Hello dear friends of Paulina Cocina! Today we want to share one of those recipes that we like so much, those that cook for many hours, but that are enjoyed in good company: The traditional Catalan escudella. This pot dish is a soup with a lot of vegetables and a wide variety of meats that are usually served on the side. A very typical dish from Catalonia, one of those that is passed down in the family and is eaten at a long table with rich bread and a good wine.
We are going to tell you something about the history and tradition of the escudella, and of course we are going to leave you a step-by-step recipe to make it at home, perfume all the rooms with its aroma and invite the whole family to enjoy it.
About the Catalan escudella
The escudella is one of the most emblematic and traditional dishes of the Catalan gastronomy. This delicious soup or, rather, stew, is an authentic explosion of flavors and aromas that evoke the warmth of homes and family tradition. It is a hearty soup and comforting that combines different ingredients such as meat, vegetables and legumes, simmered for several hours to obtain a flavorful broth.
With its combination of ingredients and its careful preparation, the escudella has become a culinary symbol of Catalonia. this pot dish is similar to Madrid stewto others cooked and to soup that we consume in Argentina.
The origin of the traditional Catalan escudella
The traditional Catalan escudella has its roots in the medieval cuisine of the region. Over the centuries, this dish has evolved and adapted to the tastes and preferences of different generations, but it has always preserved its essence and culinary identity.
For centuries, the traditional Catalan escudella has been a fundamental part of family celebrations and popular festivities in Catalonia. It is common to find it at Christmas dinners and other special occasions, where it is shared with joy and enjoyed in the company of loved ones.
The escudella soup: An experience to share
The bowl is consumed in two distinct phases:
First, it is served hot soup in deep dishes. This aromatic and comforting broth is enjoyed slowly, savoring each spoonful and letting its flavors wash over you. It is common for the soup to be accompanied by crusty bread, ideal for dunking in the broth and taking advantage of every last drop of flavor.
Once the soup is finished, it is the turn of the solid ingredients. These usually include a variety of meats such as pork, chicken, bacon (bacon) and veal; and vegetables like carrots, cabbage and potatoes. These ingredients are served on a separate plate and can be enjoyed on their own or along with the soup.
Escudella soup accompaniments
It is common for the escudella to be accompanied by “hot pot meat”, which are additional pot meats. These meats, like butifarrónthe black sausage and the pig head, are cooked together with the escudella but are served separately. This allows each diner to choose his favorite meats and add them to his plate according to his taste.
The shield is enjoyed in a festive atmosphere and camaraderie. It is common for it to be shared at large family tables, where each diner can help themselves to their liking and enjoy the different flavors and textures that this traditional dish offers.
Recipe for Traditional Catalan Escudella
- Yield: 6 servings
- Preparation time: About 3-4 hours, including cooking time for meats and vegetables.
- 500 g of pork (ribs, belly, ear, snout, etc.)
- 500 g chicken or chopped chicken
- 200 g of sausages (white and black)
- 200 g of butifarron
- 200 g of beef
- 2 ham bones
- 2 pork shank bones
- 1 pork back bone
- 200 g chickpeas soaked and cooked al dente
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 leeks
- 1 white cabbage
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 sprig of celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- Salt to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
How to make traditional Catalan escudella step by step
- In a large pot, place the ham, pork shank and backbone bones, together with the pork, the chicken or chopped chicken and the veal. Cover the ingredients with water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, peel and coarsely chop the onion, carrots, leeks, cabbage, and potatoes. Add to the pot along with the celery, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves.
- Cook over medium heat for approximately 2 hours, skimming from time to time to remove any impurities that may form on the surface.
- After cooking time, remove the meat and vegetables from the pot and reserve them on a separate plate. Strain the resulting broth and discard the bones and impurities.
- In another pot, heat a little olive oil and the sweet paprika. Stir quickly so it doesn’t burn and add the strained broth. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Meanwhile, cut the meats into medium pieces and the vegetables into smaller pieces. Remove the skin from the butifarras and butifarrón and cut into thick slices.
- Add the meats, the cooked chickpeas and the cut vegetables to the hot broth. Let everything simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the flavors fully integrate. Taste and adjust salt to taste.
- Serve the escudella hot in deep plates, placing a little broth, meat and vegetables in each one. Broth, vegetables and meats can also be served separately. Accompany with bread and bon appetit!