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Cocido Recipe


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Cocido is a Spanish meat and vegetable stew that is slowly cooked and then served in three courses or vuelcos (singular vuelco) from the same pot.

There are several regional variations of cocido throughout Spain and Portugal–and in other countries where Spaniards have immigrated. While chickpeas are essential to every cocido, the combination of meats and vegetables added to this stew and the order in which they are served change with regional and seasonal influences.

In the Spanish capital of Madrid the version of this stew is called cocido madrilèno. Cocido madrilèno is considered the most traditional dish of Madrid.

The first course or vuelco of Cocido madrilèno is soup; the second course consists of chickpeas and boiled vegetables including potatoes, carrots, and cabbage or cardoons; the third course consists of pieces of beef, pork, chicken, sausages, and marrow bones. The first course is traditionally served with white wine. The second and third course is served with red wine.


Yield 4 servings


  • 8 oz (250 g) chickpeas
  • 10 oz (300 g) beef black pudding
  • ¼ of chicken
  • 4 oz ((100 g) streaky bacon
  • 4 oz (100 g) black pudding (blood sausage) with onion
  • 4 oz (100 g) spicy sausage
  • 2 oz (50 g) cured ham end
  • 4 marrow bones around 5 cm, long
  • 2 lb (1 kg) of cabbage or cardoon
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil for browning
  • 4 oz (100 g) stick noodles for the soup
  • Salt
  • Crusty bread mix: 2 eggs, 2½ oz (75g)of breadcrumbs 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tsp of finely-chopped parsley, olive oil, salt.


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in warm water with a little salt. Next day, remove and drain them.
  2. Place the meat, bacon, washed bones and the ham in a wide-based earthenware dish, and cover with about 4 quarts (4 liters) of water. Place the dish on a medium flame and when it comes to a boil, any fat and scum will rise to the surface. Remove the fat with a spoon for skimming and add the chickpeas.
  3. Bring the dish to a boil again, add the carrot, onion and the turnip (cut into 1 inch/2 cm pieces). Cook on a low flame for 3 hours or more, until the chickpeas are tender.
  4. Twenty minutes before the end, add the peeled and halved potatoes. Add salt to taste.
  5. At the same time, cook the finely chopped cabbage or cardoon in another pot for 30 minutes. Drain and gently sauté it with the garlic.
  6. Cook the spicy sausage and the black pudding in a separate pan so that they do not stain the broth.
  7. To make the crusty mix: beat the eggs and mix them together with the breadcrumbs, very finely-chopped garlic, parsley and a little salt. With two spoons, form kind of squashed croquette shapes and fry them in plenty of very hot oil. It is not necessary to add flour or coat them in egg as the mix will hold without breaking. When the cocido is about to be served, add them to the broth and bring to the boil.


Madrid cocido is eaten in three courses or vuelcos.

First course or vuelco: the soup is served with the noodles (which have to be cooked in the broth for 5 minutes).

Second vuelco: the chickpeas in a serving dish with the vegetables–the sautéed cabbage, the carrot and the turnip. Add the onion to the broth to give it flavor, but then remove it. It is also accompanied by the mix and, in a gravy boat, peeled, chopped and fried tomato.

Third vuelco: the meat, pork, bacon and the marrow bones are served.

Courses Soups and Stews

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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