5 Stews To Beat The Cold In Madrid
22 November, 2016
Well, yes – Madrid’s culinary offerings can be overwhelming. Between glasses of beer and tapas – which come in all shapes and sizes – we often forget to set aside some time for delighting in the Madrilenian stew known as a cocido, an essential classic here. This hypercaloric dish, made up of soup, chickpeas and a variety of meat and vegetables, pampered over a long, low fire and served up in two or three scoops, in venues that can vary from vintage to chic, is one of those gastronomic experiences you are not likely to regret. If you happen to be in an eatery which does not specialise in this tasty stew, bear in mind that it usually appears with the onset of the cold weather (October) and lasts until the early heat in May. No wonder, as the dish is purpose designed to beat the cold and build up your strength, so that restaurants offer it as a seasonal delight. Here, then, is a selection of some of the spots where you can enjoy a great cocido.Bon appetit!
Located in the area of the Palacio Real and the Plaza de Oriente, La Bola is one of the most popular cocido eateries in Madrid and a compulsory destination on any wish-list for this much loved stew. Founded in 1870, its outstanding feature when compared to the same dish in other restaurants is that it is made adhering to a strictly traditional method, cooked over a charcoal fire in individual stewpots.
Our second option is a venue that has also been open for many years. Founded in 1839, it offers both cocidos and other delicacies. Located on Carrera de San Jerónimo, Lhardy is just a stone’s throw from the Puerta del Sol. It boasts some magnificent classical-style salons, attesting to the fact that cocido can also be an elegant dish, particularly when you eat it using silver tableware. Royal figures such as Isabella II and Alfonso XII have graced these fine, history-packed premises, where they serve up a delicious and surprisingly light stew which is well worth the price.
Open since 1895, Malacatín is a small restaurant in the district known as La Latina which oozes venerable charm throughout. The cocido ladled up in three scoops is celebrated both for its excellence and generous helpings, so hungry guests are not likely to leave the eatery in a hurry. Their prices are more than reasonable compared to the competition and there is a story doing the rounds that whoever manages to finish a whole cocido here will have it on the house.
While running for far fewer years than the previous spot – it opened in 1998 – the Casa Carola matches others restaurants for quality. It is situated in the heart of the Salamanca quarter and is a surefire destination for anyone wishing to try an exquisite variety of this dish. Their cocido is served in three scoops and among its star ingredients are their fabulous homegrown chickpeas from Segovia.
La Gran Tasca
Open since 1942, La Gran Tasca is another must-visit eatery for seekers of fine cocidos in Madrid. Located in the Chamberí district, their stew is ladled up in two helpings and is up there with the greatest, particularly their excellent soup. The interior design is markedly traditional, including bullfighting motifs.
Book your Vueling to Madrid and get ready to taste one of the most traditional dishes in town.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
22 November, 2016