In winter-time Madrid, or the Meseta (the central high-plains of Spain) can be rather chilly. Cold wins from the Sierra de Madrid blowing the chins of Gran Vía strollers can be a freezing experience. Yes, you didn’t imagine that, did you? Winter temperatures are seldom below zero, but still those days feel bitter on you.
On such occasions it is very pleasant to be invited to someone’s (warm) home, go to a nice restaurant, like La Bola or at Malacatín, to eat Cocido. Or you prepare it yourself on your own stove.
It is not only in the Madrid-region that Cocido is prepared in the clay fountains, but the Cocido Madrileño is perhaps the most well-known of them.
We are here talking about a dish cooked, with time and patience, on a base of a kind of beans, a flavoured with pieces of chorizo (sausage), cured ham, some pieces of white pork-fat, blood sausage, some carrots and a few slices of cabbage leaves, and some sort of thin noodles.
It is prepared altogether, alright, but it normally it is served in two or three split dishes:
- With spoon: the soup of noodles and the bullion essence cooked off the other ingredients
- With knife and fork: the beans and the other meat and vegetable ingredients. Tip: soak a piece of bread in the fat… Ummmh!
In Easter-time the Christian Catholic traditions would only allow you to eat fish, not meat. To avoid this “prohibition”, there is a variety of Cocido called Olla Gitana (Gipsy Casserole) , which is “poorer version”, prepared and then stored for the occasion without the taboo meat.