Puchero or Olla Andalúz – Andalucían Chick Pea Stew

Well, what a weekend of e-mails many of us have had. Thanks a bunch WordPress (not!) for inundating us all. It´s been quiet on the blog front as many of us have held off from posting or commenting for fear of drowning in a sea of unwanted e-mails. Hopefully we are all daring to put our toes back in the water…but please don´t forget to remove that tick from the box below the comments one so that you don´t receive all those messages if you´re brave enough to leave messages again!

It´s been a strange weekend here too weather wise up the mountain. Saturday was like the depths of winter, Sunday got better and this week it looks as though summer is on its way with temperatures predicted in the high twenties. Feeling grey and damp on Saturday, we indulged in a big bowl of comforting Olla (pronounced Oya) or Puchero.

The word Olla in Spanish is a big cooking pot.  Often this dish is named after the pot it is cooked in. It´s a hearty, filling winter warmer that if eaten for lunch (it´s never eaten for dinner here, probably because of the “natural effects” of chick peas) will keep you going all day . This version lists the ingredients typically used locally, but also gives options for making it outside of Spain where not all of the ingredients will be so easily available. The salted bones and fat add flavour and give the broth a cloudy or white appearance, which is the sign of a good stock in Andalucía.  Clear stock, I think I´ve mentioned it previously when talking about Chicken Soup, is considered to be lacking in flavour!

If you use the salted bones, you won´t need to add much in the way of seasoning at the end. If not, add salt after the chick peas have cooked, otherwise they will never soften.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 cups of dried chick peas soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and drained
  • 2 large chicken legs and thighs (you will see that the meat in the photo is very dark as this was one of our “old boiler” cockerels…very tasty)
  • 1 piece of pork (typically here it comes from the leg or shoulder) weighing about 250g
  • Salted pork bones (replace with 2 or three pork ribs)
  • A small piece of salted pork fat (omit if you cannot find)
  • A piece of fresh or salted pork belly (with plenty of fat)
  • Optional – a few peeled carrots and sticks of celery
  • 3 or 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small dried chillis (optional)
  • Water

Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot, pushing the meat and bones down to the bottom.  Add water to cover everything well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface during the first 10 minutes of hard boiling then reduce the heat to a very low simmer, cover and either simmer gently for about an hour and a half until the chick peas are completely tender or cook in a very low oven for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the bay leaves, chilli, pork skin and bones, shred the meat and chop the carrots and celery if you prefer, season if necessary and serve in deep bowls with plenty of the delicious stock poured over.

Variation. Some people also add pig´s trotters to this dish, so if you enjoy them, do feel free to add. This weekend I omitted the pork fat and added celery and carrots to make it a lighter but still filling dish. My stock is probably not up to Spanish Housewife standards this time as it´s on the verge of being clear!

This is a dish which will improve and develop flavour if prepared a day ahead.


47 thoughts on “Puchero or Olla Andalúz – Andalucían Chick Pea Stew

  1. So thats what was happening with the emails. Wretched WordPress! I’m sure a bowl of your lovely chickpeas will sooth souls troubled by technology. 😉

      1. Amen to that! We should serve it to the bloody politicians! 😉

  2. Until John from Chicago mentioned why the flood was happening, I had believed it was some personal error of mine. I love that chick pea soup, and very nice pics. I’m now unticking the box:)

  3. So delicious… and so good to eat chick pea… I cook with rice too… it’s been so nice… Thank you dear Chica, with my love, nia

  4. Hi Chica, liked this recipe as I adore chickpeas 🙂
    Re emails. I wondered why I’ve been recieving so many emails and reading your post I now know why. I thought I was going crazy as I’d not subscribed to comments.

  5. Mmmm. That’s looks like one tasty bowl of soup, Tanya, just perfect for a chilly or damp day. And I agree with MD: add the trotters!

  6. I’m not sure if the email thingy is fixed or not, but I didn’t have a problem with it – I think I have something tocked somewhere that says don’t notify me of updates by email, and I’m wondering if that was enough to stop them, either that or they have been treated as spam?

  7. At first I thought it was my error! The inbox was looking tired after I commented on one post! Lovely recipe – wishing you a great week. 🙂

    1. It was pretty awful. You can also retrospectively stop any coming in if you have forgotten to tick the box. Give me a shout if you need to know how 🙂

  8. I am forwarding the link for this to my darling daughter who LOVES anything with chickpeas. I will probably try it out Chez Hood if the weather continues as it is! (Someone pointed out that ‘the nights will br drawing in again in6 weeks time’. Thanks – we will probably get permadark then.)

    1. 6 weeks? Groan! At least the days stay pretty long and light here throughout the summer but I can see how the days change by where the sun goes down each evening over our mountains 😦 My great grandmother always used to say that her favourite day of the year was 21st December as after that the days just got longer! Presumably 21st June was her least favourite 😉

  9. Oh, lovely recipe, Chica, and I adore chickpeas, so I must try this. Winter is creeping up on us (which means the days are mostly upper 20’s C at the moment 😉 ) so it will soon be time to make rich tasty soups! *saved*

    1. I still find it hard to get my head around you edging into winter and us towards summer! It´s a tasty recipe and would be lovely cooked on the braai too!

  10. I almost missed this because in desperation I ticked the ‘no emails at all’ box! Glad I remembered in time and checked – this looks wonderful and perfect for this between seasons time when the evenings can be quite cool.

  11. I’m very angsty with WordPress right now. If I follow the blog and receive a notification when you reply to my message anyway why do they want me to automatically follow all the comments?! Grrrrr.
    Love the soup recipe, though. Looks fantastic!

    1. Me too – I have written to them and they say that the change was to “increase comment engagement and foster more discussions between commenters” rubbish eh?! Anyway, am glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  12. That’s a bowl of comfort you have there! I really have come to love chickpeas, but have never cooked them and always used canned. This stew sounds lovely, and thanks for the warning about the “natural effects” of the chickpeas…so true and yet I hadn’t thought about NOT eating them for dinner. A great tip! 😉

    1. I never used to cook them either, but people round here grow them and looked on me in horror when I bought little tins…get yourself a big bowlful Tanya they said! I am sure the effects of a little tin would be less…er…noticeable 😉

  13. Perfect timing, Tanya. I purchased some bacon bones yesterday to make some stock. I also recently bought some dry chickpeas instead of the tinned variety so here’s the perfect recipe. Especially as winter has really kicked in now. At least it is only six weeks to the shortest day. Though our coldest weather always comes in July and August.

  14. Depths of winter eh? This sure looks like the perfect dish to fend off the cold weather blues! Hope it’s looking up for you now Chica – I think it may finally start getting warmer here soon too!

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