We haven’t had a massive cocido for a Sunday meal in over a year. Growing up, large sit-down Sunday feasts were a weekly event, and relatives alone (plus family friends) could fill several tables. But today’s somewhat smaller nuclear families, differing interests on weekends, the proliferation of restaurants, fewer and fewer folks having staff or space or desire to serve parties at home, and in our particular case, our parents on both sides of the family long gone, means less and less of these Sunday feasts. Over the weekend we had several folks from our Cebu office visiting town so we invited them to Sunday dinner. For 16 people total, a massive cocido was the meal of choice. Relatively easy to make, perfect on a rainy and cool Sunday night, and there was beef, pork or chicken plus lots of vegetables for everyone to find what they liked…
I featured our cocido recipe over six years ago, but it hasn’t changed much at all over the years. Make sure you make the tomato and eggplant sauces/condiments to serve on the side (they are like bagoong to a good kare-kare). And relax the rules of eating. Some folks like to start with broth only, others mix meats and veggies with soup, yet others chop everything up, mix it with rice and lots of tomato sauce. :) If folks want some olive oil on the side to add to their mix, provide it. I used to like a touch of vinegar too. Other folks reach for a side dipping sauce of patis. The variety is the point, and the fun, in my opinion. It’s all so festive, and yet all so casual and familiar.
The main dining table had two large bowls of broth, while the meats and veggies were served on a buffet table. I thought I had cooked up more than enough (6-7 large beef shanks, two kilos of pork, two kilos of chicken plus LOTS of veggies) to ensure we had leftovers for ropa vieja today… but it was ALL WIPED OUT last night! :) If you are planning to do this, make sure you have a HUGE pot to cook it all in. Despite using the biggest Le Creuset dutch oven manufactured by the company, I had to do this in stages, and removed the beef and pork while the chicken and veggies finished off. This was not the best way to do it, as the beef and pork could harden up if left out of the broth for too long. Nevertheless, it all turned out very nicely. And it reminds me to have these “Sunday Feasts” a bit more often in the months ahead.