The word cocido means “cooked”. The dish called cocido which comes from Spain and which is found in the cuisines of its former colonies has various meats and vegetables. The Filipino version is the tomato-based pochero (or puchero).
Spanish cocido is served in various ways. The cooking liquid is first served as a soup, the carbohydrate-laden ingredients (potatoes, for instance) are served as second dish and the meat with the rest of the vegetables constitute the main course.
There are countless versions, of course. The meat or combination of meats vary. The vegetables that are added vary from region to region. The most well-known, cocido madrileño from Madrid, is a chickpea-based stew with pork as the primary meat component.
This is not a recipe for cocido madrileño but, rather, inspired by it — a new version of a recipe I posted on December 21, 2006 which I have deemed fit to retire.
There is no pork in this dish. Beef shank was used and the cocido was served with the bone marrow intact. The beef shank was simmered with chorizo; the vegetables — chickpeas, baby potatoes, cubed carrot, diced bell pepper and green peas — were added during various stages of cooking.
It took three hours to cook the dish. It might have been more convenient to do this in the slow cooker but I wanted the cooking liquid to reduce to concentrate the flavors. Liquid hardly evaporates in the slow cooker so it would have been difficult to achieve the result I wanted had I opted to cook the beef overnight in it.
Despite the lengthy cooking time, this Spanish cocido-inspired beef stew is fairly easy to make. You need only one cooking pot to simmer everything. It was harder to plate the dish to highlight the various components but I think I did a pretty good job.
Spanish Cocido-inspired Beef Stew
- 700 grams bone-in beef shank
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (doesn't have to be extra virgin)
- 1 Spanish chorizo (the kind packed with paprika is best), sliced into rings
- 6 cups bone broth
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 carrot
- 150 grams baby potatoes
- 1 small can chickpeas drained
- 1 large bell pepper
- 3/4 cup frozen sweet peas thawed
- Rinse the beef shanks and pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot. Sear all sides of the beef shanks.
- Add the sliced chorizo to the beef.
- Pour in the broth. Sprinkle in about a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the beef is tender. Depending on the thickness of the meat and the age of the animal, this can take anywhere from two to three hours. Resist the urge to stir to avoid agitation as this may cause the precious bone marrow to fall off the bone.
- Meanwhile, peel the carrot and cut into cubes.
- Rinse and scrub the baby potatoes and cut each in half.
- Scrape off the seeds of the bell pepper and dice.
- When the beef is tender, drop in the carrot cubes, potato halves and chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste the broth (the potatoes and carrot would have absorbed a lot of the saltiness of the broth) and add more salt, if needed. You may want to sprinkle in more pepper too at this point.
- Drop the bell pepper and peas into the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed, before turning off the heat.
- Scoop out the beef shank and place in a shallow bowl. Arrange the potatoes, carrot, chickpeas, chorizo and peas around it. Pour in about a cup of broth.
- To serve, serve the cooking liquid as soup, and the beef, chorizo and vegetables are main course.