Cocido Madrileño – or simply cocido – is probably one of Spain’s national dishes. Cocido is based on a vast cauldron, which simmers away all day, hardly bubbling. Not the sort of dish you undertake lightly as it requires long cooking times and is definitely for the full-on carnivore as the real deal contains brisket, marrow bones, pigs trotters, gammon knuckles and pork belly. Best chuck in half a boiling chicken as well eh hombre?
In the Times food section this week was a recipe by Lindsey Bareham for a Chorizo, chickpea and celery cocido , prepared in less than an hour. It caught my eye as the bulk of it’s ingredients were already in house, so the opportunity to make a good bowl of grub at minimal cost and save some planet was too good to resist.
At the bottom of this comforting bowl of vegetables with spicy chorizo and chickpeas is a thick slice of garlic-rubbed, olive oil splashed toast.As you eat the soupy stew, the toasted garlicky bread is reached like a little chest of taste treasure.
Chorizo, chickpea and celery cocido
Serves 4; Prep: 20 min; Cook: 40 min
1 onion – left over white and red onion onion halves found clingfilmed in Fridge
1 celery heart – as above from fridge
1 lemon – picked in February from the lemon grove just below Kinder or the fridge
100g cooking chorizo – 150g of small cookers left over from meal last week
3-4 sage leaves – garden, used both purple and green
1 tbsp olive oil – store cupboard
400g can chickpeas – store cupboard, Aldi’s finest !!
2 chicken stock cubes – only used one , Telma from store , superior quality
400g large waxy potatoes – variety of refugee spuds found
2 vine tomatoes – fridge
50g coriander – older packet, a little ropey, but picked out the good stuff
4 thick slices sourdough bread – OH brought some crusty in from M&S
1 garlic clove – store
Best olive oil –store
Boil the kettle. Peel and finely chop the onion. Trim the celery and slice very thinly, working up the bunch. Zest the lemon. Run a sharp knife down the chorizo and tear away
the skin. Cut the sausage in half, quarter lengthways then chop into dice. Finely chop the sage. Tip the chickpeas into a sieve and rinse with water.
Chose a spacious, heavy-bottomed, lidded pan and heat the olive oil. Stir in onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add, celery, sage and lemon zest. Stir, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chorizo. Cook, stirring, until the juices run. Stir in the chickpeas. Add 900ml boiling water from the kettle and crumble in the stock cube. Peel, chunk and rinse the potatoes. Add to the pan. Give a good stir as the soup begins to simmer. Half cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Check the seasoning.
Chop the tomatoes and coriander. Stir both into the finished soup. Toast the bread, rub one side with garlic, place in a wide soup bowl and splash with best olive oil. Ladle over the soup. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and splash of olive oil.
After cooking, we did not eat our cocido until the following lunchtime, the flavours had time to develop and it was all the better for it. Greg and Michel couldn’t make it so I had their share. If you don’t have any chorizo in and need to buy it in , a word of warning. chorizo is one of the most abused words when it comes to pronunciation. It is not choritzo or chorrissow. It is chohreeso with the emphasis on the penultimate syllable. No need to use my own perfect Castellano diction and say chohreetho, not least because the OH says it is an embarrassing and irritating affectation.