Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cocido Madrileño

Given the cold wave - I thought I would make V happy on our 12th anniversary and cook his favorite Madrid food, the traditional cocido madrileño - a garbanzo and pork extravaganza.

I use the recipe in 1080 Recetas de Cocina by Simone Ortega. All my sisters-in-law and certainly the MIL can rattle off how to make one by memory. There is a Galician version - which includes pigs ears and rabbit. I stick with the Madrid style.

Cocido (serves 6 people)

300 gr. garbanzos (1 large breakfast coffee cup - I love her recipe measurements - CH)
1 k french cabbage
1/2 k carrots (not too large)
6 medium potatoes
1/2 k morcillo (beef shank stew meat - not to be confused with morcilla - CH)
4 beef bones with marrow
1/4 chicken breast
1 chorizo (not too soft)
1 hamhock slice or piece of jamon serrano
1 rice morcilla (blood sausage or black pudding - CH)
150 gr. salted fatty pork,fatback or bacon
1 good handful of tiny angel hair pasta (fideos cabellines)

The night before put the garbanzos in tepid water with 2 tsp. of salt.

In a large pot full of cold water, place the meat, bones and fatback. Heat to boiling, then add the drained garbanzos. You can use a net bag to keep them together. When it returns to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer. After 1 hour add the chicken and the chorizo. Skim and cover. Simmer 3 1/2 hours. An hour before serving add salt and the peeled carrots split in half the long way, and half an hour later the peeled, washed whole potatoes.

Chop the cabbage and cook separately. When serving, drizzle with olive oil in which some garlic has been sauteed.

Boil the morcilla separately in a small pot (because the strong flavor would affect the rest of the cocido) or slice and fry, according to taste.

When the cocido is finished, separate enough broth to make a soup, leaving sufficient in the cocido so that it neither gets cold nor dries out. Boil the pasta 15 minutes more or less in the reserved broth and serve separately.

Serve the sliced meat, the chorizo, morcilla and the chicken (if not being saved for croquettes the next day) on a platter, the cooked marrow spread on toast. Serve the garbanzos with the other vegetables on separate platter.

I confess I buy the prepackaged meat/bone/sausage ingredients from the market, Spanish ladies purchase the various cuts separately at the butcher counter. And I also don´t fuss much about whether it´s chicken breast or a leg or two, since I (and this is sacrilege) don´t really care much about chorizo. I always cook the morcilla separately and I always seem to buy the wrong kind. There is morcilla for frying and another for stewing. They all look identical to me.

You can buy the jarred garbanzos instead of using dried, since mine often don´t ever soften all the way through no matter how long they simmer. Just rinse off the liquid they´re canned in and throw them in - this would reduce the necessary cooking time considerably.

Like all stews this is even better the next day, which also gives you the opportunity to take off some of the excess fat. A tip from a friend - you can make a puree of the garbanzos that are left over, adding paprika and good olive oil, to be served on toast the next day.

V was delighted.

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