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

Spicy chickpea stew

Spicy chickpea stew

spicy chickpea stew

Spicy chickpea stew

This spicy chickpea stew can be made with spinach, kale or chard. The idea is to cut all the vegetables to the size of chickpeas or 1cm cubes. This stew is meant to be spicy so add as much or as little chilli powder as you like.

400g cooked chickpeas
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
1 large aubergine, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
300g spinach, chard or kale
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon spicy paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 vegetable stock cubes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry gently until soft. Add the other vegetables and continue to fry for another 5 or so minutes. Add the spices and mix well. Pour in the tomatoes, chickpeas and one can of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. If you are using kale or chard, chop and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. If you are using spinach, add it now onto the top of the tomato/chickpea mixture and cover so that the heat wilts the spinach. Stir the spinach through.

This is good served with fried eggs and garlic mayonnaise.

Lentil kale stew with fried eggs

Lentil kale stew

By cooking the green lentils beforehand, this recipe for lentil kale stew is quick and easy to prepare and very nutritious.

The advantage of cooking with lentils is that they do not need to be soaked previously. Green lentils keep their shape well when cooked and have an earthy flavour. In terms of their nutritional value, lentils are high in potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate, fibre and iron. Kale meanwhile has high levels of vitamin B6, fibre, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, folate and niacin. So they make an ideal combination.

200g green lentils, cook and save some of the cooking liquid
1 small can tomato purée
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
couple of handfuls kale, coarsely chopped

Fry the onion in a deep frying pan with some olive oil. Add the celery and carrot and continue cooking. Season with salt and pepper and add some vegetable stock, tomato purée and the lentil cooking liquid. Add the lentils and the kale. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Serve with some fried eggs.

Pork stew

NOTE: If you are using dried butterbeans, you will have to soak them overnight. You can add any vegetable you have to this stew according to what’s in season (courgettes, carrots, aubergines, etc.).

NOTE: You should only start timing the stew once the pressure cooker has reached pressure.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6):
pork ribs, cut into pieces
4 or 5 medium potatoes: 2 grated, 3 cut into chunks
250g dried butter beans, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2 green peppers, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
a pinch of chilli pepper
olive oil
salt and pepper
stock or water

Heat some oil in a large pressure cooker and fry first the onions, then the green peppers and then your other vegetables until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry for another couple of minutes and before adding the pork and potatoes. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

Cover well with water and bring to the boil. You will probably need about 1.2 – 1.5 litres of water/stock. The beans will absorb some of the water so it is important that you have enough liquid in the pan. If you bring the mixture to the boil before putting on the lid, you can see whether you need to any more liquid. Generally speaking, there needs to be about an inch of liquid above the level of the stew.

Cover the pan with the lid, engage the mechanism and bring to pressure.

Once the pan has reached pressure, cook for 30 minutes before turning off the gas.

You can either let it return to normal pressure or run it under the cold tap to lower the pressure quickly.


White bean and potato stew: potaje de alubias blancas y patatas

One of the best things about Spain are the stews that cooks and chefs prepare. Each region has its speciality and while Madrid is famous for its cocido, Asturias has its fabada. This is one of my favourite types of dishes and a good substantial meal in itself in the winter months.

We ate this round at our neighbour’s house and I tried to replicate it a while later.

250g white beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes
green peppers, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely
a ham bone
a white knuckle bone
2 bay leaves
chorizo, sliced

Fry the green pepper in some oil in the pressure cooker until soft. Add the onion and leeks and fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the tomato.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover with plenty of water. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Close the lid and bring the pan up to pressure. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and boil for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.