Andalusian stew (Berza Andaluza)
Morcilla (Spanish blood sausage), particularly onion morcilla, adds a spicy flavor to this stew. If morcilla is not available, add a pinch of clove, a spoonful of pimentón (paprika) and crushed garlic to the vegetable pot.
1/2 pound chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
2 quarts hot water
3/4 pound beef shin or brisket
1/2 pound meaty pork spareribs, cut crosswise into short lengths
Small piece of hambone (optional)
2 ounces pancetta
1 (1-pound) bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 pound pumpkin or winter squash, cut in chunks
6 ounces morcilla (blood) sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1. Place the drained chickpeas
in a large soup pot with the hot water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the froth. Add the beef, pork ribs, hambone and pancetta. When the water comes to a boil again, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
2. Stir the chard,
carrot and pumpkin in with the beans. Prick the morcilla several times with a toothpick or skewer (so it doesn't pop as it cooks) and add it to the pot. Place the peppercorns in a sachet and add them to the pot, along with the salt. Cover again and continue to gently simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Stir in the potatoes,
cover and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove several chunks of potatoes and pumpkin and mash them smooth. Stir the mash back into the pot to thicken the broth.
4. Remove the stew
from heat and set it aside for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors. Remove the meats from the stew. Cut the meats into pieces (remove the bones), then stir the pieces back in with the stew. Remove the sachet, taste and season the stew if desired. Serve the chickpeas, meats, vegetables and broth in shallow soup dishes.