Cocido-style Nilaga

Initially, I was going to straight up call this cocido but I know that would have been a bit of a stretch as cocido is a little more complex than the simple soup we have here. Traditional cocido involves a variety of meats such as pork, beef, chicken or sausages along with the customary cabbage, garbanzos and bananas. It is usually presented at the table in parts, with the meat and vegetables scooped onto a platter, the broth ladled into a separate bowl and a spicy eggplant sauce called berenjena served on the side to round up flavors. Cocido is a delicious way to breathe new life to leftover ham or roast chicken and is definitely a dish we’ll delve more into as we proceed with our holiday recipes. Stay tuned, folks.

Uncomplicated as it is, this cocido-style nilaga packs just as much enjoyment in every spoonful. The polish sausages added an additional depth of flavor to a broth already made robust by slowly-simmered beef shanks. The meaty potatoes, verdant pechay, sweet saba bananas and garbanzo beans further complete this oh-so-perfect-for-cold-winter-days bowl of goodness. Let’s eat!

Cocido-style Nilaga

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
 Servings:  to 6 Servings
 Author: Lalaine Manalo


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 saba bananas peeled and cut into thirds
  • 2 pounds boneless beef shanks cut into serving pieces
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound polish sausage cut into 1-inch thick
  • 2 potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 bunch pechay ends trimmed and leaves separated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add bananas and fry, turning once or twice, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • In a pot over medium heat, combine beef and water. Bring to a boil, skimming scum that may float to top. When broth has cleared, add onions. Lower heat, cover and cook at barely a simmer for about 2 to 3 hours or until beef is fork tender. Add more water in 1/2 cup increments as needed to maintain about 7 to 8 cups liquid.
  • During last hour of cooking, add sausage. When meat is tender, add potatoes, bananas and garbanzo beans. Continue to cook until tender but firm. Add pechay and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tender yet crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.




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