Christmas Recipe: Escudella i Carn d’Olla
Escudella i carn d’olla (serves 10)
As Christmas gets closer we’re definitely feeling in the mood for some hearty and festive traditional dishes. That food that makes us feel both homesick and at home at the same time, regardless of how far we may be from Catalonia. So today we’ve got our head chef Miquel Villacrosa’s traditional recipe for Escudella i Carn d’Olla.
Escudella i Carn d’Olla is the typical stew that’s cooked and served on Christmas Day, although it can be enjoyed all over winter. Traditionally, it is made in large quantities as it can last for up to three days. Also, the leftovers are normally used for another delicious meal, but we’ll get to that later…
1 clove of garlic
1 stem of thyme
1 winter cabbage
1 stem of celery
1 whole chicken
200g pork belly
2 pork trotters
1 jamón ibérico bone
100g minced pork
200g beef brisket
100g minced beef
100g black pudding
For the pilota:
Pilota is similar to a giant meatball. To prepare these, mix the beef and pork minced meat, one egg, chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and make small balls. Then flour and fry them in a pan with sunflower oil at high heat until they get brown.
Save for later.
For the broth:
Cut all the meat into big pieces and put it in a pot covering it with cold water and bring it to boil. Once it boils, a brown froth will form on the surface, use a ladle to skim the surface and add the vegetables peeled and clean. Let it simmer for 4 to 5 hours.
In Catalunya, we usually we serve this heavenly broth as a first course. And we can 100% confirm that not only will it warm you up, but it will also cure any possible colds you may have – you’ve got our grandmothers word! We use a specific type of pasta with a characteristic shape called Galets. Likewise, other people choose to fill these Galets with the pilota mix instead. But this delicious broth is only the first course, so make sure you leave space to eat the remaining vegetables and meat for mains!
We assure you that, despite how tasty it is, there will be lots of meat and vegetables left, and this is when the Catalan Canelons become the stars of the show, since the filling is made out of all these delicious leftovers and are eaten on Sant Esteve Day on 26th December. So keep an eye on our blog to know how to cook the Catalan version of cannelloni, as we will bring you a second part with Miquel’s recipe for these next week.
Also, if you’re feeling a little bit too lazy to cook at home, remember we will be running two special Christmas Menus at Tast from until the 30th December. These showcase all the wonderfully traditional flavours with our own unique twist.