Cocido (meat and chickpea hot pot)

by Scott Williams

Cocido is a Madrid classic. One healthy night of bar hopping and you’ll probably notice it in some form or another on half a dozen menus. The beauty of the dish is in throwing different meats, vegetables and some chickpeas into a pot, covering it with water and letting it tick over for a couple of hours. Traditionally, the broth, chickpeas, vegetables and meat would all be served separately but I think the great thing about cooking a one pot wonder like this is being able to serve it as it is. I finally realized why this was when a Madrid local explained that back in older times, the poor people would be served the broth, perhaps with some rice or noodles cooked in it, and only the rich people would be afforded the meat.

You'll need

  • 500g pork ribs
  • 1 chicken maryland
  • 300g piece of beef shin, halved
  • 30mL olive oil
  • 250g dried chickpeas, soaked in tepid water overnight
  • 1 medium leek, washed and green top removed
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 fresh chorizos
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, just squashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 large tomato, halved
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 12 pickled cocktail onions
  • 1/2 lemon

Here's how

  1. Heat a large pot or casserole over a high heat until it’s nice and hot.
  2. Generously season your ribs, shin and Maryland with salt and, one by one, brown each piece of meat off in the pot, removing them once they have some good colour.
  3. Turn the flame down and add your chorizo, carrots, leek, bay and rosemary and garlic. Give it all a quick stir to get some heat into it and deglaze with the wine.
  4. Strain the chickpeas from their soaking water and add them to the pot. Place the meat neatly back in, add your tomato, a pinch of paprika and cover with water (the water should just cover the meat, so the chickpeas absorb it).
  5. Bring your hotpot to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Don’t add any extra salt now because it will slow the chickpeas down, plus the sausages and the meat will already be seasoned. Keep half an eye on the pot as it ticks over to make sure your stock doesn’t reduce too much. There’s no harm in adding a little extra water as you go.
  6. After an hour of simmering, your Cocido will be well on its way and your kitchen should smell awesome. Carefully transfer the chicken, chorizo, carrots and leek from the pot to a plate and cover loosely with foil. The pork, chickpeas and beef will need another hour. A small amount of fat will have come to the surface of the broth so using a ladle, gently skim it off the top.
  7. Check your beef after another hour; it should be nice and tender. Transfer it and the pork ribs to a large chopping board.
  8. Taste a chickpea; it should be soft and not at all crunchy. Different types of chickpeas can cook slightly differently so if they need longer then give them longer. Your broth will be super tasty by now, but it should need a pinch more salt. Give the pot another skim and keep it on a very low heat whilst you prepare the meat and vegetables.
  9. Roughly chop the beef into large cubes and slice the ribs between each bone into points. Pull the chicken meat off the bone and slice each chorizo into three. Chop the leek and the carrots into 1-2cm rounds. Throw it all back into the hot broth.
  10. You can serve this dish individually, or as I prefer to and leave it in the pot or a large deep platter, whack it in the middle of the table and let everyone have a crack at it. Garnish with a few pickled onions, a good sprinkle of parsley and squeeze of lemon, to cut through that rich and tasty meat.

About the Author

Scott Williams

Scott is a Melbourne-born and now Sydney-based chef at acclaimed Spanish restaurant MoVida Sydney, where he's currently sous chef. When he's not perfecting tapas behind the pass, he's turning shoulders of lamb on a spit in the backyard, or cooking six different Indian curries for a feast with a... Read Full Bio

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