Andorran Escudella is a national favorite in this small country. Escudella originated among the
Catalan people, and some historians claim it to be the first referenced soup in Europe. Andorrans adopted the basic stew recipe and modified it more to their favorite tastes and ingredients. For as long as modern day natives can remember, Andorran escudella has been a revered “special occasion” dish, traditionally served on Christmas.
Very rich, filling and fatty, it features several different meats and animal parts. Some variations include meatballs. Always, however, it is spiced with parsley and garlic – lots of garlic. Andorran escudella also contains plenty of vegetables, which may vary depending on the season. Cabbage, carrots, celery, parsnips and potatoes are common ingredients. It can be served as a soup, or boiled down to more of a stew consistency. Sometimes Andorran escudella is served ladled over a bed of rice in a deep bowl. This recipe calls for rice – and pasta – as inclusive ingredients.
Authentic Andorran Escudella Recipe-
- 2 cups dry white beans (Northern white beans or Navy beans work well)
- 8 chicken feet
- 1 ham bone, with marrow
- 1 beef bone, with marrow
- 8 chicken thighs with skins left on
- 8 oz. raw pork sausage, rolled into little balls (about the size of a nickel
- 8 oz. beef shank, chopped into little chunks
- 16 oz. thick ham steak, cut into little chunks
- 1⁄2 head green cabbage
- 1 large white potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 cup pasta shells
- 14 oz. canned garbanzo beans
- 9 heaping tbsp. of minced garlic
- 1 cup of freshly fine-chopped parsley
- olive oil, for frying (not extra-virgin! You do not want that strong of an olive flavor for this dish)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse the dry beans thoroughly in cold water. Drain them, and then put them in a bowl, covered with fresh water, and allow to soak for one hour.
- After 45 minutes, while the beans are still soaking, cook the raw sausage and beef. In a skillet over medium heat, add just a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic. Fry the sausage balls and beef chunks until browned all over, but not cooked all the way through.
- Put a large, deep cooking pot on the stove, filled with 8 cups of water, over high heat. Add and stir in 4 tablespoons of the minced garlic. Place the (drained) beans, chicken feet, and both bones into the pot. Also add in the fried sausage and beef, along with the cooking juices and residue in the skillet.
- Bring the pot to a vigorous, rolling boil, then reduce heat to just a lively simmer. Cover the pot, and allow to gently cook for two hours depending on the size/thickness of the chicken thighs. You want to cook until the thighs are very tender – a poke with a fork should nearly cause the meat to fall off the bones.
- When the meat is cooked tender, remove the ham and beef bones. Check to see if you need to add more water at this point. You can make escudella as a thick stew, or some like it more soupy. This is your choice. Bring the pot back up to a vigorous boil.
- Now add and stir in the rice, pasta shells, garbanzo beans, cabbage and potato. Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of minced garlic in the mixture, and stir well. Lastly, add and stir in salt and pepper, to taste.
- Reduce the heat to just a lively simmer, and gently cook for about another half hour. When the rice and potatoes are tender, the dish is ready.
- Serve your Authentic Andorran Escudella while nice and hot.
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