Christmas stew: what ingredients to buy

Puchero, broth with meatballs, galets soup, escudellà, manchego stew, sherry broth. Each region calls it something different, but really its the same for everyone, and the goal is to enjoy it along with the whole family during these special dates.  

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Caldos navideños

These recipes are simple and easy to make, but they take time, patience and a lot of care, which are the main ingredients to make a good Christmas broth. Almost all of them have easily available ingredients: beef and poultry, beef and chicken bones, sausages, legumes and vegetables, but they vary depending region. Even so, each of them evokes memories of childhood and the of taste home.

We'll tell you what ingredients you should buy to prepare this stew, a dish you won’t want to miss out on this Christmas.

Galets soup i carn d'olla in Catalonia

La escudella and la carn d'olla is the traditional dish par excellence in Catalonia on Christmas day. This broth includes chicken, vegetables, chickpeas, veal, butifarra (Catalan pork sausage) and what is known as “pilota”, which is minced meat, with egg, breadcrumbs and spices, shaped into a ball.

After boiling all these ingredients for several hours, the resulting broth is used to make the famous galets soup.
Galets are a shell-shaped pasta and the most traditional type for this soup at this time of year. And the bigger the galets, the better. The rest of the ingredients, the meats and vegetables are properly drained and are known as carn d'ollo.

Putxero de Nadal in Valencia

A delicious Christmas meal from the Valencian region.

 This broth has most of its ingredients in common with the other stews:

Bones and beef, pork, a piece of chicken, bacon, pork knuckles, chickpeas and vegetables, as well as some traditional ingredients from the area, such as bajoqueta or napicol. Another of its peculiarities is that the “pilota” are wrapped in cabbage leaves while they are cooked. Once the broth is cooked, place it in another bowl and make the rice soup, which will be the main dish. Then serve the chickpeas in one dish, and the vegetables and meat in another, which are the second course after the rice. The recipe is simple, the bones and meats are boiled, the foam is removed, and the rest of the ingredients are added in the following order: first vegetables and chickpeas, the chicken and meat balls and finally the potatoes. Once the potatoes are tender, the putxero is ready.

Broth with Murcia meatballs

The meatball broth is a very Christmassy recipe in the Murcia region. In fact, no table in Murcia goes without a cup of meatball broth on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This dish consists of a kind of meatball accompanied by a light broth, in most cases made from chicken.
The meat ball broth is a simple recipe, with an excellent taste, affordable, easy to make and highly nutritious. It is served in large bowls and with a good splash of lemon, naturally.

Manchego stew in Castilla - La Mancha

Although broth is not the main Christmas dish in this region, they do also have their own stew. In Castilla-La Mancha it is ideally cooked in a clay pot, although it can be made in a traditional pan if this is not available. The basics are the same as the others: veal, pork and ham bones, beef, chicken and bacon; and the special ingredients for this manchego broth: sausages and green pepper. To make the recipe, all the meats are boiled except the chorizo, black pudding and vegetables. Remove the foam from the broth, add the chickpeas and let it simmer for at least an hour. It's then time to add the potatoes, peppers and sausages. When the chickpeas are ready, take the broth and make some noodle soup. Put the pringá on a platter: the meats next to the potatoes and peppers and accompany with green chillis and vinegar.

Sherry broth in Andalusia

In Andalusia this type of broth is part of Christmas Eve dinner, as the first course. The recipe does not differ much from the previous ones, however with the difference that it is flavoured with a good splash of sherry. In order to make a sherry broth or consommé, you'll need a good piece of veal, veal and pork bones, the latter salted if possible, a piece of chicken, celery, onion, carrot and a good glass of fine sherry. 

It’s simple to make, all the ingredients are boiled, the foam removed and it is left to simmer for about three hours. When the broth is ready, put it through a fine sieve.

Put the broth in the fridge for a few hours and when it is taken out remove the fat that has accumulated on the surface as a compact layer.
It's time to clarify the consommé, so put the broth back in the casserole dish and add two whipped egg whites. Mix well with a whisk while it warms up. When it begins to boil, take it off the heat, remove the foam and pour the broth again. You can serve it in consommé cups, adding a spoonful of sherry.

This consommé is usually accompanied by some slices of
 Iberian ham, grated hard-boiled egg and a few pieces of fried bread.