Madrid stew (cocido madrileño) is traditionally a long-cooking one-pot meal with multiple ingredients, and my challenge was to create a dish based on it that called for only four ingredients — and that we could stand to eat in the middle of August. It turned out to be easier than it sounded.
I’ve long been a fan of warm and room-temperature potato salads, especially with vinaigrette dressings. And I knew that garbanzos (chick peas) and chorizo (a spicy paprika sausage I first discovered as a student in Spain) were just as good at room temperature as they were hot. Put together, all this would make a salad that could serve as a summer dinner.
I ended up using Mexican chorizo instead of Spanish simply because that’s what they had at the store (there was even a vegan version), but it’s the better choice if you want something that’ll crumble. Mexican chorizo is usually not cured and therefore has to be cooked, like hamburger, before using. Spanish chorizo is usually sold cured, so it’s safe to eat as is and also firm enough to slice. If you’d like to try it in this recipe, simply dice it up finely first. You could pan-grill it if you like it that way.
According to Wikipedia, Madrid stew started out as a handy dish for Spanish Jews to eat on the Sabbath, as it could cook unattended during the hours when work was forbidden. The idea of adding chorizo, based on pork, came later, possibly to remove the “stigma” of the dish being kosher. (Then again, someone who had no problem eating pork may just have decided it would taste good that way.) Traditionally, also, it contains vegetables, and each ingredient is dished out separately — there seems to be a certain protocol to it.
Serve this with a green salad and you’ve got your dinner for a warm night.
Editor’s Note: While enjoying the great tastes of Madrid with this salad, read a novel about Madrid with the kids. Here are some great choices.
- 2 large or 8 small potatoes
- 1 19-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 1 pound cooked Mexican chorizo
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
- Let chorizo cool if necessary and combine with garbanzos in a serving dish.
- Wash potatoes (don’t peel) and cut into bite-size pieces (cut small potatoes into quarters).
- Cook in boiling water about 10 minutes till just tender.
- Drain completely, return to pot, and add salad dressing.
- Toss to coat (gently).
- Mix with chorizo and garbanzos.
- Serve at room temperature.