Cocido Madrileño (Chickpea Stew)


4 handfuls dried chickpeas
3 potatoes – peeled and quartered
2 carrots – cut into big pieces
1 leek – cut into short lengths
1/4 cabbage – halved
1 turnip (optional) – peeled and quartered
6 green beans (optional) – cut in half
1 small pork ham bone
1 chicken joint
1 piece shin of beef
1 chorizo (unsmoked) – whole
1 onion morcilla (blackpudding) – whole
1 piece salt pork belly or streaky bacon in one piece (optional) – soaked overnight


Soak the chickpeas overnight.
Put all the meat, salt and a few peppercorns into a large pot along with the chickpeas and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and turn heat down and simmer for 1½ hours.
Skim off scum every now and then.
Take the chorizo and morcilla out and set aside about half an hour into the cooking time.
Skim the red fat that floats on the top as it simmers.
Add the vegetables about halfway through and top up with cold water.
Turn the heat up until it simmers again and return heat to low.
Remove the meats from the pot and arrange on a plate along with the chorizo and morcilla.
Remove the vegetables and arrange on a plate.
Remove the chickpeas with a slotted spoon and put into a dish.
Strain the stock and make soup with it, you only have to add some fine noodles or little stars for this.
Leftover stock can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.
NOTES: Some people arrange everything in one big spread, and have the soup first, followed by the vegetables, chickpeas and meat. This is great if you’ve got a horde of hungry mouths to feed. I prefer to keep each separate and make the best of different combinations for a couple of days meals. And on the last day, you can make ropa vieja with all the leftovers, sauté some onions and mash in the leftover chickpeas and meat and make a sort of tortilla with it all. Lovely served with a hot tomato sauce (add cumin, oregano & a pinch cayenne) and a crisp green salad.


This is a great, hearty all-rounder. Makes for a variety of full meals in different combinations and you can’t beat the stock it makes. No need to add anything except noodles and maybe a dash of sherry for the most delicious soup ever! As with every traditional dish, there are as many opinions as to what the “authentic” recipe is as Madrileños. This is my version.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 3:24am


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