Escudella de Nadal
Escudella is a hotpot of meat and vegetables with noodles or some other pasta. It is a typical Catalan dish, eaten mainly in winter, and you can find as many varieties as there are homes. Escudella amb carn d’olla (with meat from the saucepan), which is typical at Christmas, contains a pilota, a mixture of minced meat, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and peppers made into a big meatball which is cut into slices for serving.
Escudella is traditionally the first dish of Christmas lunch here, when it is usually made in a particular way, with sopa de galets, a soup of big pasta shells that are sometimes stuffed with small meatballs.
Serves 8: 1 piece of veal brisket, 1 piece of lamb brisket, 2 black botifarra sausages, 2 white botifarra sausages, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 pig snout, 1 pig's trotter, 1 piece of pig's tail or backbone, 1 ham bone, 1 quarter hen or chicken, 4 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 stick of celery, 1 parsnip, 1 turnip, 1 leek, a handful of soaked chick peas, half a cabbage, 300 g pasta shells, salt, flour and water.
- For the pilota:150 g minced veal, 150 g minced pork, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 egg, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, biscuit flour and bread crumbs.
Put the meat, apart from the sausages and the meat for the pilota, in a saucepan of cold water.
Boil it for one hour, frequently removing the foam, and add the chick peas.
After an hour, add the vegetables, except for the potatoes.
Meanwhile, mix all the meatball ingredients and keep mixing them with your hands until they are well bound together. Make an oval-shaped ball.
After the escudella has cooked for another hour add the potatoes, the sausages, the pilota coated in flour and the salt.
Leave it to simmer for another hour and, when everything is cooked, strain the stock and boil the pasta.
Serve the soup first and then the rest (you can separate the meat and vegetables and slice the meatball and the sausages).