Not meant in a rude way at all, “Cocido de pelotas” (the name of this dish in Spanish) directly translates to “Stew with balls”. However, it being originally a Galician dish, where certain words have different meaning, it describes a dish of baked pellet.
Stews are common in Spain and specially during festive season, and apparently eaten most commonly on the 25th, Christmas Day. So here you go, get cooking some tasty Christmas balls to enjoy!
NOTE: Recipe serves 6 people.
There are several steps to this recipe. Main ingredients and instructions for stew, and specific ingredients and instructions for baked pellet “balls”.
Jar of chickpeas (if you are using dry chickpeas, soak overnight)
200 gr beef shank
Half of a turkey (or chicken), chopped
Piece of cured (Spanish) ham
4 medium sized potatoes
4 celery branches (without leaves)
1/4 white cabbage
1 medium sized turnip
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Tea spoon of food colouring
Ingredients for baked pellet “balls”
Half a chicken breast (finely minced)
1 Spanish sausage (Normally this recipe is done with a sausage special from “Levante” region, you may use other Spanish sausage, chorizo for example)
2 fresh sausages (not so flavorsome)
2 french toasts (soaked in beaten eggs and then fried)
A touch of salt (to taste)
1 garlic clove
Parsely (to taste)
2 spoons of pine nuts
Tea spoon of grated lemon zest
Instructions for baked pellet “balls”
1) Finely mince your chicken breast, the sausages and the special sausage (or sausage of of your choice).
2) To you meat mix add parsley, garlic, half of your grated lemom zest, pine nuts. Mix well.
3) Then add french toast, grating it with your hands.
4) Gently whisk 3 eggs and add to your mix. Stir and mix well and add a touch of salt and pepper.If you see that your mixture is too sticky to make “balls”, you may add a bit more bread (french toast).
5) Shape your mix into small balls, a size slighter larger than a golf ball.
Now we are ready to make the stew!
1) Boil all meat (chicken, turkey, beef), chickpeas, celery, parnsnip, turnip, and carrots in a big casserole at medium high heat. Boiling water must cover well all your ingredients. If you are using dry chickpeas, add them too (if they have been soaking over night).
2) Whilst the water starts to boil, remove the foam that starts to appear on the top of casserole.
3) Once you have removed foam, cover the casserole and leave to cook for 45 mins at low heat until you see and feel all meats and chickpeas have turned tender.
4) To your boiling casserole, now add potatoes (chopped), cabbage, balls “pelotas” (step-by-step instructions below), salt & pepper and a bit of food colouring. Cover casserole once again and leave at medium heat for 30 mins.