Rotten Pot

Spanish Golden Age playwright Calderón de la Barca called this the queen of stews. The recipe has survived for over 500 years and has criss-crossed borders from Old Castile to Mexico, from Cuba to the Philippines and from Argentina to Colombia. The name in Spanish, podrida, means putrid or rotten, and may come from the old Spanish word poderida, which meant powerful. This is a modern version with all the flavour and power of the original.

Ingredients

Chickpeas

150 g

White beans

150 g

Celery

1 stalk

Parsley

1 sprig

Green pepper

1

Onion

1

Garlic

2 cloves

Bay leaf

1

Carrots

2

Blood pudding

1

Chorizo

2

Bacon

50 g

Beef

250 g

Chicken sweetbreads

2

Quail

1

Olive oil

to taste

Black pepper

to taste

Salt

to taste

Modern Recipe

  • ​Step 1
    Soak the legumes

    The night before, soak the beans and chickpeas.

  • ​Step 2
    Cook the legumes and the beef

    Cover the beans and chickpeas in water and place on medium heat. Add the chicken sweetbreads, the beef, half an onion, the two carrots, the stalk of celery with its leaves, the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the legumes are soft and the beef cooked through.

  • ​Step 3
    Prepare the sausages

    Put the blood pudding and chorizo in a small saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and boil for 25 minutes to extract some of their fat. Remove the sausages, dry and set aside.

  • ​Step 4
    Sauté the vegetables

    Finely chop half an onion, two cloves garlic, and the green pepper and sauté with the chopped bacon. Add to the main saucepan. Cook for 15 minutes.

  • ​Step 5
    Add the sausages

    15 minutes before serving, add the blood pudding and chorizo to the saucepan.

  • ​Step 6
    Brown the quail

    Sauté the quail until golden brown.

  • ​Step 7
    Serve

    Once everything is ready, serve together in a large bowl or serve the broth separately as a starter.

La mesa moderna

Gourmand and Cervantes scholar Mariano Pardo de Figueroa, also known as Dr. Thebussem, dedicated much of his efforts to boosting food criticism and raising its literary standard. In his 1888 book, La mesa moderna, he condemned those who, to express their refinement, disparaged Spanish traditional recipes in favour of French cuisine.

See the book
olla-podrida