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Garbanzos y Salchichas

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 May 2010 at 13:01

Recipe developed and shared by John Rivera, along with this:

Quote Garbanzos y salchichas (chickpeas and sausages), the ubiquitous dish of Spain, so much so that no attention is paid to it, appears everywhere, from the simmering pot at the home to the cazuela at the tavern or the stockpot at the back of the stove in any of the thousands of lower-class eateries around the country. This is not to disparage them, hardly; it is to differentiate from the average restaurant that seeks to rise above the common man’s fare. Garbanzos y salchichas is kin to our American Chili Mac. It is everywhere and well known to all, yet it is nearly invisible within written gastronomy of the United States. Both are comfort foods, those that warm the heart and belly, nourish the body with no pretention but laden with taste and purpose. Like pan frito, a thick slice of bread fried in olive oil, garbanzos y salchichas exists everywhere in Spain, feeding the masses, yet unspoken of…for who discusses the air we breathe? It is everywhere.

Because Spaniards eat a late supper (9:00 or 10:00 PM used to be the norm), a merienda, or mid-afternoon snack, tided one over between lunch and supper. A merienda could be a slice of pan frito; or a bollito – a pastry drizzled with olive oil, with a slab of chocolate tucked inside; or a bowl of garbanzos y salchichas - served as a tapa in the late morning or as a merienda in the mid-afternoon.

There are no hard and fast rules for garbanzos y salchichas other than garbanzos and sausages, both pork and beef preferably, but if only one is to be had it would be pork. More often than not, there will also be chorizo in the pot, to add that spicy zing to the blend. In the southern part of the country, it is served with a wedge of lemon, to be squirted into the bowl just prior to eating, a leftover thread, and an historical connection to the Moorish influence that permeates the country.
 
Ingredients:

1 lb of chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 tbsp sea salt
3 bay leaves
2 beef boullion cubes
1 lb bacon (tocino)
2 lb beef or pork sausage (salchichas), cubed
2 onions, chopped
3-4 tbsp smoked paprika
4-5 garlic cloves
diced potatoes (winter) or tomatoes (summer)
lemon slices (optional)
 
Put the chickpeas into a pot of tepid water to soak overnight. After 10-12 hours, they will have swollen to roughly twice the size. Rinse well in a colander, then put them back in the pot with about 3 inches of water covering them and add about 2 TBSP sea salt. If using regular salt, decrease amount a bit. Add 3 bay leaves andiIn order to add a bit of depth to the broth, add 2 small beef cubes. These are used in everything in Spain!

The key for perfectly done garbanzo's is to bring them up to heat slowly and gently. Do not boil them and keep them just below a simmer for about 2 or 3 hours. You will have to add water once or twice. In order to add a bit of depth to the broth, add 2 small beef cubes. These are used in everything in Spain!

Meanwhile fry up some tocino. Fry it until the fat begins to turn golden and renders out a bit....you do not want it too crisp, but certainly not limp either. Once done, take the cubed sausage and fry it in the fat leftover from the bacon. Yes today this seems unusual but remember- Fat is flavor!.
 
Once they get a nice crisp outer coating spoon them out with a slotted spoon. Drain all except about 3 TBSP of the fat from the pan. Then add 2 chopped onions and begin to sautee. Once they begin to get translucent, add 3 or 4 heaping TBSP of smoked paprika (pimenton) and continue to sautee for a couple more minutes over high heat.
 
Add the onions to the hot garbanzos. Deglase the skillet with some water and add that to the pot as well. Then add 4 or 5 garlic cloves. A seasonal variation to this dish in wintertime meant diced potatoes would be added. In the summertime, fresh tomatoes went in. Looking forward to summer, I added a small (12 oz) can of diced tomatoes.
 
Take the cooked bacon and coarsley cut it up, then add that and the salchichas to the pot. Stir it all in well and simmer, covered, for at least an hour, then it's ready.

This also keeps perfectly fine all day long over very low heat, covered. You  may need to occasionally add water if the level drops below the solids. This is supposed to be a soup. It reheats well and is one of those better-the-next-day type dishes.

 

i prepared it exactly as described by john with one exception: along with the two beef cubes, i also put in two chicken cubes. i did this because i have found the a combination of beef and chicken flavour results in a great "porky" flavour. looking back, however, i should have just used one of each, as this seems like it might be a little salty. no worries ~ i simply diced up a couple of potatoes and toss them in as well so that they could soak up the salt! it was still a little salty, but the potatoes added a great depth that gave the best preparation of this dish during this time where, up here, we still get days that make us wonder if we are headed for summer or still in the clutches of winter.
 
one thing i can say is that when heating the salchichas (and, to a lesser extent, the bacon), you want to keep the heat low enough so that nothing burn but also big enough to get some good browning "maillard" action going on. this will also render out a LOT of fat and leave behind that crisp, crusty goodness that makes well-prepared pork so dang good. stick with it....and then when it seems like it is ready to remove the bacon and salchichas from the heat, stick with it a little more. you will know when things are done right, they will look beautiful coming out of the frying pan.
 
here's a pic of the soup simmering on the stove. not once during the preparation did the water come to boiling, nor did it really "simmer," but everything came up to perfect temperature, consistency and state of done-ness very well:
 
 
one thing i would say is that even though my bacon was "done," it was not quite rendered out as much as i think it should have been. i sliced the slices of bacon into "fifths" before frying and probably should have sliced them into sixths. in any case, they tasted great, they just didn't seem "done" in context of texture after simmering, whereas smaller pieces that were more rendered-out during pre-frying would have gotten them closer to crisp may have resulted in a better look and texture.
 
here's a picture of the finished soup, ready for mrs. tas to sample it:
 
 
as for taste, i was very impressed. other than the saltiness mentioned above, all was outstanding! under nearly all circumstances, i am thinking that the salchichas and bacon will provide enouggh salt, so next time i prepare this, i will use only two bullion cubes (beef, chicken or one of each), and will definitely not add any other salt until tasting near the end. it seems that either because of the extra bullion cubes or because of the 2 TBSP of sea salt that i added when i put the garbanzos on (i will admit i was rather generous with my measuring), it was too much, even for me, and i am a huge salt-o-holic. the addition of potato helped a lot and brought down the saltiness to something that was acceptable and even downright tasty to me, but still a little much for the family.
 
now, salt aside, the flavours of this dish were absolutely first-rate and wonderful! the rich earthiness of the smoked paprika went very well with the deep, seared goodness of the bacon and salchichas; the paprika also provided beautiful colour to this dish. the smooth consistency and nutty flavour of the garbanzos played well off the other flavours and all was balanced by the last-minute addition of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. i thoroughly enjoyed this traditional spanish staple and will most definitely be making it again!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2010 at 16:02
Congratulations on a beautiful dish, Ron! Looks perfect in every way~ sorry to hear it was too salty but your plan of limiting the boullion cubes and sea salt is right. Perfect introduction to traditional Spanish cooking! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 12:02
Yep, this is definitely a make-again dish with lots of flavour. Improvements for my next preparation are outlined above, including limiting salt, rendering/crisping the bacon better and simmering just a little longer to help the flavours marry together.
 
In doing a lot of reading, I can't really pin down the origins of this dish; I've seen similar dishes in regions all around Spain; the Basque country, Madrid, and Asturias all seem to have close relatives of this dish, and the common thread seems to be garbanzos, salchichas and pimentón de la Vera. As is said above, it must truly be universal!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 14:41
Tas,
 
Great looking garbanzos ... This is a very common dish particularly in Madrid Capital and Castila León. The gastronomy of these ancient lands, hail from the monastic kitchens ... The OLLA PODRIDA or bean hot pot, included a wide variety of pork parts, and soaked overnight beans ... each family and Tavern having their own recipe ...
 
The main difference, is that home made pork stock or ham stock or beef stock would be used; not bouillon cubes especially in rural homes.
 
The cold, intensely dry climate of Madrid and the bitterly cold snow laden regions of Castilla León, are veered toward the spoon cuisine, to give substance and warmth to the body.  
 
Thanks for posting.
Margaux.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 14:49
Hi, Margi -
 
Yes, there are times when I curse the convenience of beef or chicken cubes! I rely on them way too much, and need to start weaning myself off of them. They are too salty, and usually the products for good, home-made stock are always right there in the kitchen anyway....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 15:06

Tas,

In traditional cuisines such as the Mediterranean, a good old ham hock or beef bone is always the way to go ... some minced veggies ... and a pinch of salt, Smoked Paprika ( La Vera Pimentón dulce ) and a hefty grind of some black peppercorns ... some beef parts ... I posted a very simple Beef Stock in the MEAT SECTION ... It is quick and easy ...
 
The cubes contain a tremendous amount of Sodium; they are not prepared with sea salt !
 
In the summertime, lentils are more common in Spain as they are much lighter... Have u ever prepared LENTEJAS ? and added fresh tomato, and leek as Arguiñano does ?
 
MARE ...  
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 15:11
I can't say I have, Margi - would that make a whole new dish, or simply another variation of garbanzons y salchichas?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 15:20
Tas,
 
THE SAME DISH ... U ARE SUBBING THE CUBES FOR BEEF STOCK ... so, u could figure out the amount of water you use to mix the cubes ...
 
the beef stock already has water ---
 
same ... however, it shall taste wonderful ... and it is MUCH HEALTHIER ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 15:30

I meant, would the lentils, tomatoes, leeks etc. turn it into a whole new dish? Or would it be another version of this dish?

There is a version of a lentil dish here:
 
 
It has a lot of similar ingredients....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2013 at 15:46

Tas,

 
The main difference is the type of legume ... one can employ navy, northern white beans or cannelli white beans, or lentils ... or pochas ( a large white bean ) or Tolosa red beans ( alubias ); it would taste a little different, however the dish has more similarities than differences ...
 
IT IS JUST THE LEGUME VARIETY ... I have made almost the same dish as you; however, we prefer ALUBIAS BLANCAS ( white beans ) or POCHAS ( large white beans ) ... Once in awhile, we like to prepare the dish with TOLOSA RED BEANS OR TOLOSA BLACK BEANS ( TURTLE BEANS IN USA ) ...
 
You would only be subbing the type of bean; nothing else ...
 
BEANS ARE VERY VERSATILE ... LOL
 
I SHALL POST A PHOTO OF THE DISH WE HAD LAST SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR LUNCH ...
 
YOU SHALL SEE IT IS QUITE SIMILAR ... EXCEPT, I EMPLOY OTHER SPANISH SAUSAGES ... I LIVE IN SPAIN !!! Wink
 
Mare.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2017 at 16:02
Bringing this back to the top, as I plan to make it again, soon, using tomatoes.

Refinements and "improvements" (for lack of a better word) in my preparation re discussed above.

One other thing - I'd recommend taking the cookware off the heat before adding the smoked paprika. In my experience, it greatly reduces the risk of scorching the paprika.

I'll try to get a better photo when this is made. The one above (in the cooking pot) does NOT do justice to this wonderful soup!

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