Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Catholic Recipe: Puchero (Boiled Pot)


  • 1 knuckle-bone (sun-dried)
  • 2 pounds veal
  • 2 pounds beef
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 fresh (or sundried) tomatoes
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 1 pound green string beans (tied in a bunch)
  • 1 bundle kohl leaves
  • 3 small summer squash
  • 1 hard apple
  • 1 hard pear
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Prep Time: 3 1/2 hours

Difficulty:  N/A

Cost:  ★★★☆

For Ages: n/a

Origin: United States California Missions


Feasts (1)

"Puchero" literally means "boiled pot", and there are at least 10 different versions. This was a common meal in the Spanish Missions of California, a combination of Spanish/Mexican/Native American cultures.

This recipe would be wonderful for the feast of St. Junipero Serra, or a way to celebrate his canonization.


The knuckle-bone should be left in the air and sun to dry. Cover the knuckle bone and meat with cold water. Bring to a boil and skim.

Place all washed vegetables and fruit over the bone and meat, carefully, and in order so that they will be whole when cooked. Simmer over a low heat for 3 hours -- NEVER STIR.

To serve, lift out the whole vegetables onto a platter. Then place the meat onto another platter. Strain the broth into a tureen. Carry to the table while very hot.

Quantities may be cut in half, but this changes and impairs the flavor. El puchero may be warmed over, and the flavor improves with keeping.

Recipe Source: California Missions: A Complete Pictorial History and Visitor's Guide, The by Sunset Editors, Sunset Books, 1979