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Escudella – Andorra National Dish – Day 7/Dish 4

January 13, 2010

A short journey from Algeria, north across the Mediterranean Sea takes us to the European continent.  Perched on the border of Spain and France is the Principality of Andorra, our next stop.  Andorra is a landlocked country of approximately 88,000 people in the Pyrenees Mountains.   Unlike most self-ruled nations, Andorra’s sovereignty is shared between the President of the French Republic and the Bishop of Urgell, Catalonia, Spain.  Interestingly Andorra remained in a state of war (officially “hostility”)with Germany from World War 1 until 1959 since it was not party to the Treaty of Versailles. 

Andorra’s cuisine is similar to many other European Nations in that it is influenced by its neighbors and consists of dishes created from locally available produce, both meat and vegetable.   

The national dish of Andorra is Escudella.  This dish is a stew made from gelatinous bone broth and Chicken, Ham and Sausage with Veal or Beef bones.  Similar to many traditional home cooked dishes, Escudella has many variations to its fundamental recipe.  I have chosen a nice recipe from Yum-Recipes.com called Escudella De Pages, to which I have made a few small modifications.  It is basically a peasant’s dish.

While the dish is easy to make, shortcuts are not appropriate for this dish and it does take some time to prepare.  It is best served fresh and hot.  I give it a 2 for difficulty, mainly because it takes time to prepare.

My impression of the dish is very positive.  The aroma while making it is as “comforting” as it comes.  The appearance as it finishes cooking is pleasant beige.  Although not visually stunning, it is not an unattractive dish.  And what it lacks in contrasting colors and vibrancy it makes up for in flavor.  A great comparison is split pea soup with it’s mild and comforting tongue coating yumminess.  This one will be made again and again in this kitchen.  As soon as I return from our journey that is…

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Escudella – Andorra National Dish – Day 7/Dish 4

Rating:

Appearance: 3 out of 5

Aroma: 4 out of 5

Taste: 4 out of 5

Total:   11 out of 15

 Ingredients:

2 cup Dry White Beans

1 small Ham Bone

1  Marrow Bone (veal or beef)

1/4  Chicken or 2 small serving pieces( I used 2 breasts skin on and bone in)

1lb package raw Pork Sausage(I used Neese’s Country Sausage brick) Formed into 1” balls

2 slices Cured ham thin slices, (about the size of the palm of your hand)

8-12 cups Cold water (ingredients need to be covered with water)

1/2 head Cabbage cut in chunks

1 large Potato cut in eighths

1/4 cup Raw Rice

1 cup Noodles(thin recommended but I have seen nice results with shells)

1 cup Cooked Chick-Peas

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 tsp Salt

 Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Gently cook sausage balls in cast iron Dutch Oven or pot/casserole w/vegetable oil over medium heat till cooked and browned.

Rinse the beans in cold water and tie the bones in cheesecloth.

Put both with the chicken, cooked sausage and ham in the pot or casserole with 8 cups of cold water and salt.

Bring to a boil, reduce flame, and cook gently, covered, about 2 hours or until beans are cooked and chicken very tender.

Remove ham and marrow bones and discard them. (I have seen recipes that call to extract and use the marrow)

Put chicken aside. If there is only a little liquid left, add a bit of water for the cooking of the remaining ingredients and bring soup to a rapid boil.

When it is boiling, put in cabbage, potatoes, rice, noodles, chick-peas, and pepper to taste.

Continue cooking over medium flame for 30 minutes (or until newly added ingredients are cooked through).

A few minutes before serving, put chicken meat, removed from bones and shredded, in the pot to heat.

Season to taste and serve w/ fresh French Bread.

It should be as thick as split pea soup.  It is as much stew as soup and constitutes a hearty one-dish meal.

Join us next time when we return to Africa for Angolan Muamba De Galinha or Palm Oil Chicken Stew.

www.yum-recipes.com/Recipe/Spanish/46854_Catalan_Peasant_Soup__Escudella_De_Pages.html

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 8:29 pm

    Hey Foodies! Eric here…

    I just had the Escudella for leftovers tonight. It had completely solidified in the container. I reconstitued it with water as I heated it on the stove. It was a decent consistency, but had lost almost all of the smokey and subtle complexity of the day before. It was still very edible but bland and not interesting. I had read that this might happen, but most stews are better on the second day. In this case, not so much. Definitely keep the batch small as leftovers are not recommended. I added a delicious crusty bread for dipping and a fresh salad and that helped.

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