Today, we’re going to make a recipe that’s a staple here in Spain. It’s called “cocido,” and I’d wager that nearly every household has its own variation of this dish.
The beauty of cocido, which literally translates to “boiled,” is its adaptability. It can be as healthy or as decadently rich as you desire.
For our version, we use chickpeas, carrots, chorizo, potatoes, vegetable stock, chicken breast, beef belly, and a jamón bone. However, many of these ingredients can be added to, substituted, or omitted based on personal preferences.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans – We opted for dried chickpeas in our recipe. However, if you choose to use canned chickpeas, there’s no need to pressure-cook them for 15 minutes. Instead, simply add them when you’re incorporating the potatoes and chorizo.
For the vegetables, you can use carrots, cabbage, turnip, and green beans.
As for the potatoes, make sure to peel them. In Spain, we typically don’t consume potatoes with their skins on.
Chorizo is a spicy sausage. You might think that Mexican chorizo is spicier than Spanish chorizo, but it’s not. The difference lies in the kind of peppers that are used for each one. Spanish chorizo typically uses pimentón ahumado, or smoked paprika (which can be sweet or hot). A famous variety is called pimentón de la Vera.
We used cooking chorizo, which is the fresh variety. There are lots of chorizo options in La tienda by José Andrés. As a side note, now that we are mentioning Jose Andrés, he is not only a renowned chef but also a remarkable humanitarian. His non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen, has been at the forefront of providing meals during natural disasters and other crises, both in the United States and around the world. His dedication to making a positive impact on communities in need, beyond just the culinary world, has earned him widespread respect and admiration. It’s heartening to see figures like him using their platform for such noble causes. I vividly remember years ago when José Andrés had a TV show on Spanish public television, before he became famous. His daughters were very young at the time, and he would feature them on the show, basically playing with melted chocolate.
Vegetable stock: A bouillon cube would work as well. Alternatively, if you’re adding lots of fresh vegetables, you can skip the vegetable stock entirely.
Chicken: Chicken thighs would have been a better choice than the chicken breast we used, but someone in my household isn’t fond of chicken thighs (and it isn’t me).
Beef belly: Any beef cut suitable for a stew would work here.
Jamón bone: We’re aiming for a salty and smoky flavor with this ingredient. Sometimes when I make cocido and I find small leftover pieces of jamón in my fridge, I toss those in too.
Other possible additions include a piece of smoked bacon and morcilla, if you can source it. Morcilla is a blood sausage. In León, where I hail from, we prepare our morcillas with blood, sourdough bread, onion, pig fat, paprika, and a few additional spices. However, I suspect this might be challenging to find outside of Spain unless you use Jose Andrés’s tienda. Do let me know in the comments if you manage to find morcilla or a similar alternative!
There are even more ingredients you can introduce to a cocido, like a “relleno”, but for today’s recipe, we’ll keep things straightforward.
Now, without further ado, let’s delve into how you can prepare a cocido and its accompanying soup using the Instant Pot: