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Cuban Ajiaco.

Cuban Ajiaco.

Cuban Ajiaco.

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.

The ajiaco tastes really good with freshly squeezed lime juice, but let each guest decide if they would like to squirt their own.

Necessary products:

  • 10 quarts water.
  • 1 lb beef tasajo.
  • 2 lbs flank steak, cubed.
    2 lbs pork, cubed.
  • 2 lbs pork spare ribs, separated.
  • 1 3lb hen, cut up.
  • 4 ears corn, cut into 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 into chunks.
  • 1 lb ñame (a white taro) peeled, cut in chunks.
  • 1 lb Gauguin (a grayish 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.
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