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- Meat and poultry
This Spanish cocido hails from Madrid and is a hearty all-in-one meal, perfect for a chilly winter evening.
11 people made this
- 300g beef shank
- 1 (200g) chorizo sausage (200g)
- 300g chicken thigh
- 300g pork belly
- 1 piece beef bone
- 1 piece ham bone
- 1.5L cold water
- 500g chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced
- olive oil for frying
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 handful soup pasta (any small shape is fine)
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Extra time:8hr soaking › Ready in:9hr
- Place all of the meats and bones in a pressure cooker. Cover with the cold water and bring to a simmer, uncovered. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Add the chickpeas and salt to taste. Seal the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes under pressure.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring some salted water to the boil and add the cabbage. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Strain the cabbage and add to the frying pan with the garlic, along with salt to taste. Cook until tender.
- Remove the pressure cooker lid when safe to do so, and strain the stock from the cooker into a saucepan. Bring the stock to the boil and add the soup pasta; cook until pasta is tender.
- Place the meat from the pressure cooker on a serving platter, surrounded by the chickpeas. Serve with bowls of soup and cabbage on the side.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)
Cooking the Classics: Madrid Cocido
I spent a wonderful month living in Madrid. The most memorable meal during that sojourn was a dish that I’d not heard of before: it is simple, not dissimilar to French or English plates of boiled meat and veg, but with a distinctively Spanish feel to it. It’s call cocido, and it is one of the world’s great comfort foods.
Cocido Madrileño is a classic Madrid peasant dish. It's a slow-cooked stew packed with meat and vegetables. Traditionally, some of the stock is served as soup for the first course, and then the meat and vegetables are served with a side dish of cabbage.
If you are using dried chick peas, you'll need to soak them overnight in water before using them. Chop the chicken into large pieces (including the skin and bones) and place the pieces skin-side down in a large pan. Add the beef and half of the bacon (they should be whole pieces, not chopped at all), the bones and the onion, coarsely chopped. Add enough water to cover the meat, and bring to the boil. Add the pepper and the bay leaves. If you are using dried chick peas, add them too (if you're using pre-cooked, add them towards the end, otherwise they'll disintegrate). Put a lid on the pan, and simmer for about two hours.
After two hours, add the pre-cooked chick peas, if using. Continue cooking for about half an hour.
Cocido is usually served with a small bowl of massively overcooked cabbage, so you need to shred the cabbage and boil it in a separate small pan.
Peel the carrots and potatoes, and chop them and the leek into large chunks. Add them to separate pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Add the chorizo and morcilla (keep them whole, otherwise they'll fall apart) and the other half of the fatty bacon. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for half an hour.
To make the soup, drain off some of the cooking broth from the meat. Add a handful of short noodles (basically regular spaghetti cut into 2cm (1in) lengths and boil for 5 minutes. The soup is now ready to serve.
To finish the cocido, add the vegetables, sausages and bacon to the meat pan, along with some of the liquid if needed. Let them cook together for about 10 minutes, and then remove the sausages and meat and cut them into bite-sized pieces. On each plate, arrange chick peas, potatoes and carrots, and one piece of beef, chicken, bacon, morcilla and chorizo. If you like, you can pour over a little of the broth, but this is not commonly done.
- Let chickpeas sit in warm water with salt overnight. Or buy already boiled chickpeas.
- Cook the bone with the salt pork, shank, and chicken in a pot with enough water to cover.
- When the water begins to boil, remove the excess foam.
- Add the chickpeas and let it cook over a low heat.
- Let it cook for two or three hours. Bear in mind that you need to add the carrots and potatoes already peeled in one hour and a half.
- Take some stock out of the pot and pour it into another pot. Now add the chorizo, blood sausage, and the cabbage. Cook for an hour.
- Once the chickpeas are cooked, remove from fire.
- In the stock (once you have already taken out all the ingredients you had put before) add the noodles or rice. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve the chickpeas and meat in a tray together with the vegetables. Serve the soup in another bowl.
Advice: if you see there is not enough water when adding all the ingredients, you can add boiling water.
Claudia with her platter of cocido.
There are no definitive recipes for Spain’s emblematic dishes. Even something simple, such as the tortilla española, has a myriad of variations on the basics of eggs, potatoes and (sometimes) onions. When it comes to that great hotchpotch of a dish called cocido madrileño, there is no end to the discussion on the meats, charcuterie, pulses and vegetables an authentic cocido madrileño should contain.
So when I was invited to participate in the serving of a genuine cocido madrileño for six (it was the week before we were no longer allowed to meet in other people’s homes) I went along with a notebook in one hand and a camera in the other.
The invitation came from Claudia Suarez Neuhaus whom I know from years ago when she worked in public relations and organised events related to the food and wine circuit.
Although I’ve called Claudia a madrileña in the above heading, she was born in Argentina, but her family moved to Madrid when she was nine. They spent every summer in Mallorca and Claudia finally moved here in the summer of 1999.
But Claudia thinks like a madrileña and she has very definite (and definitive) ideas about the ingredients of a true cocido madrileño. So I was most interested in seeing and tasting her version.
Although no two cooks will ever agree on the final ingredients of a cocido madrileño, it always contains meats, bones with meat, charcuterie, vegetables and chickpeas.
I asked Claudia to write down her ingredients and she gave them in this order: chickpeas, carrots, cabbage (the variety called ‘repollo’), potatoes (the parmentine variety), ham bones, marrow bones, chicken, shin of beef, knuckle of pork, chorizos frescos, morcilla de Burgos, tocino and fresh belly of pork.
This is the cocido madrileño that Claudia grew up with after moving to Madrid and each ingredient is her deliberate choice. She prefers chorizos frescos to cured ones and buys them at Mercadona where she also gets her morcilla de Burgos, a black pudding with a rice filler.
It is interesting that Claudia started off her list of ingredients with the chickpeas — they are a very important part of the cocido madrileño. They are cooked with the other ingredients, but tied up in a special little net so they can be fished out at the end and presented in all their glory…and very easy to serve.
Some people serve a cocido in three turns — or ‘vuelcos’, as the Spanish word has it. They start with the soup, go on to the vegetables with the chickpeas and finish up with the meats and the charcuterie. Claudia served the soup and arranged the other ingredients on a large platter so that we were able to have a little of each ingredient on our plate, each of us starting with our favourite cocido pieces. I prefer it that way instead of three (and sometimes four) quite different stages.
The drained stock produced after this huge variety of meats, bones and veggies have been cooked together is one of the wonders of gastronomy. We’d never cook so many ingredients together just to make a superb soup, but the cocido items have to be cooked anyway, and the soup is an incredible by-product.
Claudia’s soup, done with the usual little bits of angel’s hair pasta, was especially tasty. As we only ever get a soup as rich as this when cocido is on the menu, everyone made the most of this opportunity and had seconds — except me. And my first plate was a small one.
It has to be like that for me because soup of any kind fills me up immediately and I cannot cope with the rest of the meal — especially when it’s a gargantuan cocido.
When selecting from the platter of cocido goodies, I was serving myself tapas-like portions — a piece of potato, a small chunk of carrot, a morsel of ham from the bone, a nugget-sized segment of shin of beef, a bit of beef marrow howked out with the tip of my knife, a velvet-soft corner of tocino, a spoonful of frizzy cabbage, a small section of chicken that wasn’t overcooked as usually happens in all cocidos, a thickish slice of morcilla de Burgos (the first time I’ve had it boiled and it was delish), a small piece of fresh chorizo no longer than half my thumb, and a heaped tablespoon of chickpeas, which were perfectly cooked. I later had seconds of some items…and even thirds of others.
One of the defects of all cocidos I have eaten (with the exception of those at Jarana in Calle Cotoner when Blanca Navarro was running it) is that the beef and ternera components are overcooked and become stringy. That didn’t happen with Claudia’s shin of beef. It could be cut cleanly with a knife and didn’t fall into a mound of strings.
But there was something that was overcooked to the degree and it was adorable — the ‘repollo’ cabbage. What’s so special about overcooked ‘repollo’ cabbage? Simply that seeing it and eating it were moments of sheer nostalgia for me.
My sister used to break all the rules about cooking cabbage: simmered until it was a kind of mush and then sautéed in olive oil in a large frying pan until it had lost most of its excess liquid.
Five minutes before serving it, she turned the heat up high and stirred it lightly every minute. Some of the cabbage got slightly scorched and that made it very tasty. It was then served as a veg with grilled or roast meats and was sometimes topped with a couple of fried eggs as a supper dish.
Next day I bought a ‘repollo’ and did it according to my sister’s rule-breaking recipe. It was a lovely spin-off from Claudia’s splendid cocido madrileño.
You’ll find cocidos all over Spain and in many European countries. You have them in England (Lancashire hot pot), Scotland (various soup-stews) and France (pot au feu). Spain has several cocidos including a Majorcan one (el bollit mallorquí), the Catalán (escudella I carn d’olla) and the cocido andaluz plus others. There is even an Argentinian one called ‘el puchero argentino’, a direct descendent from the Spanish cocidos.
The cocido madrileño is the most famous of the cocidos because it has been written about most frequently and because celebrated restaurants such as Lhardy have made it well known all over the country and also abroad.
Lhardy was founded in 1839 and is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid. At a time when some madrileños ate cocido every day for lunch during the working week, the cocido at Lhardy was a favourite with political leaders, intellectuals, writers, artists, actors and personalities from very sphere of Madrid’s cultural and social life.
The cooks at Lhardy, who always kept religiously to all the classic ingredients of the traditional cocido madrileño, gave the dish a touch of class, but it was always popular at all levels of society. Workmen on building sites and others with outdoor jobs, used to have it for lunch every day without having to move a finger or a foot — their wives brought it along in a pot, heating it up on a trivet over a makeshift fire.
At the turn of the 20th century, a famous Madrid tavern called La Bola, served three kinds of cocido very day. At noon they did one for 75 centimos (three quarters of a peseta) for workmen in the neighbourhood.
There was a more elaborate one at 1.30pm for office workers priced at 1.25 pesetas. At around 2.30pm they served the third cocido at 1.50 pesetas — considered to be expensive in those days. This one was for political figures, intellectuals and anyone else who liked to live high on the hog.
So with the peseta equivalent of one euro (166.386 ptas) you could have invited 100 people to the third cocido and still have enough change for a round of post-prandial drinks. It’s amazing what inflation does to a currency.
A cocido at a reasonable Palma restaurant nowadays costs around €15 per person. The last time I looked at Lhardy’s cocido price (about three years ago) it was a whopping €35.50.
Lhardy cocido Madrileño recipe
The ingredients of a Lhardy cocido for eight are: 400 grs chickpeas, 800 grs shin of beef, a hen, 100 grs unsmoked streaky bacon, 400 grs ham knuckle, 8 pieces of beef marrow bone about 4 cms long with the marrow intact, 400 grs fresh belly of pork, 300 grs cured ham, 2 cantimpalos chorizos, 4 morcillas de cebolla, 8 fresh sausages, 2 kilos green cabbage, 12 potatoes, 2 big carrots, 4 chicken livers, 200 grs angel’s hair pasta.
For the meatball they use 500 grs minced beef, 150 grs finely chopped streaky bacon, garlic clove, chopped parsley to taste, 2 tbsps fresh breadcrumbs, one egg.
They also serve a tomato sauce for which they use 1 carrot, 1 leek, garlic clove, bay leaf, thyme, 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1 kilo of fresh tomatoes.
Put the chickpeas to soak in lukewarm water the day before you use them. Rinse and drain well before cooking them.
In a pot of at least five litres capacity, put the shin of beef, the hen, the unsmoked bacon, the beef knuckle bone, the knuckle of ham, the chickpeas in a net or muslin bag so they can be retrieved easily, and enough water to cover everything. Bring to the boil and simmer for two hours.
Twenty minutes before the cocido is ready, add the potatoes and the minced meat mixture formed into a cylindrical shape and lightly sautéed in a frying pan before being bound in a muslin bag.
In a separate ovenproof pot with a lid, put the sliced cabbage with some cold water. Bring to the boil and pour away the water. Add the chorizos, the morcillas, cured ham, sausages, fresh belly or pork, marrow bones and carrots. Cover and put in the oven for an hour and a half.
The soup is made by straining by straining off the stock from the meat and simmering it with the angel’s hair pasta for about six minutes. Just before serving the soup, add the diced chicken livers previously simmered in a little of the stock.
The chickpeas are put into the entre of a big oval dish, surrounded by the shin of beef, the bacon, the carved hen and the minced meat log cut into slices. The marrow bones go round the rim of the platter, each piece adorned with a slice of carrot.
The vegetables are served in another dish with the chorizos, the morcillas, the ham, belly of pork and the sausages cut into pieces. The potatoes, either whole or cut into wedges, go round the edge of the dish. This is served at the same time as the meats, with the tomato sauce in a separate dish.
I dislike the idea of adding chicken livers to the soup because the soup is then too rich and is more filling than necessary. I also think there’s no need for the fresh tomato sauce.
According to Lhardy’s cooks, there are five rules we must follow to make a really good cocido.
1. Never soak the chickpeas with bicarbonate of soda as this makes them turn black and alters the taste. Some cooks use bicarbonate to help tenderise the chickpeas, but this isn’t necessary.
2. The chorizos should always cook with the vegetables and never with the meats and chickpeas as they change the taste of the soup and make it reddish.
3. Mix in some finely chopped streaky bacon with plenty of fat when making the big meatball.
4. While the chickpeas are cooking, any extra water added to the pot must be boiling hot.
5. If the cocido is being made in a pressure cooker, the stock must be well skimmed before closing it, otherwise the stock will be of a dark unappetising colour.
570 gr Cooked White Beans (PULC101)
2 Boneless Chicken Thighs (Skin Off)
1 pack of Asturian Compango (Chorizo, Panceta and Morcilla) (COOT010)
1 Cabbage/ 2 Spring Greens.
Steps to make it
This is a remarkably simple dish to prepare.
1. Take a heavy bottomed pot, or simply a big saucepan and place over a medium heat. Slice the Chorizo and Panceta into decent chunks, and fry gently with a drizzle of OO. Dice the chicken and add to the mix until it is nicely coloured.
2. Peel and slice the potatoes ¾ through and then snap the final section – this ‘rough cut’ method means they will release more starch as they cook, naturally thickening the broth.
3. Add to the pot with the beans, before pouring over the water and bringing the heat right up. One the pot is bubbling, add your greens, stir through and cover.
4. Reduce the heat, and leave to simmer quietly for at least 2 hours, but 3 is preferred. You will know it is ready when the potatoes are soft, the broth has thickened nicely and the smell in your kitchen is irresistible.
5. At this point we recommend slicing the morcilla, adding to the pot and leaving for another 10-15 minutes. This will imbue the dish with all the flavour, but wont cause it to melt down into nothing.
Serve in hot bowls, with crusty bread.
Recipes from Seville
17. Tinto de verano
Even tinto de verano‘s name, which means “summer red wine,” makes you think of sunshine and happiness.
If you know us, you’ll know by now that sangria really isn’t a thing in Spain—at least not to the extent that most visitors think it is. Instead, you’ll find us cooling off in sunny Seville with a much simpler and more authentic alternative: the humble tinto de verano.
18. Gazpacho and salmorejo
Salmorejo usually comes topped with bits of cured ham and hard-boiled egg.
Most people are familiar with gazpacho, but have you heard of its thicker, richer cousin, salmorejo? They’re both chilled, tomato-based soups from the south of Spain, but while gazpacho is easily drinkable, salmorejo’s thicker texture makes it a more filling meal. It just boils down to how hungry you are!
19. Berenjenas con miel
Fried food is big in southern Spain, but berenjenas con miel are among the best of the best. Photo credit: Sappy81
Fried eggplant and honey might not sound like the most appealing combination, but trust us on this one. This unexpected sweet-and-savory combo creates an explosion of flavors and textures that’s unlike anything else you’ve ever tried.
Three delicious flavors of torrijas!
We can sum up this classic Holy Week treat in three words: Spanish. French. Toast. Are you convinced yet?
21. Espinacas con garbanzos
Spinach and chickpeas are ubiquitous on Seville tapas bar menus.
We see your “Spain doesn’t have many options for vegans” and raise you this delicious spinach and chickpea stew. It’s so delicious even the most diehard carnivore is sure to be a fan.
Take some of the stock we put apart before and warm it. When it starts boiling, add the noodles and low the fire until the noodles are completely done.
Warm the rest of the stock and serve it adding some noodles in each plate, this will be our first dish.
The second dish, will be made up with the chickpeas and the diced vegetables in a plate that we will put in the middle of the table so each one can serve what they want.
Finally, the third dish will be formed by the bacon, chorizo and blood sausage, everything properly cut in generous pieces before.
Top Tip: Some people add to the second dish some olive oil and vinegar. They both give a special taste to the dish.
The origins of the dish are uncertain, but most sources agree that probably it was created during the Middle Ages as an evolution of the Sephardic dish adafina. Long-cooking dishes were indispensable for Jews as they allowed hearty meals during Shabbat. These first versions were kosher, using eggs and without pork.  Within time, adafina was soon popular elsewhere [ where? ] .
The growth of anti-Semitism and the Inquisition during the 15th and 16th centuries modified the dish substantially, as the fear of being denounced as Jewish forced Christians and Marranos (converted Jews) alike to prove themselves as Christians by incorporating pork into their meals. Soon lard, bacon, chorizo (pork sausage) and morcilla (blood sausage) were added to the dish. 
From these origins, the recipe allowed few modifications and was soon established as a staple of Madrid cuisine. During the growth of the city in the 19th and 20th centuries, its low cost and heartiness made it a popular order in small restaurants and the taverns catering to manual workers. After the Civil War, the austerity period, followed by the introduction of more convenient meals, reduced the public popularity of the dish.
The main ingredient of cocido is the chickpea or garbanzo. Vegetables are added: potatoes mainly, but also cabbage, carrots, and turnips. In some cases, green bean, Chard or cardoon are also added.
The meat used is fundamentally pork: pork belly, usually fresh, but sometimes cured (some purists even insist to a point of rancidity) fresh (unsmoked) chorizo onion morcilla, and dried and cured jamón serrano. Beef shank is also added the fat content (flor) of the piece is highly prized. Chicken (especially old hens) is also part of the cocido.
Two bone pieces (ham bone and beef spine bone) are added to enrich the stock.
For some recipes, the final touch is the bola, a meatball-like mix of ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley and other spices, which, it is said, [ citation needed ] was created as a substitute of the eggs used in the adafaina.
Tradition rules that the ingredients of cocido must be served separately. Each serving is known as a vuelco (tipping or emptying out), as at each time the pot must be emptied out to separate the ingredients.
The first vuelco is to separate the stock of the cocido and serve it with noodles added. The second vuelco consists of chickpeas and vegetables. The third vuelco is the meat dish.
Traditionally, dishes made with the leftovers of the cocido include Spanish croquetas (croquettes), ropa vieja and pringá.
Cocido Madrileño: A Soup to Warm Hearts & Tummies
My abuelita, who grew up in Valencia, Spain, started cooking at the age of five. She was the only daughter and her mother was ill and spent most of her time on bedrest. Every day, her father and brothers returned from a long day at work…starving. So to make sure they were well fed her mother prepared most of the ingredients, set my abuelita on a stool by the stove, and had her stir the dish that had been planned for that day.
That’s how my grandmother learned to cook and to this day, she never follows a recipe. She simply “eyeballs” the process. That, however, makes it hard for us grandchildren to pry any recipes out of her! I did manage to figure out, as near as possible, her recipe for Cocido Madrileño, a hearty winter soup we all enjoyed. This healthy, wholesome, complete meal is best enjoyed as a weekend lunch followed by a cozy siesta... just like we used to do in Spain. Enjoy!
Time: 3 hours, mostly unattended
2 cups garbanzo beans
9 oz. veal, cut into 2 inch chunks
5 oz. chunk of Serrano ham
1 5” ham bone
1 3” chunk of veal bone marrow
5 oz. 2-inch thick bacon chunks
1 large 10 inch chorizo cut into 4 inch pieces
2 large carrots
1 cup pasta noodles (fideos)
Water, enough to cover the ingredients and two inches over
Morcilla (blood sausage) [can be omitted]
1. Allow garbanzo beans to sit in water overnight drain excess water and set aside.
2. Press the cloves into peeled the onion and set aside.
3. Cook veal, bones, chorizo and ham in a large pot in just enough water to cover. Add salt to taste.
4. When the water begins to boil, remove the excess foam and after an hour, add the garbanzo beans, onion and carrots, whole.
5. Cover pot and simmer for an hour and a half.
6. Drain the stock and reserve the rest of the ingredients on a platter.
7. Put the stock back into the same pot, and use it to cook the noodles.
8. In a different pot, boil the peeled potatoes, drain and place along with the rest of the ingredients you reserved.
9. Cut the cooked vegetables into big chunks and add to the meat platter.
10. Serve the noodle soup alongside the garbanzo beans, meat and vegetables on a separate plate.