puchero
If there is ever a Spanish meal that gleans real food, this is it.  Puchero Andaluz is a humble peasants stew made with frugal pieces of rich fatty meats, legumes, seasonal root vegetables and winter greens.  It’s simmered low and slow creating a mineral rich bone broth to nourish our bodies keeping our immunity strong and healthy.

This dish dates back centuries introduced by the sephardic jews. A peasants stew, it was made with the cheapest cuts from a pig, cow and chicken.  It’s these fatty, throw away pieces that nourished them and kept their immunities strong throughout the colder months.

Real animal fats, pastured as God intended keep our bodies alive and strong as they build our brain development and keep our hormones in balance.  Digestion is impossible without fats.  Fat and protein are found together in nature because our bodies need the fat to help us digest the protein.  Fat also helps the body to absorb nutrients, calcium, and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Our ancestors didn’t know all of this nutritional information, however, they did understand that by including these pieces of meat they stayed alive, strong and developed the most amazing flavors that only real animal fats can create.

Below are the cuts of meat needed for a traditional Puchero Andaluz.  I only used a few as many of these are optional.

Meats Needed

1. Pork

It comes to no surprise that in order to create the richest flavors, different pieces of the hog are required.  My families traditional recipe includes a ham hock or ham bone, pork belly, one white rib and a spine of a hog.

diagram_pig

Where on EARTH am I supposed to find these pieces?

Your family farmer.  In order to create traditional dishes it becomes pertinent to befriend your local farmer.  This year I was able to work with Stamps Family Farm who raised me a heritage breed Berkshire Hog on pasture.  Since I ordered my hog directly from my farmer I was able to speak to the locker that would be butchering my animal and was able to have it cut to my exact specifications.
You do not need to order an entire animal to get these pieces.  I encourage you to speak to your local family farmer and ask them about ordering these pieces separately.  Since most of these pieces are throw away, you’ll probably get a great deal.
2. Free-range chicken
One or two legs with the thighs attached.  Whenever I speak to my Tita’s in Spain about puchero they continually enforce that I need to use, “pierna de una gallina y no de un pollo.”  In Spanish Gallina and Pollo mean chicken.   What’s the difference between a gallina and pollo… they mean the same thing?  
This simple differentiation simply amazed me.
The difference between a gallina and a pollo is that a gallina is an older chicken, pastured outdoors.  It’s given a longer life in order to increase it’s fat content.  Our ancestors intuitively knew that in order to create the richest and most nourishing broth, a chicken with fat was needed.
In order to recreate this, make sure to buy a pastured, heritage breed chicken from your local family farmer.  Chicken bought in confinement raised for a mere 5 weeks is without fat, flavor and nutrition.
3. A soup bone with marrow
A soup bone will impart flavor and allow it’s marrow to increase the nutritional benefits in the broth.  Again, speak to your family farmer for soup bones.
meat
These are all frugal pieces of meat and when joined together create a mineral rich bone broth.  A broth containing calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals from the bones.  It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons, like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, which are now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

You can begin to see why this simple, basic meal is a powerhouse of nutrients with rich and complex flavors.

puchero3

This meal is also frugal.  Our ancestors knew how to stretch their meals and this is no exception.

Freeze your bone broth for other nourishing meals and save the shreds of meat for dishes such as Spanish croquetas or even Mexican enchiladas.

I’m excited to share my family’s traditional recipe for Puchero Andaluz in a video.  This is my video entry for Project Food Blog Challenge #7: Video 411.

REAL FOOD

For printing purposes, I’ve included the written recipe below.
Puchero Andaluz

puchero2

Ingredients:
  • ham hock (smoked is great) or bone of a jamon serrano
  • 2 chicken legs with thighs, preferably free range
  • 4 oz pork belly
  • 1 white rib of a pig (optional)
  • 1 spine of a pig (optional)
  • 1 beef soup bone with marrow
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 celery heart
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 turnips, diced
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 green cabbage
  • handful pak choi or other leafy green such as swiss chard
diana1
Method:
  1. In a large stock pot, add all of your meats, garbanzo beans, celery heart, carrots, turnips, leek, and onions.
  2. Fill with water 2 inches above ingredients.
  3. Add 2 tbls raw apple cider vinegar to extract minerals from the bones.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer.
  5. Within the first 15 minutes remove any scum that floats to the top.
  6. Cover and simmer for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes or until garbanzo beans are tender.
  7. Add the potatoes, cover and simmer for an additional 20 – 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  8. Remove all meat from the pot and set aside.
  9. Using a colander separate the broth from the vegetables into a second pot.
  10. Bring the broth in the second pot back to a boil and add the green cabbage and pak choi.
  11. Boil for five minutes.
  12. Serve all the meats and vegetables on a platter and ladle with broth.
  13. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  14. Serve
Buen Provecho!

Thank you to everyone that has voted for me and kept me in the project thus far.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  If you enjoyed this post and video and would like to see me move onto challenge #8, please vote for me starting Monday, November 15th by clicking here.

A special thanks to my mami for being my inspiration, mentor and letting me borrow her beautiful kitchen built by my papi ๐Ÿ˜‰  Also, my sister Lisa for spending an entire day with me and filming me using her brand new Canon 7d.  I love you!

This post is a part of the Hearth and Soul blog hop and Real Food Wednesdays.

Diana is a mother of three, proud wife, and humbled daughter of God. She finds the most joy meeting with Jesus in her organic gardens. She is completely blessed to be able to call herself a stay at home mom where she home educates her children, joyfully serves her husband, and cooks nourishing, real food, for her family. She loves connecting with people on facebook, google+, pinterest, and instagram.

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