Chef Quique García of CASA GRAU provides another of a series of simple recipes for you to try at home – the great winter warmer known as ‘Puchero’.

Chef Quique explains: “This is one of the dishes that most appeals on these cold days, and for my taste, if it is made the day before it has more flavour”.

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 300 g Veal Shank
  • 300 g Pork Fat
  • 400 g Pork Ribs
  • ¼ gallina (for a stronger taste)
  • ¼ pollo
  • 3 pieces of pork backbone
  • 2 veal marrow bones
  • 1 veal knee bone
  • 1 pig’s trotter
  • 1 “blanquet” white sausage
  • (*) 2 or 3 “pelotas” (pork loin top, bacon, chicken livers and chopped “blanquet”, an egg, pine nuts, parsley, breadcrumbs and soaked breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and finally cabbage leaves to wrap). Or you can buy them ready-made from all good butchers. They should be about the size of tennis balls.
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 leek
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato (optional)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 “penca” stalks (also known as “cardo”)
  • ¼ cabbage
  • 1 parsnip
  • 500g dried chickpeas
  • salt, baking soda, saffron, mineral water
  • rice or noodles “fideos” – allow 40g per person


  1. We will start the day before by soaking the chickpeas with water, salt and a pinch of baking soda (for hard water).
  2. The following day we start by putting all the meat and bones (except the “pelotas”) in a large pot along with the chickpeas that we have soaked the day before (you can put them in a net so as not to have to fish them later).
  3. Add water to cover everything (about 4cms or so above the meat, etc.), turn on the heat and bring to the boil.
  4. When it starts to boil, turn down the heat. Skim the liquid to remove all the impurities, any froth or foam etc. Once the broth is clean, add the celery and “penca”, cover and simmer for about 2½ hours. Check about four or five times, maybe give the pot a little shake, and skim away any more froth or other impurities. Have a little taste as well, adding some salt if and when necessary.
  5. Meanwhile we clean the rest of the vegetables and prepare the “pelotas” (*).
  6. After simmering for 2½ hours, add the vegetables and the “pelotas”, some salt and the saffron. Bring back to the boil briefly, then turn down the head again and allow to simmer for another 45 minutes or so.
  7. Using some of the broth, cook the rice or noodles according to the instructions. They will be served like a soup.
  8. Serve the rice/noodle soup first and then enjoy the vegetables, chickpeas and meat – the Putxero Xabiero – for a great Sunday lunch.
  9. We can save the leftover broth to make “arroz al horno” and with the meat and vegetables, we can make “mandonguilles”, similar to meatballs and often used in stews and “arroz al horno”.