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12 July, 2011


(Pron: Gar-BAN-thos)

This is a Spanish stew of chick peas, potatoes, pork and sausage which is native to Catalonia, but versions can be found all over Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. Garbanzos is very cheap to make, but is at least as tasty as dishes costing ten times as much to prepare. Many Barcelona tapas bars offer a version of Garbanzos. Cook plenty because this dish is very popular – especially with kids! This recipe serves about 4 generous helpings.


1 tbsp olive oil.
1 large Spanish onion, coarsley chopped.
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
200g salt pork/uncooked bacon/pork shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks.
100g chorizo (Pron: Cho-REE-tho), cut into bite-sized chunks.
1 tbsp sweet paprika powder.
1 tsp dried chilli flakes.
1 cup of tomato passata (or 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp tomato paste).
1 cup of vegetable stock.
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks.
2 cans chick peas, drained.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the onions, garlic, pork and chorizo then stir and fry for 2 miunutes or so, until the meat starts to brown and the onion relaxes. Add the paprika and chilli flakes and stir. Add the passata, stock, potatoes and chick peas and stir well. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for half an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked. Mash a few chick peas and some potato against the inside of the saucepan with your stirring spoon; this will help to thicken the sauce slightly - so continue until you have the desired consistency. 


Garbanzos is best served with huge chunks of fresh crusty bread. There are no hard and fast rules in the Spanish eating culture, and most dishes can be eaten at any time of the day or night. Garbanzos, like many Spanish dishes, are good to eat when served just warm or even cold. Leftovers can be served as a snack in a warm pitta bread pocket with fresh tomato and grated cheese.


Due to its peasant heritage, this dish is also cooked with rabbit, goat, wild boar and other game. Honey may also be added to adjust the sweetness - especially where the dish is intended to be eaten cold. Chorizo is almost always used - whatever meat is added. Pig cheek and tongue are also used, but most other offal is avoided. Leaving out the meat entirely makes for a tasty vegetarian stew.

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