Cocido (Spanish pork and chicken stew)

Cocido is a traditional beef, chicken and chickpea stew from Madrid. It is similar to the French “Pot au feu”, where all the meat and vegetables are cooked together and then eaten separately, with the liquid served as a starter and the meat and vegetables as the second course.

The recipe is based on one by Carlos Arguiñano (see this page for his Spanish version).

Serves 4
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  1. 300g chickpeas, soaked for at least 24 hours
  2. 300g pork, cut into chunks
  3. 1 chicken thigh
  4. chorizo
  5. strip pork belly
  6. morcilla de cebolla (Spanish black pudding made with onions)
  7. 1 ham bone
  8. 1 white bone
  9. 1 large onion, chopped
  10. 2 carrots
  11. 3 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  12. 1/2 white cabbage, shredded
  13. 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  14. salt and pepper
  1. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and gently fry the onion until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the meat and bones (except for the chicken, chorizo or black pudding) and 2.5 litres of water.
  4. Season with salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the chickpeas, put on the lid and bring up to pressure.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Run the cooker under a cold tap to reduce the pressure.
  8. Open and transfer some of the cooking liquid to saucepan.
  9. Add the shredded cabbage and the chorizo and morcilla to the pan with cooking liquid and cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Add the potato and carrot tot he pressure cooker.
  11. Bring back up to pressure and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve.
  1. Cocido Madrileño is traditionally made with beef, chicken, pork belly, black pudding, chorizo and bones, For this non-traditional version, I used pork, chicken, chorizo and meat bones. Mercadona sell a chicken and pork pack for this type of stew that includes the meat and different types of bones that you need.
Cortijo de la Plata

Pork stew

Pork Stew
Serves 4
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  1. 500g pork, chunky pork ribs
  2. 1 onion, coarsely diced
  3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1 large red pepper, coarsely diced
  5. 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  6. chorizo, sliced
  7. 1 chilli pepper, sliced
  8. green beans, optional (it's just that they're in season at the moment)
  9. 500g butter beans, soaked for at least 48 hours
  10. 3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into pieces
  11. vegetable stock (1.5 litres of water and 2 stock cubes)
  12. salt and pepper
  13. olive oil
  1. Heat some olive oil in a pressure cooker.
  2. Gently fry the onion on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and fry until soft.
  4. Add the sliced chorizo and fry until the onion and pepper have taken on the red oil released from the chorizo.
  5. Add the chopped garlic and stir well for a minute or so.
  6. Add the chopped tomato,
  7. Tur up the heat and stir until the tomato has reduced.
  8. Add the pork pieces, chilli, butter beans and potato and mix well.
  9. Add a teaspoon of salt and season with ground black pepper.
  10. Pour over the vegetable stock so that there is slightly more liquid than ingredients.
  11. Leave the pot uncovered and bring to the boil.
  12. Add more water if necessary.
  13. Cover and bring the pressure cooker up to the 2nd level of pressure.
  14. When the cooker is at pressure, time for 60 minutes.
  15. Serve with salad and garlic mayonnaise.
  1. If you prefer a thinner stew, use potato pieces.
  2. If you would like a thicker stew, coarsely grate 2 of the potatoes and cut the third one into pieces.
Cortijo de la Plata

Home-made chorizo


Home-made chorizo

Home-made chorizo

Even though we didn’t have our own pork this year, I decided to make some chorizo. That way I would know exactly what goes into it and how much fat it contains. The recipe basically calls for 80% meat and 20% fat but as the pork belly I bought was very lean, the fat percentage was considerably higher. It is possible to make chorizo completely from scratch, adding your own spices and flavourings to the meat and fat mixture. However, as the climate on the coast is warmer and more humid than in the mountains, and not ideal for drying and curing meats, I wanted to be completely sure that there wouldn’t be a problem and we wouldn’t all be poisoned so used a ready-made chorizo mix call “Chorizol”. I then added more oregano, chilli pepper and chopped garlic.

4kg shoulder of pork
1kg belly pork, derinded
1 sachet chorizol
2 1/2 teaspoons chilli pepper
8 cloves garlic
handful oregano
hog casings

Mince the meat and fat together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Leave to mature in the fridge or a cool place for 24 hours.

Put the mixture into the casings. Shape into individual sausages.

Making chorizo sausage

Making chorizo sausage

Hang up to dry in a cool, airy place. The ideal temperature is between 10ºC and 13ºC. Leave to dry for 7 days. If the temperature is cool enough, you can store the chorizo outside the fridge but I decided to freeze it and take out use as needed. I also saved some of the fresh chorizo back and froze it without drying.


Making sausages

pork sausages

Pork sausages

INGREDIENTS (makes about 42 sausages):
2kg shoulder of pork (magro de cerdo)
500g belly pork (panceta)
400g rusk/sausage seasoning mix
600g water

Mince the meat and fat using a 5mm mincer blade.

Using your hands, work the fat well into the meat. Butchers say that you will need to work the mixture until your hands ache, then until your arms ache and then until your shoulders ache. This process is important, however, for the texture of the sausages.

Sprinkle over the rusk and seasoning mixture, add the water and continue working with your hands. At this stage, you can then pass the mixture through the mincer a second time to ensure a more uniform texture.

sausage meat mixture

Sausage meat mixture

If you are using natural casings, you will need to soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes and then run cold water through them to rinse them thoroughly. Once they are soft and pliable, feed them onto the mincing nozzle.

Fitting hog casings onto nozzle

Fitting hog casings onto nozzle

Make the sausages. It is easier to make one long sausage first and then form this into individual sausages later.

You can either link the sausages into groups of three to form a string of sausages or squeeze and twist each individual sausage. Spread out the sausages on a plastic tray in a single layer and freeze. Check after a couple of hours that they haven’t stuck together and then bag.

Finished pork sausages

Finished pork sausages


Making migas with stale bread

Making migas with stale bread

Migas are fried stale breadcrumbs and while they do not sound particularly appetising they are in fact delicious and are served in many bars and restaurants in Southern Spain generally as a tapa. This is peasant food at its best: cheap, simple and tasty, using up left-overs and store cupboard inrgedients.

While most of the bread is fried as migas, some pieces are kept back and fried in oil as croutons. These can then be combined with the final dish to add a bit of texture.

There are several different ways of cooking migas and you can either use stale breadcrumbs from yesterday’s loaf or semolina.

Normal ingredients to add are garlic, chorizo or longaniza sausage (a thinner version of chorizo), green peppers, sardines, etc.). They can then be served with chunks of cold melon.

2 stale loaves of bread
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 long green peppers, cut into strips
chorizo or longaniza sausage, cut into small pieces

Cut or tear the bread into fairly small pieces. Put in large bowl and sprinkle over some water.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. First fry the larger chunks of bread as croutons. When they are crispy, transfer to a plate.

Fry the chopped garlic in the same oil, removing the pan when softened.

Add the pieces of chorizo or longaniza and fry until cooked. Remove.

Fry the green pepper in the same oil and then transfer to the plate.

Recipe for migas

Ingredients for migas

Add a bit more oil if necessary to the pan and add the bread. With a wooden spatula, turn the breadcrumbs, breaking them up into smaller pieces as they are fried. The finished dish will resemble breadcrumbs.

frying spanish migs

Frying Spanish migas

Combine all the ingredients and serve.