Escudella i carn d’olla, known in Castilian as “cocido catalan” is a traditional Catalan dish, a combination of soup and stew that dates back to the fourteenth-century. Its main feature is the “pilota”, a gigantic meatball spiced with garlic and parsley.
Related article: Catalan Traditions: the Calçots and la Calçotada
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How to make escudella i carn d’olla
Making this traditional Catalan recipe is not that difficult, but it does depend on getting the right ingredients, as is the case with many traditional dishes. We will show you what to get from the supermarket and butcher, and then we will go through the recipe together.
To prepare Escudella i carn d’olla
- ½ chicken
- 500g veal shank
- 1 pig bone
- A chunk of ham
- 500g of pig’s snout and ear
- 1 botifarra negra
- 1 botifarra blanca
- 1 small chorizo
- ½ cabage
- 1 parsnip
- 2 carrots
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 nabicol
- 3 small celery branches
- 200g chickpeas
For the meatball
- 100g degreased ham
- 100g bacon
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove
- Powdered cinnamon
- 2 large spoons of bread crumbs
- 3 small spoons of parsley
The recipe, step by step
Leave the chickpeas soaking the day before you intend to cook them. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly and then peel them. Reserve the washed, peeled vegetables for later. Fill a big pan with water and then place the chicken, the bones, the ham, the meat, and the pig’s snout and ear.
When the water begins to boil, use a spoon or a spatula to remove the foam. Place the chickpeas in a metal wringer, and then place the wringer inside the pan, allowing the chickpeas to be cooked but not mixed with the rest. Let it all cook in low fire for about an hour and a half.
Take advantage of this time to start preparing the meatball: Mince the garlic. Stir the egg. Crush the meat and mix it with chopped parsley, salt, pepper, the minced garlic, the stirred egg, and the bread crumbs, until they come together.
Place the ball in a dish with flour and make sure you get flour all over it, so the ball remains compact when you place it inside the pan. Now, add the vegetables and the meatball to the stew and let it all boil for another half hour.
Finally, add the butifarras and the chorizo. Taste the stew to see if you need to add more salt. Let the mix cook for about another half an hour. When everything is cooked, separate the water from the cooked vegetables and meat.
Don’t throw it away, though! You can use the water to make a nice pasta or rice broth. Serve the soup first and then the vegetables and meat. Bon Appétit, from ShBarcelona!
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