A traditional Cocido recipe, Spain’s ultimate comfort food. Feed a crowd with this communal recipe, perfect for family gatherings. Several types of meat are stewed with Winter vegetables and served family style.
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.
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, 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.
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.
I came across a tomato relish to add to the soup and meat that gave a fresh zing to the dish. I included it in the instructions below.
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. If you make this, tag us on Instagram so we can see #FusionCraftiness.
Cocido is a communal meal in Spain that is traditionally stewed all day and served in the evening. This stew is served in three courses. The broth is separated from the meat and vegetables in order to cook the pasta or rice. This becomes the first course as a simple soup. The beans and potatoes are served next. Finally the meat and beans are served.
- 3 lb of beef shin bones
- 20 cups of water
- 1 lb smoked ham, roughly chopped
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1 lb of smoked ham hocks, pig tails or trotters
- 1/2 – 1 lb of chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 lb of Spanish Chorizo (not Mexican), cut into 1 inch slices. May substitute any smoked sausage if needed.
- 3–6 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 white onion, peeled, cut in half then skewered to keep the onion intact. You will take this out later.
- 1/2 head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbs peppercorns, crushed or whole
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 small potatoes or 2 large, cut into large pieces
- 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 cup vermicelli noodles
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
Fresh herbs such as tarragon and parsley.
- On a piece of foil bake the shin bones at 350F for 30 minutes.
- In one extra large stock pot or 2 dutch ovens, evenly divide the shin bones as well as the rest of the ingredients** (See note)
- Into pot(s) add shin bones and the rest of the ingredients thru garlic. Simmer for three hours, covered. Skim off any scum that forms on top.
- While the Cocido is simmering, make the tomato garnish as follows and let rest at room temperature. In a medium bowl add first 4 ingredients, stir well. Add tomatoes. Cover and let rest at room temp until Cocido is ready to serve.
- Add potatoes and garbanzo beans, simmer for another thirty minutes, covered. Check for seasoning.
- Strain broth into a large soup pot. Bring pot to simmer, add vermicelli and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to serve as the first course.
- Meanwhile strip any meat from the hocks, tails or trotters. Throw away the bones. In a large bowl place all of the meat and vegetables, this will be the third course. In a separate large bowl add the garbanzo beans and potatoes. This will be the second course. See notes below for serving.
- This recipe is designed to feed large crowds family style, sitting around large platters of food. You can easily feed 14 people with this recipe. If you need to feed more and you have a large enough pot, you can feed 28 people or more. This traditional all-day stew was originally designed to feed a lot of people. This is perfect for family reunions or backyard potlucks.
- If you don’t have an extra large stock pot, you can use two ‘soup pots’ or large dutch ovens.
- The first course is served as soup. After the first course is finished, microwave the large bowl with the second course. Turn that out onto a large platter and serve family style with the tomato garnish and fresh herbs. When that course is finished, microwave the last course and turn out onto the large platter. Serve with the tomato garnish and fresh herbs if desired.
- This is Spain’s version of Cocido, Mexico has a different version.
- I adapted this recipe to the type of meat we can easily find in the U.S. I couldn’t find Spain-style chorizo so I substituted andouille sausage. It’s a French/Louisiana style sausage but it has the closest flavor profile that I could find in my neighborhood market. Other meats you can use are pancetta, salt pork, pork belly, blood sausage, smoked bacon and any bones with marrow.
- Because of the various cured meats that are simmering, the amount of salt may vary. Check for seasoning at the end of simmering, add any salt desired.