Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#readcookeat recipe : Cocido Madrileño (Orange Blossom Days)

Back in the spring, I reviewed Patricia Scanlan's Orange Blossom Days (click through for the review), a book which is set in an Andalucian holiday villa complex and features characters from as far afield as America, the UK and Germany, as well as Spain. Needless to say, it was a great novel for #readcookeat recipes, several of which I bookmarked to come back to in the colder months. I came across this one, for a hearty Spanish stew, that sounded perfect for the slow cooker. 

p209 Consuela paused and lifted her head from the red embossed notebook in which she'd taken to writing a daily journal. It was late and she was tired but she was reluctant to join her husband in their large mahogany bed. They had rowed yet again after dinner. Eduardo had been cold and stern as they sat together eating the cocido madrileño she'd prepared for their meal.
She'd not been inclined to instigate conversation or to try and coax him out of his bad humour, as she would once have done. Why should I have to pander to him? she'd thought indignantly, pushing some chickpeas and pork belly around her plate, her appetite waning as her resentment increased.

Well, the characters in the book may not have enjoyed their meal, but we certainly did. Madhouse Daddy told me it tasted like something his gran used to cook - I think that was a compliment !

After hunting around online and realising that there are as many different recipes as there are cooks - some include cabbage, some have noodles, some have an incredible array of meat products and bones to make the stock richer, some serve the stock separately as a soup starter before serving up the meat and vegetables as the main course, ... - I decided to go with what was in the fridge and freezer. The essential ingredients seem to be smoked sausage, salty pork belly and chickpeas. For the rest, anything goes, with the cheaper cuts of meats being favoured to release their flavour during a long cooking time. It's the perfect recipe for clearing out all the leftovers after a Sunday roast too, as you can see above.

Cocido Madrileño

ingredients (for family of 5 + leftovers):

8 smoked sausages
300g salty pork belly
2 onions
3 carrots
2 leeks
a handful of baby potatoes
a big tin of chickpeas (or you can use dried, soaked overnight)
leftover cooked meat (I had some roast chicken) - or you can add in a couple of raw chicken thighs or even beef or pork at the beginning before the sausages and pork belly
beef stock
salt, pepper if needed (mine was salty enough with the pork belly)

If using fresh, raw meat (chicken, pork, beef, ...), start off by browning it on all sides. Next brown the pork belly and smoked sausages, chopped into large chunks.

Throw in the onions, peeled and cut into quarters.

Add the carrots, chopped into large chunks, and baby potatoes.

Throw in the leeks, also chopped into large pieces. Some recipes say to put these in later, which would be a good idea if you're around, as they cooked more quickly than the carrots and potatoes. If using a slow cooker, just throw it all in and let it get on with it though - they'll just be a bit mushy.

Add in the leftover cooked meat and vegetables, if using.

And finally, add the chickpeas. There was just about enough room !

Traditional recipes tell you to make a rich stock from meat bones and pig's trotters, but I used some of the concentrated beef stock from the latest Degustabox - much easier ! Add enough stock to cover the meat and veg and leave to simmer for a couple of hours, or all afternoon, if using a slow cooker.

My chickpeas went a bit too mushy but I was still happy to have a hearty meal waiting for the whole family to tuck into after a long day at work. Clean plates all round !

For more Spanish cuisine, you might like to try :

Linking up with the #readcookeat challenge at Chez Maximka.

Linking up with this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up the leftovers from the Sunday roast.


  1. The perfect recipe for a cold day like today

  2. Wonderful warming recipe! I'm hungry, looking at this feast. :) Great comfort food, perfect for colder evenings.


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