I love cooking. Recently, I’ve developed a new love affair with (trying to) speak Spanish. So now I’m taking the next step and indulging in some Spanish cooking. Tonight, puchero, an Andaluz dish which basically translates to ‘soup.’ A little Googling leads me to believe the dish originated from the Sephardic Jews who cooked cholent.
I glanced at a few online recipes to get an idea of what I was getting myself into. But as usual, I ended up going on my own gastronomic tangent. I bought the off cuts of meat and vegies from the Sanlucar dr Barrameda food market, and chickpeas from one of the little delis nearby. The ‘puchero’ meat offcuts can look pretty daunting, especially for someone who was vegetarian (pescetarian) for 15 years.
I sautéd onion and garlic in oil, put the meat in (chicken, pork, other animals I can’t distinguish), let it sit for a minute, then I added a bunch of water. After about half an hour all this gross-looking foam starts to form on the surface of the water which you can scoop and chuck out with a spoon. Apparently this goop is normal (phew).
Then I added the veggies (carrot, leek, celery, weird white thing which I thought was a turnip but wasn’t). I also added chickpeas (guisantes) which I’d soaked overnight – these turned out to be the best part. After some hours, I took out the meats, and cut off the eatable parts from the bones and put them back into the soup. This was mainly chicken. In the end, I had too much broth so I took some out and froze it to use for my next soup. Then lots of pepper grindin’. To serve, I had it with couscous. Rice or fideos is more typical, but I don’t care cos I to lose my shit for couscous. This may make some Andalusians angry.