Escudella: A winter stew
In winter, escudella is one of the most traditional Andorran dishes. It is a Catalan stew made from seasonal vegetables, meats and local sausages.
In the olden days, escudella was served either with the broth and vegetables first and then the meat, or all together. It was an everyday dish that was often prepared with whatever could be found in the pantry. In times when supplies were scarce it was made with rice, vegetables and hardly any meat. But on important occasions and major celebrations they would add more flavourful cuts of meat like bacon or homemade sausage, pieces of ham, chicken or lamb, and cooked pasta shells.
The celebrations of Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian in January are a good opportunity to try the popular escudellas that the religious brotherhoods prepare for the masses. It is a very deep-rooted tradition in Andorra that is well worth seeing. But if you decide to make it at home, give it the traditional touch by buying ingredients from local producers like local sausages from Cal Jordi or Els Escaubells and vegetables from Cortals Llumeneres or Casa Folch.
Yum! Get ready for a delicious winter…
Preparation for 4 people:
Chop the all the meats except the sausages.
Bring 6 litres of water to a boil and add the diced onions and celery, sliced carrots, chickpeas and beans (which you soaked the night before), the bones, the pork suet and chopped meat.
After boiling for 2 hours, add the salt, cut the white cabbage into small pieces and the sausages into thick slices.
After 20 minutes, add the diced potatoes and pumpkin, the noodles or the rice and leave it on the fire for another 20 minutes.
Before serving, remove the celery and the larger bones and, from these, cut the meat into cubes and add it back to the pot.
Let the escudella rest for about 5 minutes and then serve. A really exquisite dish!
The preparation of this recipe takes about 3 hours and is easy to prepare, an ideal dish for winter.
Ingredients for preparing the mixed escudella:
-150 g bacon
-200 g beef shank
-1 beef bones
-3 veal bones
-3 tender pork backbones
-1 pork ear
-100 g white beans
-100 g chickpeas
-100 g thick noodles or rice
-50 g pork suet
-150 g pumpkin
-100 g of white sausage
-100 g of black onion sausage
Source: Costumari i receptari de la gastronomia andorrana
Authors: Maria Dolors Ribes Roigé - Josep Ma Trogeut Ribes
Edition: October 1993