The only stew without chickpeas
It takes energy to go for a stroll in the country, and a lot more so if it is in the mountains of the Picos de Europa. If there is one right dish to load us up with energy for trotting off into the mountains it is stew, which consists of a saucepan with water in which meat, delicatessen, vegetables and other additions are cooked together. Present in the indifferent Spanish culinary traditions, the variety from Cantabria is the only one in Spain that does not use chickpeas.
Mountain stew, a very appropriate name for the region, is an inland dish, rich and very sturdy. According to the organisers of the seventh edition of the Cantabria Week of Gastronomic Products, the ingredients of this dish are half a kilo of white beans, 200 grams of pork ribs, another 200 grounds of white lard, around 150 grams of chorizo, 2 medium-sized potatoes, a white-veined cabbage, a pig’s tail, an ear from the same animal and a black sausage with rice.
It is simple but laborious to prepare. The beans, the lard, the ear, the tail, the ribs and the chorizo are put into a saucepan. Cold water is added to cover it and then it is simmered. While it is on the way, the cabbage is chopped very fine and is added to the remaining ingredients in the pot. After an hour, salt is added and the potatoes too. After a quarter of an hour the black sausage, and when the beans and the potato are ready, it is taken off the heat and left to rest for a few minutes.
The trick for a walk in the Picos de Europa is to eat it at home before going out to build up your energy, and then have some more when you come home, this time in a restaurant or bar. If the restaurant is really Cantabrian, it will have mountain stew. If it is not, you are being tricked by a franchise.
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