Cocido in Spanish is the past participle of the verb cocer (“to cook”), so it literally means “cooked something”, that something can be anything like meats (pork, beef, chicken, mutton) and vegetables (cabbage, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, carrots and chickpeas). Cocido on its own is a complete meal, high energy and very nutritious hence during the past this dish was popular among physical laborers. This dish was also popular during winter season where the soup can provide heat hence the vegetables you see this dish uses are winter vegetables.
Cocido was then brought over to other Spanish colonies hence you see it in some Latin and South American countries as well as Philippines, in most of them the soup and meats were retained but the vegetables were replaced by what it available on that country. Another commonality among these regional variants is that cocido is served in multiple courses in the same meal. The first course is the soup, the second are the beans, root crops or plantains, then finally the meat and vegetables. Each course has a Spanish name and it is known as a vuelco (overturn) because the pot is turned over every time to search and empty out the ingredients of each course.
The Filipino Cocido is nothing different, while we don’t serve it already like how the tradition states, we usually serve it as a viand served with rice. The unique thing about the Filipino version is that it uses saba bananas, a type of plantain that is sweet and not as starchy giving this dish a nice sweet taste. Back home this is quite and expensive dish to prepare hence it is usually prepared during special occasions like Christmas which is coming soon.
- In a large soup pot heat oil then brown beef shanks, pork ribs and pork bacon hock on all sides. Remove from pot then set it aside.
- Add more oil if needed then sauté garlic and onions.
- Add peppercorns then put the browned meats back, pour water just enough to cover all the meat. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. After the first hour add the chorizo de bilbao continue to simmer for 1 more hour. If water levels is too low add more water.
- Add the saba bananas cook for 15 more minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, cabbage and green beans then cook for 5 more minutes.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then serve.