It is a known fact that Filipinos celebrate the Christmas and holiday season the longest, long after the carols stop airing on the radio. Families and friends still get together on New Year’s so this Spanish Cocido and Coconut Leche Flan are ideal if you’re expecting company.
The Spanish Cocido or Cocido a la Madrilena, as my mom used to call it, was a Sunday family ritual for us. In my cookbook My Mother’s Philippine Recipes I wrote about how we would sit together every week after Sunday mass to partake of this multi-ingredient meal. This is the kind of dish that looks so elaborate yet is simple to cook. My mom described it best when friends asked how she cooked it: “Just boil, boil and boil it all together.”
Friends have asked me what’s the difference between the Cocido and the Filipino Pochero. They have almost similar ingredients, but differ in how the sauce is cooked and served. In the Cocido, the different meats of ham, beef, chicken pork and the vegetables are simmered in a clear soup stock and served this way, with the homemade tomato sauce served on the side, as a gravy.
In the classic Philippine entree Pochero, the meats and vegetables are cooked in the tomato sauce-based broth and served as a tomato stew. Both dishes are wonderful and often enjoyed for large gatherings.
And what is a Filipino party without flan? My Coconut Flan recipe is from my cookbook My Mother’s Philippine Recipes, as well. This type of flan is richer, thicker and more decadent which makes it ideal for the holidays.
If you’re having a get-together for New Year or anytime soon, these two offerings are just what you need. You can make the flan dessert ahead of time. And you can start simmering the Cocido meats a day before, then simply cook the vegetables before serving on the day of the meal. Making these ahead clears up your time in the kitchen, making more room for time with the family.
As you grasp your coins and grapes at the stroke of midnight to ring in the New Year, let me wish you and your families much prosperity and happiness for 2018. May we all find ways to live well, love well, to realize our dreams and prove our worth in the year to come.
Manigong Bagong Taon po sa inyong lahat!
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