(Spanish meat and chickpea stew)
Puchero was originally a wintertime peasant dish eaten over several days, first with rice, then with noodles, then with the remainder incorporated into other dishes.
Puchero is also popular in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Filipinos have their own version, which is sometimes spelled pochero.
6 to 8 servings
- Oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 4 to 6 cloves
- Tomatoes, chopped -- 1 cup
- Water -- 6 cups
- Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 1 (3-pound)
- Pork butt, cubed -- 1 pound
- Spanish chorizo, or other garlic sausage, cut into rounds -- 2
- Chickpeas, cooked -- 2 cups
- Potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks -- 3
- Carrots, peeled and chopped -- 3
- Cabbage, cut into wedges -- 1/2 head
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add the onion and saute until translucent and wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the water, chicken, pork and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meats are tender.
- Add the chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Return to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Adjust seasoning and serve in bowls. Or remove the meat and vegetables to a separate serving platter and serve the broth as a soup. Cooked rice or noodles can be added to the broth.
- Meats: Other meats to add include pork hocks, blood sausages, stewing beef or beef shanks. Add some pig's tails or ears to give the broth more body. Saute some chopped bacon or salt pork, and use the fat from this to saute your onions.
- Vegetables: Use whatever you have on hand: celery, turnips, chard, leeks, corn, squash, spinach.
- Chickpeas: If you want to start with raw chickpeas, soak 1 cup overnight in water, drain and add to the pot when you add the meats. Sometimes the chickpeas are wrapped up in a piece of cheesecloth or a clean rag and added to the stew. That way they can be easily removed at the end and served separately. South American puchero doesn't always have chickpeas.
- Filipino Pochero: Peel and chop 2 plantains. Fry them in the oil until they are browned, then remove them and set aside. Saute the onions in the oil and continue with the recipe. Add the plantains back to the pot with the other vegetables. Substitute chopped Chinese cabbage or bok choy for the cabbage.