Olla podrida (Castilian pot roast)

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Olla podrida (Castilian pot roast)

Main Serves 10 3h 15 min
An olla is a traditional lidded ceramic pot and apparently podrida comes from the word 'poder' meaning powerful, rather than its more literal translation, rotten. As with so many great stews it should be a combination of meats – some for bite and texture, and some for flavouring the broth. Beans or chickpeas are a must, but the choice of vegetables is yours.


  • 1kg slow roast beef
  • 1 litre chicken, beef or veg stock
  • 750g potatoes, in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small swede, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 500g chickpeas or beans - soaked overnight
  • 550g diced chicken
  • 3 cooking chorizo sausages
  • 2 morcilla (Spanish black pudding), optional
  • 500g green cabbage/chard/cavolo nero


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 3h
  • Step 1

    Put the beef in a casserole with the stock and add enough water to cover. Bring gently to the simmer and cook for 1½ hours.
  • Step 2

    Add the potatoes, swede, carrots, onions, celery, leek, garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile using a separate pan, cover the chickpeas/beans with water and a couple of ladles of the beef broth. Bring to the boil, skim and cook until tender. Drain and put the chickpeas/beans to one side, returning any liquid to the beef pot.
  • Step 4

    Add the chicken, chorizo and morcilla (if using) to the beef and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Step 5

    If you are taking the one pot, Don Quixote adventure, add the cooked pulses and greens (if not then just add the greens) and continue until everything is cooked. Remove the beef and slice thickly onto a serving plate with the sausage and chicken.
  • Step 6

    Pick out the potatoes and swede, add to the chickpeas/beans and mash into a rough purée. Serve with the vegetables and broth.