A traditional Cocido recipe, Spain’s ultimate comfort food. Cocido Madrileno will feed a crowd with this communal recipe, perfect for family gatherings. Several types of meat are stewed with Winter vegetables and served family style in this traditional Cocido recipe.
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What is Cocido Madrileno?
Cocido is a traditional stew popular in Spain, Portugal and their former colonies. Each region has their distinctive version and families put their own precious spin on family recipes. The version I made today is Madrid-style, also known as Cocido Madrileno.
Cocido is derived from the Spanish word cocer which means to cook.
How to Serve Cocido Madrileno
What sets Spanish-style Cocido apart from traditional stews is how it is served. After the main ingredients are stewed for several hours or all day in a very large stock pot, the broth is strained and set aside to cook either rice or vermicelli noodles in. This simple soup is then served as the first course.
The garbanzo beans and potatoes are set aside on a large platter and served as the second course family-style. The third course consists of the remaining vegetables and meat. Optional condiments, bread and wine are also served with this meal. Cocido makes a large amount of food and therefore is perfect for family gatherings. It is a social food tradition going back many generations. It is very popular in the Winter as a comfort food that keeps you warm.
What type of meat do I use in Cocido?
Many of the meats are cured meats. There are some smoked elements such as smoked hocks, tails or trotters as well as sausage and bacon. It is for this reason that salt is added at the end, after you can check the seasoning. It may not need any salt at all.
Other meats are added such as beef and chicken. The many types of meat builds a complex broth that is both satisfying and nourishing. Winter vegetable such as carrots, potatoes, cabbage and turnips round out the broth. I left turnips out of this recipe simply because we don’t care for them but you can add them for that more authentic experience.
You can add condiments to the courses to add a fresh zing such as this tomato relish. The tomatoes, vinegar, garlic and cumin give it quite a punch of flavor.
How to Make Cocido Madrileno
Since this is a traditional recipe using many types of meat, a very large pot is required or two small ones. I used two large dutch ovens but I had wished I had used my canning pot. Go big or go home.
If you tried to scale this down you would lose some complexity in taste that the several types of meat offers. This will definitely feed a crowd and is intended to be a very social and communal meal served family-style.
If you do insist on scaling it down for everyday cooking, I suggest choosing less variety of meats and scaling down the rest of the ingredients accordingly. There are five types of meat in this recipe, try using only three such as two smoked meats and one non-smoked. Perhaps chicken, Spanish chorizo and ham hocks. The ham hocks are almost only for flavor, there is very little meat on them. You won’t want to skip any of the other ingredients so just use smaller quantities.
- Bake shin bones.
- Add shin bones, water, meats, veggies, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic to large stock pot, simmer three hours covered.
- Add potatoes and garbanzo beans, simmer thirty minutes more.
- Strain broth into another pan, add vermicelli, simmer five minutes. Serve as a first course.
- Separate meat and veggies and serve this as a second course on a large serving platter, family-style.
- Place garbanzo beans and potatoes on a large serving platter and serve this as a third course, family-style.
There is little doubt this communal recipe will bring together distant family and friends in a moment of sharing and community. As the day draws long and bellies fill, know that all your culinary efforts will be worthwhile as bonds are strengthened and laughter lingers in the air.
Do you LOVE soup?
Since we are about to enter soup season, do you have any favorite soups that you love to make? I am partial to my dad’s Potato Soup of course. I am also pretty smitten for Farikal also. It is Norways national dish. It is super simple to make with just a few ingredients.
Have you ever made Spanish Cocido before? Let us know any tips you have. Rate this recipe and leave a comment below. If you make this, tag us on Instagram so we can see #FusionCraftiness.