The Reef’s Sancocho

Kathleen Duncan, Executive Chef at The Reef, excels at giving local ingredients a Caribbean flavour. This rich root vegetable stew originates from Puerto Rico. It is the restaurant’s feature entrée for October, but now you can also make this delicious fall meal at home.




15 grams Thyme, fresh

500 grams Cowichan Bay Farm chicken

500 grams Tannadice Farms Pork tenderloin

250 grams bacon,  roughly chopped

250 grams chorizo   (½ inch slices)

125 ml vegatable oil

500 grams onions  (medium diced)

30 grams garlic  (minced)

250 ml red wine

2 ears Gayle Farms corn, cut in disks

500 grams Yams, peeled    (1 inch dice)

1 red peppers, 1 inch dice

500 grams Russet potatoes, 1 inch dice

1 lb Plantains, peeled, cut 1 inch dice

750 grams tomatoes, rough chopped

500 grams Sannich Peninsula squash, ie; pumpkin  , 1 inch dice

2-3 litres water


Cooking method:


In a large skillet, over high heat, add veg oil and allow it to heat until it begins to smoke, sear the pork tenderloins, and place in a medium sized bowl; repeat with the chicken thighs and chorizo sausage, they  should acquire a golden color. Meanwhile in a large pot, over low- medium heat add the bacon and render the fat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to turn brown, remove the bacon and place it in the bowl with the chicken and pork and sausage. Sautee the diced onions in the bacon fat until they begin to soften, add the garlic and red wine, bring the wine to a simmer and reduce it by ½ approx 5 minutes at medium simmer, add the tomatoes, the entire bowl of meats, and 1 liter of water, simmer for 30 min , stirring occasionally ( every 10 minutes) then add the plantains, yams , potatoes, peppers, corn, squash and water to cover the contents of the pot, continue to simmer until the vegetables are soft.(approx 15- 20 minutes) Remove and cool.


Serve with white rice.


All ingredients have been sourced from local suppliers with the exception of plantains. These can be readily found in Chinatown or in most large supermarkets. The more yellow/black the plantain, the sweeter they will be. The greener they are the more starchy they will be, similar to a potato.


Tannadice Farms, out of the Comox Valley, are known for their “high health” pork. They also sell chicken and black angus beef. You can find their products at The Country Grocer or Market on Millstream.


Yield 6-8 servings

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