Cocido for 16…


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.


18 Responses

  1. sunday lunch while i was growing up…i always went for the soup first, then i’d dig for the slices of chorizo. my siblings remember very well that i’d get some potatoes, mash them up on my plate in a tidy hill, moisten the mess with some broth and patis, and that would be my carbs. we all had to remind my sister to get veggies since she’d only have pork on her plate all the time.

  2. MM, yes, my siblings and I remember every detail. these days, when we don’t have the big family lunch at my Mom’s, she is horrified whenever I tell her that we had a lazy Sunday and we sent out for pizza or sushi. for herm, Sunday should always be “big production number day”…nilaga, pochero, cocido, kare-kare, etc.

  3. My mom’s from Bicol and for us cocido is fish (any super fresh fish) in calamansi soup. Something like sinigang but simpler.

  4. Yes this brings memories of sunday lunches. Every sunday in fact until my mom was too old to cook it and sisters had their own families to care for.

    We would normally eat this with toyo and calamansi apart from the tomato sauce with garlic.

    You could also try this. Get everthing in one bowl, put a little rice, a little soup, and mash it like baby food. Then add raw egg and season with your choice of toyo calamansi or tomato sauce. The soup should cook the egg just like sukiyaki. The egg just brings out the flavors. Everyone I suggested this to started eating it with egg thereon. :)

  5. manny’s comment about eggs brings to mind another childhood memory: my mom would always pour some hot soup in my dad’s cup, and break an egg into it. that’s how he liked his nilaga, cocido and puchero.

  6. I checked your recipe for cocido/pochero back in 2007. So it’s supposed to be served with broth like nilaga and with tomato or eggplant condiments on the side. The “pochero” recipes I have actually tasted were like menudo. With tomato sauce — but without liver or raisins — and contain more vegetables like cabbage, pechay Baguio, Baguio beans, and fried saba bananas. I have always associated pochero with saba bananas. Another pochero recipe I tried had the same vegetables but with pork and beans instead of tomato sauce.

  7. udo, it’s all a bit wonky, but not really… cocido a la Madrileno is a Spanish dish of boiled meats (pork, chorizo, morcilla, etc.) with lots of chickpeas (garbanzos) and vegetables. It is quite similar to say a Central American puchero, also boiled meats, some fruit, rootcrops, vegetables, etc. The Philippines got both names, and versions of both dishes, that have since morphed in a myriad of local versions. Spain as colonizers, but lots of South American influence as the galleon trade passed through there… Cocido/puchero is ssentially large pot soup or stew with lots of meat, veggies, and starch. Nilaga, in Filipino, literally means boiled. So “nilagang baka” is boiled beef… When Mrs. MM and I grew up, a huge meal of cocido in some homes was the ultimate Sunday lunch feast for family and friends.

  8. That’s the cocido we have at home, my dad’s favorite. I spy green beans (haricot verts) on your veg platter? We use sitaw, but haricot verts seems yummier, not a huge fan of sitaw anyway. My dad makes an olive oil & bagoong mixture as the condiment.

  9. Oh my. I distinctly remember eating ropa vieja when I was a kid. Tomato sauce, potatoes, peas, and beef with a bit of ‘litid’. So the name of the dish means ‘old clothes,’ how apt.

  10. Every sunday afternoon, we used to have merienda together after visiting our ancestors in the cemetery. I had a big extended family living in one roof, we would have boiled cassava or linugaw or… After chinese new year… Wewould have fried tikoy for months. Yuuck. It was only when i became an adult that i rediscovered that tikoy is actually yummy.

  11. sundays (of long ago and far away) were usually spent with family. main dish was called “nilagang-kumpleto”. it was nilagang pork, chicken, and beef with vegetables (cabbage, carrot, leeks, onion, corn, sweet potato, baguio beans … ). whatever was left over would be served the following day as “pochero”.

  12. good day…this is out of topic, but has anyone tried cooking/eating adobong ugat ng baboy? its a chinese dish…



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