The time has come, dear travelers, to talk about cocido, or to be more precise, cocido Madrileño completo. The Full Cocido (pronounced co -thee -dough). It’s Madrid’s most typical dish and you should try it, if only to say that you have! Madrid’s most traditional restaurants offer it one day a week only, which increases its mystique. Don’t despair – you needn’t roam the city looking for it! In Casa Alvarez, you lucky omnivores can enjoy it any day of the week! Except for Wednesdays – that’s their day off.
So what is it? Cabbage, carrots, potatoes, chickpeas, and onions stewed together with various nourishing meaty treats – chorizo, tocino (don’t ask), black pudding, ham, and chicken. Spanish Irish stew if you will.
Eating cocido involves some ceremony so here comes the fun part. First they bring you a bowl of cooked vermicelli pasta, then the water everything has been stewed in is poured on top. And there you have your first course – soup. Once you polish that off, the veggies and meat are tipped out onto your plate – they have been kept warm in the dinky lidded earthenware pot that everything was cooked in. It’s a lot of food, so come hungry.
There are many other great Spanish mainstays to have at Casa Alvarez if cocido doesn’t appeal; top tip – Sunday is the best day for spotting locals, and you can visit the Rastro (a huge Sunday open-air market) before lunch to work up your appetite.