In Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther illustrates why a good broth or stock is the foundation of amazing and wholesome cooking. Included are over a dozen master recipes for base stocks and then 40 recipes using these stocks in complete meals. These accessible recipes are appropriate for vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat eaters alike and showcase the nutrient-dense, real food that nourishes the body and soul.
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Heavy with earthy white beans and sturdy root vegetables, caldo gallego is a brothy stew originating from the rocky hills and mountains of northern Spain. Cured pork and starchy root vegetables, both prominent aspects of Galicia’s traditional food pathways, serve to stay the region’s population against cold winters.
Like many regional dishes, caldo gallego varies in its exact ingredients from house to house, garden to garden, and season to season, though pork, white beans, roots, and greens always make an appearance. A friend who lived with her extended family in rural Galicia during her childhood described to me the tradition of serving this stew: First, the broth is strained from the solids and served alone as an appetizer to wet the palate for the meat, beans, and vegetables, which are served later, as you might do with a pot roast.
Whether you serve the soup in courses or, as is more common today, in one hearty bowl, you’ll find this to be a satisfying and deeply nourishing supper.
Galician Pork and Bean Stew with Greens Recipe
• 1 cup dried white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed well
• 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 yellow onion, peeled chopped
• 1 smoked ham hock, about 1 pound
• 2 bay leaves
• 8 cups water
• 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced into rounds 1⁄4 inch thick
• 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
• 1 pound turnips, peeled and chopped into 1⁄2-inch cubes, greens reserved
• Finely ground sea salt
• Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
1. Dump the beans into a mixing bowl and pour enough water into the bowl to cover the beans by 1 inch. Stir in the baking soda, cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel, and let the beans soak for at least 8 and up to 24 hours. Drain them and rinse well.
2. Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic and onion, sautéing in the hot oil until they release their aroma, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the ham hock to the pot, searing on each side.
4. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Dump the soaked beans into the pot and then drop in the bay leaves. Pour in the water, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat easily pulls away from the bone and the beans are tender.
5. Once the ham hock and beans simmer into a lovely, rich broth, drop in the chorizo and potatoes. Continue stewing the meats, beans, and potatoes together for 20 minutes more, or until tender.
6. Drop the turnip cubes into the pot. Set the reserved turnip greens on your cutting board. Trim off any tough stems and discard them and then chop the remaining greens coarsely. Stir the greens into the stew and continue cooking, covered, 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the greens are tender.
7. Turn off the heat. Remove the ham hock from the pot with a pair of tongs. Pull off and shred any meat that adheres to the bone with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and discard the bone. Season the stew with salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm, with additional olive oil sprinkled on top.
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Reprinted with permission from Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, by Jennifer McGruther. Copyright 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, and imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright 2016 by Jennifer McGruther