Caldo Gallego (basically, Galician Stew) is a childhood favorite of the Grub Blogger. If I weren’t eating at home or at a Chinese restaurant, I was chowing down at La Tacita de Oro on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They specialized in comida china-criolla. Everyone who worked there was Chinese, but you ordered in English, and they yelled into a microphone down to the basement kitchen in Spanish. A totally normal place for me as a kid, but pretty wild thinking back on it. Apparently, there had been a steady stream of Chinese immigrants to Cuba over the years, and many fled Fidel’s revolution for the States to continue their journey as entrepreneurial migrants. La Tacita had two sides to their menu. One with classic, Chinese fare and the other with Cuban food. Every once in a while they would have caldo gallego as a special, and I loved it. Ate it right up through high school, until, sadly, they went out of business. The broth was slight thick, with small pieces of some sort of pork, delicious bits of chorizo, potatoes, a few white beans and something green. After I got into cooking, I found a serviceable recipe that pretty much replicated the flavor, using store-bought salt pork for the porky element. Then, the Porcine Revolution hit, and I decided to go all in. I searched the Internet, and found that caldo gallego was a stew that used white beans as a base, and pretty much whatever was around meatwise as a flavoring agent. Some of the older recipes I found used red cabbage, as well. So, I bought a head of cabbage, some potatoes and collard greens, but decided against any vegetable intrusion for this batch – this was all about the pork. I went to the local supermarket and bought the less sought out cuts of meat, which I supplemented with some chicken bones and Spanish chorizo I had in the freezer.
I used my homemade salt pork, and was ready to go. Nothing fancy about this dish. Toss all the ingredients in a pot, cover with water, and simmer until the meat and beans are tender.
Remove meats, and slowly sauté, rendered the fat from the salt pork, until crisp.
Serve meat as garnish to put into the soup.
This post is part of the Porcine Revolution.