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Cocido Tradicional – Traditional Cocido

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

This is the long recipe, it’s from my Aunt Vicen.

It takes about 2 days if you count preparations but it’s really worth it not only for its taste but for the amount of people you can feed in one sitting ; at least 10 people.

This is the kind of food that goes a long way, you can make different dishes out of this “Cocido” if you haven’t finished it all in one sitting. Absolutely nothing gets wasted.

Oh! for for kids, even if they only have just the broth and nothing else, that’s fine! it’s very nourishing.  A brilliant winter dish..

OK, lets start with the contents:

Legumes:

  • 300 gr of dry chick peas

Meats:

  • Hen, 1/4 or 1/2 a hen
  • Chicken, 4 whole legs
  • Chicken, 4 legs
  • 1 Chorizo
  • 1 Morcilla (black saussage)
  • Lean Bacon 150 gr
  • Skirt steak (or some veal), 350 gr
  • Chicken necks, about 6
  • A chunk of “Jamón Serrano” (parma ham), 150 gr
  • Pelotas (see recipe down below in preparations of the day before)

Bones:

  • Marrow, 4
  • Knee bone, 2
  • Chicken Spine, 2

Vegetables:

  • Leek, 2 small ones or a big one.
  • Celery, 2 sticks
  • Parsnip, 2
  • Turnip, 2
  • Nabicol, 2
  • Carrots, 2 big ones
  • Potatoes, 5 big ones
  • Onion, 1
  • Tomatoes, 2 big ones
  • Kale, a small one or  half a big one
  • Cardoon, (artichocke thistle) a bit

Others:

  • Egg yolks, 6

Spices:

  • Saffron, (the real stuff), about 10 strands of that or more.
  • Salt

THE DAY BEFORE:

Chick peas:  

  • Cook them in a pressure cooker for at least one hour after you’ve had them soaking in plain water for a minimum of 14 hours.
  • Drain and leave them in the fridge when they’ve cooled down.

“Pelotas” – Giant Spicy Meat Balls:

Ingredients:

  • Breadcumbs as needed.  It’s better if you make your own breadcrumbs, that way it’s coarser and it blends in better.
  • 1/2 kg of Minced Por  OR 250 gr of minced pork and 250 gr of minced veal
  • Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Lard, as needed
  • Eggs, 2
  • Chicken’s blood OR a chicken’s liver ground in a blender to get the juice out so that it can be mixed.

How to make the “Pelotas”

  • In a bowl put the ingredients in the same order as they’re listed above.
  • Mix everything and blend it all well (by hand)
  • Make balls. It’s better if those “Pelotas” are oval, that way they cook better.
  • Some people add a bit of cinnamon and some pine nuts to the mixture and even though I like my cinnamon, I refrain from using it and stick to my aunt’s recipe.  There’s nothing like it.
  • Ref: Breadcrumbs, you don’t want to fill your meatballs with breadcrumbs.  The dough or whatever you call this, should be flexible and spongy once you make a ball with your hands, NOT COMPACT.
  • Put them in a tray, cover them with cling film and leave them in the fridge till the day after.
  • These can be frozen.

D DAY:

First of all, make sure you have a massive pan!  not just big, massive.  I have a porcelain pan just for this, I’m not sure now of its capacity but I think it’s a 30 litre one.  One like this one:

Sometimes, I’ve used two big pans depending on the amount of people coming for lunch; one of them like the one in the picture and another one, just as big which is for making lots of spaghetti.  In one of the pans I put all the meat (in the brown one) and in the other pan I put all the vegetables. That way, I can mix the broth as I go along depending on whether it’s an adult, a child or a toddler who’s having lunch.  Kids get more vegetable than meat broth in their food.

Alright, so lets get started.

Fill at least 70% of the pan with water and turn the heat on

Now you’re going to fill your pan with these in this same order.

Bones:

  • Marrow Bone, 4
  • Knee bone, 2
  • Chicken Spine, 2

Meats:

  • A chunk of “Jamón Serrano” (parma ham), 150 gr
  • Lean Bacon 150 gr
  • Hen, 1/4 or 1/2 a hen
  • Chicken, 4 whole legs
  • Chicken, 4 legs

Vegetables:

  • Celery, 2 sticks
  • Onion, 1
  • Parsnip, 2
  • Turnip, 2
  • Nabicol, 2
  • Leek, 2 small ones or a big one
  • Cardoon, (artichocke thistle) a bit

LET IT COOK, LOW FIRE (LOW BUBBLES), FOR TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING THE SAFFRON:

You have to dry it and in order to do so you have to put it on top of the lid in a little packet of paper… Just put some saffron in a slip of papper, fold it, and put it on top of the lid till it’s time to get the saffron in.

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING THE ” THE NO LOSS OF LIQUID”

This is a long recipe, it’s going to be cooking for a long time so you don’t want to end up with no broth.  There is one very easy way to avoid that.  My aunty’s Grandma’s trick.

  • Put the lid on the pan but UPSIDE DOWN.
  • Put a dish on top of that lid
  • Put a bowl of water on top of that dish.

AFTER TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

You’re going to add the following in the same order:

Meats:

  • Skirt steak (or some veal), 350 gr
  • Chicken necks, about 6

LET IT COOK, LOW FIRE (LOW BUBBLES), FOR 30 MINUTES.

Then you add the following (again, in the same order):

Vegetables:

  • Potatoes, 5 big ones
  • Kale, a small one or half a big one – without the hard  outer leaves.

Spices:

  • Saffron – Crumble it in your fingers and sprinkle it in the pan.  Stir but only a bit, you don’t want to disturb the food.
  • Salt.

LET IT COOK, LOW FIRE (LOW BUBBLES), FOR 40 MINUTES.

Now add in the same order:

  • “Pelotas” – Giant Spicy Meat Balls
  • Chorizo, 1
  • Chick peas (wrapped inside a clean handerchief – don’t forget to tie a knot on that). Alternatively, you can use a food net

LET IT COOK, LOW FIRE (LOW BUBBLES), FOR 35 MINUTES.

Add:

Meats:

  • Morcilla, 1
  • Egg yolks, 6

LET IT COOK, LOW FIRE (LOW BUBBLES), FOR 10 MINUTES.

Your Cocido is ready.

With a slotted spoon you scoop everything out and divide it in separate serving trays for meats, vegetables, bones and chickpeas together with the bacon.

The broth goes somewhere else for further use.

Traditionally, this is a two or three course meal.

First you make a rice soup with the broth: 

  • Get some broth in a smaller pan
  • Squash a couple of egg yolks and put them with the broth
  • Bring it to the boil
  • Add some round rice
  • and wait about 20 minutes for your soup to be ready.

Then you serve the trays on the table and everybody helps themselves to whatever they like best.

Some people start with the vegetables and then go on to meats or mix it all together.

What to do with the leftovers:

  • The following day you can make some Baked Rice – “Arroz al Horno” which is traditionally made in a clay pot and in the oven, of course.
  • You can also make some croquettes with the vegetables that you have left over and from what you got out of the bones and the chicken spine.
  • And of course, a lovely soup with either rice, short noodles, stars or letters…. (don’t forget to squeeze a tiny bit of lemon on your soup, it makes a difference!.
  • You can also fry chunks of meat and vegetables together with some garlic, and then throw an egg in and scramble everything…

Here is a small example of what this should look like.  I haven’t made a traditional “cocido” in ages.  so this is a picture of a cocido I made in about an hour and with some of the ingredients missing.

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