Time to cook, today dear friends! Thanks to my my friend Didi, who once again has graciously allowed me to share one of her delicious recipes (from her blog Bijzonder Spaans) with you. We’ll be making a dish that is eaten throughout the whole year, but especially at Christmas. Let’s start…
Escudella i carn d’olla (6 persons)
6 liter water
1/2 kilo beef cuts
250 gram chicken breast
100 gram bacon (very finely cut)
1/2 kilo ham with bone
100 gram minced pork
1 veal shank
1 beef shank
200 gram pork sausages (botifarra, if you can get it)
200 gram white beans or chickpeas
200 gram potatoes
1 small green cabbage
1 turnip 1 parsnip
1 large carrot
2 finely cut garlic cloves
bread or rusk crumbs
parsley, salt, pepper
Soak the beans or chickpeas for a whole night in ample water with a little bit of salt.
Rinse the meat with water and blot dry with some kitchen towel. Place all meat (except sausages and minced pork) in a large pot or pan and add 6 liters of water. Bring to the boil, remove scum and add some salt. Lower the fire and leave to simmer for an hour and a half.
While the meat is stewing, prepare the pilota (or meat ball). Mix the minced pork, fine cut bacon, egg, minced garlic, parsley, bread (or rusk) crumbs and some pepper and salt thoroughly. Form a nice ball and roll this through some flour.
Peel and clean the vegetables and cut in similar size chunks.
After 1,5 hours the meat will have softened. Add the sausages, beans or chickpeas, vegetables and the pilota, and allow to simmer.
Once the vegetables are done, taste the resulting stock and season if necessary. Pass the stew through a sieve and keep the stock. Return about one third of the vegetables to the stock and put the rest of the vegetables and various meats and pulses aside on a platter.
Blend the stock and vegetables, then boil some pasta (vermicelli, rice or similar) in this soup. Traditionally, Galets de Nadal will be used for this purpose (they are seldom sold other than around Christmas). This soup will be served as a starter, followed by the carn d’olla which is accompanied by the vegetables. If you want, you can cut the meat and the pilota in bite size pieces or slices. Arrange it together with the vegetables on a nice platter and drizzle with some olive oil (optional). Bon profit!
All photos and recipe courtesy of Didi van Haren at Bijzonder Spaans. Thanks Didi!