(click to enlarge)

Spain   -   (Northern Spain version)

8 main  
1 day  

This is the definitive Spanish one-pot feast, made in one form or another all over Spain. It's actually an adaption of the Sephardic Adafina / Sefrina, a one-pot meal done ahead for the sabbath. The pig foot is essential as a one-fingered gesture to Muslim invaders and as a test for converted Jews, but also adds substance to the broth. Read all the notes before proceeding.




Chickpeas, dry  
Bones (1)
Pig Foot (2)
Beef (3)
Chicken (4)
Bay Leaves
Celery stalk
Cloves, whole
Chorizo (5)
Potatoes (6)
Morcilla (7)
Swiss Chard
Pasta, small
This recipe is sized to fill an 8 quart pot.
PREP   -   (8 hrs - 5 min work)
  1. Soak CHICKPEAS with water to cover and 2 t Salt (yes, salt) for at least 8 hour. Drain.
MAKE   -   (4-1/2 hrs - 45 min work)
  1. Split BONES lengthwise if large.
  2. Strip skin and trim fat from CHICKEN but leave as whole joints.
  3. Place in a large pot Bones, PIG FOOT, BEEF (in one piece) and Chicken. Add Water to cover well and bring to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Dump it all out into the sink, Wash the pot and rinse the meats to remove all sludge.
  5. Place Bones only back in the pot. Add water to cover and the Bay Leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours.
  6. Add Pig Foot and Chickpeas. Add water to cover as needed and simmer another 30 minutes.
  7. Add Beef and water to cover as needed. Simmer another 1-1/2 hours.
  1. Cut CARROTS into large chunks, Trim LEEKS down to white and light green. Split them in half lengthwise and wash out all the grit from between the leaves. Cut CELERY stalks in half so they'll fit in the pot. Peel ONION, split in half lengthwise and stick each half with a clove. Mix all.
  2. Peel POTATOES and cut in half crosswise. Hold in cold water until needed.
  3. Stem SWISS CHARD but keep the leaves whole. Reserve the stems for another use.
  4. When Beef has cooked for 1-1/2 hours, add Chicken, Vegetable mix and Chorizo (as whole links). Add water as needed to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer another 15 minutes.
  5. Now add Potatoes, Morcilla (in one piece), Salt and Pepper. Again bring to a boil and simmer.
  6. After 10 minutes simmering put in the Swiss Chard.
  7. When the Potatoes are done you're ready to serve. Here's the traditional way, but see also Note-9.
    1. Strain out all solids and de-fat the liquid (use your gravy separator).
    2. Sort out and discard the bones, onion, leeks and anything else that's mushy.
    3. Cut into serving pieces the Beef, Pig Foot, Chicken, Chorizo and Morcilla. A sharp Chinese cleaver knife and a soft faced mallet are invaluable for cutting chicken and pig foot bones). Arrange on a platter.
    4. Cut Vegetables, including Chard to convenient sizes as needed and arrange on a platter along with Chickpeas.
    5. Add some of the liquid to each platter to keep the contents moist.
    6. Bring remaining liquid to a boil, add pasta and anything else you want to make a soup course.
  8. Serve hot.
  1. Bones:   This is supposed to be a bone from a Serrano Ham or other unsmoked cured ham. I'm betting you don't have that on hand, so you'll probably have to make due with beef or pork bones or such.
  2. Pig Foot:   In Europe this would be a salted pig foot soaked overnight. In North America those are very rare, so use a fresh foot and skip the soaking. If your market cuts their pig feet into pieces, that's fine.
  3. Beef:   Weight is for a single piece, boneless and with all excess fat trimmed. Chuck, Round or another relatively tough flavorful cut is best.
  4. Chicken:   Weight given here is for chicken thighs (what I use) before stripping skin and fat. I usually also bone them. In Spain they'd likely just chop up a whole chicken.
  5. Chorizo:   NOT Mexican chorizo, but also not a hard dry Spanish chorizo. This needs to be Chorizo de Balbao or a similar semi-cured cooking chorizo. I buy Balbao from the freezer cases in Philippine markets (USA made), but it can be ordered from Spanish sausage makers like La Espanola Meats. If you can't find it, use a firm, mildly hot pork sausage. For details see my Sausages page.
  6. Potatoes:   I favor White Rose for recipes of this sort. Avoid Yukon Gold which disintegrate if cooked just a little too long. See our Potato Page for details.
  7. Morcilla   OK, this is the tough one. This is a Spanish blood sausage that is likely right at hand in the Spanish kitchen - but not in North America. Do not use Morcilla de Arroz (with rice) as it swells and disintegrates. If you can't get Morcilla, use a French Boudin Noir or English Black Pudding (also blood sausages). For details see our Sausages page.
  8. Cooking   This recipe will fill an 8-quart pot. If you make, say, a recipe and a half for a party, and an 8 quart pot is your largest, you can cook the Beef stage 2 hours instead of 1-1/2. Pull out Beef, Bones and Pig Foot. Discard the bones and keep the meats warm while proceeding with the rest.
  9. Serving   The serving method given above is "official". but clearly impractical for other than a big family dinner. I serve this as a buffet party dish so do it differently. After cutting everything to serving pieces I just pile it all in a big electric skillet (mine's a 16 inch Presto with glass lid) with plenty of the liquid and just skip the pasta. Very successful.
  10. Reheating   This recipe reheats very well. The chicken will disintegrate into shreds but the general flavor improves.
  11. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
dmm_cocido1 091212 fns97   -
©Andrew Grygus - - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.