Cacerola de Cordero

cacerola de cordero

November 17th 2011

I had some leftover lamb shoulder from the weekend and half a Morcilla de Burgos, so a casserole combining the two seemed like a good option. I was inspired by some slow cook recipes I looked at for Cocido Madrileño, which combine meat, chorizo, morcilla, chickpeas and vegetables. There seems to be some conjecture about the origins of this kind of dish, possibly coming from Jewish settlers to Spain, who needed long slow cooked meals throughout the Sabbath – work isn’t allowed, so meals have to be prepared beforehand. The supposition here is that when Jews converted to Christianity, during the Inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries, pork was incorporated into their food, to prove that they were good Catholics.

making lamb stock

Lamb Stock Recipe:

Lamb bones (leftover from a roast leg or shoulder of lamb)
1 large onion
6 pieces of garlic
2 sticks of celery
2 or 3 carrots
a few stalks of rosemary, sage and thyme
2 bay leaves
a pinch of sea salt and a few black peppercorns
1 pint of water

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook gently for an hour or so. I used a pressure cooker and cooked them for about 20 minutes. When done, discard the bones, herbs and vegetables.

lamb fat

Cacerola de Cordero recipe (serves 4 – 6 people):

1 pint of lamb stock
1 and 1/2 lb chopped lamb (leftover from a lamb roast)
chopped lamb fat (optional – from a lamb roast)
4 slices of smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
half a Morcilla de Burgos
a quarter of a hot chorizo ring (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
2 medium carrots (chopped)
1 leak (chopped)
5 medium tomatoes (blanched and chopped) or a tin of plum peeled tomatoes
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
3 dessertspoons of tomato purée
1 small squirt of anchovy paste
1 lb cooked or tinned chickpeas (1/2 lb dry weight)
1 teaspoon of chopped, dried chilli (or to taste)
1 heaped teaspoon of hot smoked pimentón
1 heaped teaspoon of sweet pimentón
2 heaped teaspoons of: a pinch of sea salt, 8 black peppercorns, rosemary, sage and thyme – ground with a mortar and pestle
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 heaped dessertspoonful of plain flour
1 glass of red wine
2 dessertspoons of sherry vinegar
a slug of extra virgin olive oil

onions

I had some soft white fat on my lamb and since the flavour is in the fat, I melted it gently in the olive oil, with the chopped chilli. Any excess fat can be skimmed off of the casserole after cooking, that way the flavours can mingle. Once the fat has melted, cook the onion until it goes translucent,

bacon, chorizo and garlic

then add the bacon, chorizo and garlic. When the pimentón in the chorizo starts to colour the oil,

carrots, celery and leek

stir in the chopped carrots, celery and leak. Once the vegetables have been coated in oil,

peppers

the peppers can go in too. Stir in the chopped (or tinned tomatoes),

chopped lamb

followed by the lamb

garbanzos

and then the chickpeas (garbanzos). I like to use dried, soaked and then cooked pulses, they have better texture than tinned, which always seem a bit soft to me.

morcilla de burgos

Remove the skin from the morcilla and break it up into the cacerola – it will add flavour and help to thicken the dish. Next pour in, or in my case, spoon in the nicely jellied (from the bones) lamb stock – this will dissolve quite quickly. Stir in the herbs,

pimentón

followed by the pimentón. Keep stirring and add the bay leaves, tomato purée, anchovy paste, wine, vinegar and flour. Bring the casserole to a simmer and taste it – this is a good point to add a little extra chilli, salt, tomato purée, etc. (if you think it’s needed).

simmering

Put the lid on the casserole and cook in a preheated oven at 100º C for three or four hours. give it a stir occasionally and check the flavour. Skim any fat off the surface if necessary. If you have the time and patience, this will taste even better cooked the day before and reheated. Serve with potatoes or toasted sourdough bread, spread with roasted garlic.

This could be cooked on the stove as a cocido (stew), but I find that cooking in the oven is more convenient, nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

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About Mad Dog

https://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/
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5 Responses to Cacerola de Cordero

  1. ¡Olé que rico! Are you sure you´re not Spanish?! This looks gorgeous, I adore lamb and I love casseroles. I always try and save some roast lamb for making either a casserole or Shepherd´s Pie afterwards as I think the flavour of “twice” cooked is incredible. Great step by step photos too.

  2. This is wonderful! What a great way to use up leftover lamb. I’d heard about the popularity of pork in Spain being because people wanted to prove they weren’t Jewish or Arab….I wonder if that’s true here, but it may also be because pork is much easier to produce when the land is poor and hot. Thanks for this recipe – as you said on mine, very different to mine, but just as delicious!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks. The pork thing was quite serious – the Inquisition used it to denounce people who didn’t like it. There may have been similar things happening in the South of France too – the Cathars were massacred for their religious tolerance!

  3. Pingback: Lamb and Broad Bean Stew | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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