Cuban "Ajiaco" Stew

Every Cuban should be proud of its Ajiaco, one of the most delicious and distinctive culinary "Criollo" dishes. I think we can say that it is the soul of Cuba turned into delicacy. In it are synthesized more than 500 years of history, irreversible mixture of races, cultures and idiosyncrasies, which could not escape the kitchen. This recipe is one of the many variations of the dish that we hope you'll enjoy.


  1. Soak the tasajo overnight in cold water, changing the water at least twice. Remove the tasajo from the water and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Cut the ribs into individual ribs. Cut the flank steak into 1 inch strips.
  3. Cut the pork into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Place the tasajo and ribs in a stock pot and cover with water. Season the water with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook the meat for about 1 hour or until the ribs are tender. Remove from the heat and drain.
  6. In a stock pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, and black pepper.
  7. Saute the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add the flank steak and pork loin. Brown the meat for 3 to 4 minutes. Season the meat with salt.
  9. Add the yuca, boniato, malanga, ñame and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Add 4 quarts chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  11. Add the boniato, green plantains, and lime juice. Cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Add the calabaza and the ripe plantains and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

The stew will be creamy with pieces of meat and vegetables. Serve with Cuban bread. Serves 6 to 8


3/4 pound tasajo (salt-dried beef)
1 pound baby back ribs
1 pound flank steak
1 pound pork loin
1 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 pound yuca, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound ñame (white yam), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound yellow malanga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 ears of corn,  cut into 2 inch pieces or scraped off the cob
1 pound boniato, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 green plantains, cut into 2-inch pieces
Juice of three limes
1 pound calabaza, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 ripe plantains, cut into 2-inch

Buen apetito!