Cocido or Caldo (depending on your Iberian origins)

Now I have to tell you that, when I was posting these notes on Facebook back in 2009, I had no idea if anyone was actually reading them.  I was just trying to see if I could come up with enough recipes to fill a whole month.  Turns out, that wasn’t a problem.  Especially when my friends started chiming in.  So this next recipe isn’t mine. You have been warned.

Getting into the spirit of sharing food ideas, here’s something from Andrew Peterson of Kansas City. Andy is the one who got the Kansas City Chorale connected to Nimbus Records back in the 1990s, and I am pleased to share his recipe with you here (but I take no responsibility for his editorial comments).

“Here’s something to spring on your friends. An old family heirloom handed down from my great great aunt Dona Singularo Edwarda Mephisto Caracas Meyer Petersen. (A quiet and gentle servant of the Lord.):

Cocido or Caldo (depending on your Iberian origins)

“This recipe can have as many variants as you decide, though in Spain the important and consistent ingredient is Garbanzos.

2-3 lbs of pork (boned) Loin, Butt – it does not matter. (A bit of fat on.)
1 Cup Breadcrumbs
2 Large Onions (any color) – it does not matter – sliced thin.
1 Cup Jalepeno Salsa or fresh Jalepenos or Anaheim Chiles or Serrano peppers – it does not matter.
1/4 Cup Olive Oil – it does not matter – so don’t listen to that freak Rachel Rae. Sin verguenza!
1tbs Garlic powder
1tbs Spanish (smoked) Paprika) – it does indeed matter.
11/2tbs Kosher Salt
1tsp Cumin
1tbs Oregano
1tbs Basil
1tbs Cracked Black Pepper
1Bay Leaf
1/2tsp Ground Cloves
2-3 (12oz) Cans of Garbanzo beans
2-3 (12oz) Cans of Diced Tomatoes
(1 Cup of Red Wine)
1 ½ Cup of Green Olives (pimento stuffed)

“Okay, here we go. In a bowl, add the Breadcrumbs and half the Salt and Pepper. On the stove Heat a large (3-4 quart) Dutch Oven or pot. Turn heat to low. Add ¼ cup of olive oil. Dredge the meat in the breadcrumb mixture and turn into pot…browning on all sides.

“When the meat has browned, add the Garbanzos, Tomatoes, half the Onions, Jalepeno Salsa, Bay Leaf, Cumin, Oregano, Basil, and remaining Salt and Pepper. Turn the meat one time in this mixture and cover.

“Heat oven to 350 and cook the stew for 1 hour.

“When 1 Hour is up, remove the meat and cut into cubes. Add the meat back to the stew, and add the Wine, Olives, Paprika and cloves. At this time, depending on the consistency, add more wine or water to thin it, or more of the breadcrumbs to thicken it. Or, leave it alone. Cover, turn oven down to 300 and cook 2 hrs.

“Remove from oven. Allow to set for 30 minutes before serving. Bring to table with a rustic bread and a hearty red wine. You are now a genius!

“Listen, this recipe can be varied any number of ways. Use Lamb Shanks or Ox Tail, Duck or Turkey. The cooking time will be less for fowl. Vary the spices. You might want to substitute Thyme, or Coriander, or even Sage. What should remain stable is the Garbanzo. It is the signature to all good Spanish stews. Have fun, enjoy the recipe, and for god’s sake…if it turns out bad, it really is your fault … Don’t call me. Hope you like it, Andrew”

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