Escudella: An Andorran Catalan Stew/ Soup Recipe
Traditional Andorran Catalan Escudella
What is Escudella?
Andorran Escudella and it's origins
Escudella is traditionally served in Andorra throughout the periods of Sant Antoni and Saint Sebastia in January. A period where the weather is usually cold and harsh, often with large amounts of snowfall in the high areas although in modern times it has become a year round stew or soup.
Escudella traditionally uses many of the mountain foods grown and produced in the Catalan areas of the Pyrenees. The escudella name refers to a soup or broth which has the addition of carn d'olla which refers to all the meat used in the broth which includes items such as botifarra- catalan sausages and pilotas- spiced meatballs.
Where is Andorra?
Andorran Food from a tiny Catalan Principality in the Pyrenees
The Principality of Andorra is situated high up in the Pyrenees. The Principality lies in the Mountains between France and Spain with a lowest point of 840 m above sea level rising up to the often snow covered Pic Alt De Compedrosa at 2,942 m
Due to it's high mountain location and borders with Spain and France. Andorran Food has always been strongly been linked with the livestock that line the mountain valleys during the Spring, Summer and Autumn and through it's self-subsisting local people.
Ingredients For the Broth
- 500g Veal, Cut into small pieces
- 2 Chicken Breasts, Cut into small pieces
- 250g Pigs Ears and Snout
- 1 Pigs Trotter
- 1 Veal Bone Marrow
- 1 Catalan Sausage, Cut into slices
- 1 Black Pudding, Cut into slices
- 500g Cooked Chickpeas
- 200g Potatoes, chopped (size is personal preference)
- 1 Cabbage, chopped (size is personal preference)
- 1 Leak, chopped (size is personal preference)
- 1 Turnip, chopped (size is personal preference)
- 1 Parsnip, chopped (size is personal preference)
Ingredients for the meatballs
- 500g Minced meat
- 25g Pine Nuts
- 1 Egg
- 1 Garlic Clove
And for the Stew
- 300g of pasta
Andorra: In the heart of the Pyrenees
How to make your Escudella Catalan Stew/ Soup
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil
- Add to your pot of water your veal, chicken, pigs ear, snout and trotters, bone marrow, chickpeas, leak, turnip and parsnip and boil for 2 hours
- Add your cabbage, black pudding and catalan sausage to your escudella stew and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes
- Add your chopped potatoes to the Escudella mix and cook for a further 30 minutes
- Add your pasta to the escudella stew and leave to cook for a further 20 minutes
- Prepare your meatballs by mising together the mincemeat, egg, pine nuts, chopped garlic and a small amount of breadcrumbs. Sculpt the misture into table tennis ball sized portions and bake for 20 minutes on a baking tray at 180 celcius.
- Serve your escudella broth in soup bowls and add a few meatballs to your broth and servce with crusty rustic bread
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Other great Andorran Catalan Meals to Consider
Butifarra (Catalan Pork Sausage) This is often served with white beans and potentially Allioli (garlic mayonnaise). The Catalans are proud of their sausages and Butifarra is renowned the world over as a great pork sausage
Escalivada- A Catalan Bruscetta type toasted bread with roasted eggplant, pepper and onions, all drizzled in olive oil.
Pan amb tomàquet- A fresh country style bread made with chopped tomatoes, salt and garlic. Great served warm on its own or with a pasta dish or as an accompaniment to a thick winter warming soup after a day on the ski slopes.
And for dessert
Crema Catalana- A Catalan version of Creme Brulee made with a light custard which is topped with caramelised sugar to give a hard top coating.