Colin Clark
Seamus Mullen's Cazuela of Mongetes & Cockles
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Cazuela of Mongetes & Cockles

Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better, Seamus Mullen / December 2012

Adapted from Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better by Seamus Mullen

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)

Caldo del día (chicken stock):

  • 1 lg. stewing chicken
  • 4 lg. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 lg. onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the back of the knife
  • 2 slices bacon or 1 small chunk dried ham, like prosciutto or Serrano, or cured ham bone
  • 1 lb. dried garbanzo beans

Combine all ingredients in large heavy-bottomed pot; add 3 gallons water; bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 3 hours, skimming off impurities as they form on the surface; strain; chill; reserve in refrigerator.

Beans:

  • 2 cups dried mongetes (Catalan white beans), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 lb. slab bacon
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 lg. carrot, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 2 guindilla peppers or 2 pieces ancho chiles
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 cups caldo del día

Place all ingredients in pressure cooker; bring to a boil; reduce heat to lowest setting; cook until beans are tender (25 to 30 minutes); remove from heat; cool; drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; discard bacon, onion, carrot, garlic, chiles, and bay leaf; place beans in airtight container; cover; reserve.

Assembly:

  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil, preferably Arbequina, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lg. shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lb. artichokes, trimmed and halved or quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 dozen cockles, soaked in cold water 30 minutes
  • 2 Tbsps. parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-low heat; add shallot, garlic, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 3 minutes); add artichokes and wine; cook until tender (about 8 minutes); add 2 cups reserved beans; season; cook a few minutes until flavors come together.

  2. Add cockles and a little cooking liquid from beans if needed, so liquid covers cockles; cover pot with a lid; steam until cockles open (about 4 minutes); remove from heat; discard any cockles that do not smell sweet.

  3. To serve, discard thyme sprigs; spoon cockles, artichokes, and beans into large serving bowls; drizzle with oil; sprinkle with parsley.

Chef’s Note: Beans can also be cooked in large heavy-bottomed pot, covered, until tender (about 1 1/2 hours).