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Cocido madrileño
Part of a cocido serving, with chickpeas, vegetables and meat
Part of a cocido serving, with chickpeas, vegetables and meat
Place of origin Spain
Region or state Madrid
Dish details
Course served Appetiser or main course
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Chickpeas

Cocido madrileño ("Madrilene stew", Spanish pronunciation: [koˈθiˑðo mäðɾiˈleˑɲo]) is a traditional chickpea-based stew from Madrid, Spain. Prepared with vegetables, potatoes and meat, it is a hearty and substantious fare, most popular during the winter, but served year-long in restaurants.



The origins of the dish are uncertain, but most sources agree that probably it was created during the Middle Ages as an evolution of a Sephardic dish called adafaina. Long cooking dishes were indispensable for Jewish culture as they allowed hearty meals during the Shabbat. These first versions were kosher, using eggs and without pork. With the time, the adafaina was soon popular outside the jewries as well.

The growth of anti-Semitism and the Inquisition during the 15th and 16th centuries modified substantially the dish, as soon the fear of being denounced as Jews forced many people, Christians and Marranos (converted Jews) as well, to prove themselves as Christians incorporing pork to their meals. Soon lard, bacon, chorizo (pork sausage) and morcilla (blood sausage) were added to the dish.

From these centuries on, the recipe allowed few modifications, and soon was established as a staple of Madrid cuisine. During the growth of Madrid in the 19th and 20th centuries, its low cost and heartiness made it a popular order in small restaurants and taverns which catered to manual workers. After the Civil War, the austerity period, followed by the introduction of more convenient meals, slumped the popularity of the dish.

Nowadays, the cocido madrileño is mostly a homemade dish for special occasions. However, most typical restaurants in Madrid offer cocido (specially on Tuesdays) and some of the most traditional restaurants (like Lhardy, in the Carrera de San Jerónimo) serve it daily as a speciality.


Cocido madrileño

The main ingredient of cocido is the chickpea or garbanzo bean, preferibly of its larger variety (also known as kabuli). Vegetables are added: potatoes mainly, but also cabbage, carrots, and turnips. In some cases, green bean, mangold and cardoon is also added.

The meat used is fundamentally pork: pork belly, usually fresh, but sometimes cured (purists insist in even a point of rancidity); fresh (unsmoked) chorizo ; onion morcilla, and dried and cured jamón serrano. Beef shank is also added; the fat content (flor) of the piece is highly prized. Chicken (specially old hens) is also part of the cocido.

Two bone pieces (pork ham bone and beef spine bone) are added to enrich the stock.

The final touch is the bola, a meatball-like mix of ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley and other spices, which, it is said, was created as a substitute of the eggs used in the adafaina.

On the table

Tradition rules that the ingredients of cocido must be served separately. Each serving is known as vuelco (overturn), as at each time the pot must be overturned to separate the ingredients.

The first vuelco is the soup: the stock of the cocido is drained and noodles are cooked on it. The second vuelco are the chickpeas and the vegetables. The third vuelco is the meat.

Some dishes are made with the leftovers of the cocido. Spanish croquettes are usually made with cocido stock for flavor. Ropa vieja is a fried mix of chickpeas and meat. Pringá is made with the fried meat leftovers and bread.

See also



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