero or Pochero which is the Filipino version of another favorite, Spanish Cocido. The difference is the added vegetables: Filipino cooking bananas called saba, sweet potatoes, and bokchoy. The Filipino puchero is served with tomato sauce and/or sauce made with mashed boiled or roasted Asian eggplant seasoned with vinegar, garlic, and salt.
I get frozen saba bananas at the Korean grocery store. You can substitute overripe plantains but the flavor and texture will not be the same. IMHO, no bananas or plantains can ever replace saba.
1 pound beef for stew
1 pound boneless skin-on chicken thighs, cut in half
½ pound pork belly, cut into 1 inch pieces, optional
4 cups water
½ tablespoon sea salt
1 medium onion, cut into 4 pieces
2 pieces 3-inch Spanish chorizo
3 whole fresh or frozen saba banana
2 medium Korean sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 package baby bokchoy
2 cups precooked chickpeas, drained
- Place meats and water in a large pot and let boil over medium high heat. Skim off foam until broth is clear.
- Add salt, onion, and chorizos. Simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Transfer chicken and chorizos in a large bowl; cover and keep warm.
- Continue cooking beef and pork, if using, for another 30 minutes or until tender.
- While beef and pork are cooking, slice chorizos into serving pieces and return to the bowl.
- Transfer meats into the bowl. Keep broth in a simmer.
- Add bananas and sweet potatoes to the broth; boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Slice bananas into 4 pieces.
- Transfer bananas and sweet potatoes into the bowl.
- Cook baby bokchoy in the broth for 3 minutes; transfer into the bowl.
- Add chickpeas to the broth and simmer until heated through. Transfer into the bowl with the meats and vegetables. Pour broth into the bowl or in a separate bowl.
- Serve with tomato sauce.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups grated fresh tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add onions. Cook over low-medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add garlic, salt, and sugar, and simmer over low-medium heat, uncovered, until thick, about 15 minutes. Transfer into a serving bowl. Stir in the remaining olive oil.