Central Mexican style meat stew: Puchero del Valle de Mexico

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Central Mexican style meat stew is perhaps the most famous Mexican puchero, and the one that comes to mind first when this dish is mentioned. It contains the classic Spanish combination of meats, vegetables and legumes, with the Mexican additions of chiles and tomatoes. Feel free to change or add to the selection of vegetables, varying according to what is available.


  • 1/2 lb. garbanzos (chick peas) soaked in water to cover overnight
  • 1 lb. pork leg, cut into chunks
  • 1 lb.stewing beef, cut in chunks
  • 1 beef marrow bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 medium white onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 smoked pork ribs, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 lb. smoked ham, diced
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo, fried and drained
  • 3/4 lb. tomatoes
  • 2 ancho chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 1 T coriander seeds
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 turnips, sliced
  • 2 ears corn, cut into fourths
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 plantains, sliced
  • 2 winter pears, sliced
  • Salt to taste

Drain the garbanzos; place them in a large stockpot with the pork leg, stewing beef, marrow bone, bay leaves, peppercorns, 4 cloves of the garlic and one of the onions.

Cover with 2 1/2 quarts water, bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook until the meat is tender.

Liquify the tomatoes, chiles and coriander seeds with the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and the remaining onion.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the tomato mixture and cook over medium heat 15-20 minutes, then add to stew.

Add the pork ribs, ham, chorizo and all the vegetables.

Cook 15 minutes, add the plantains and pears, and cook another 15 minutes.

Add salt to taste.

Serve in deep bowls, or serve the broth first, followed by the meat and vegetables.

Serves 8.

Link to source articles
The humble cabbage: A Mexican cook’s loyal friend
Mexican pears: A seasonal favorite for holiday dishes
The world’s most versatile stew: Puchero

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2000 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2000
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