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Olla Podrida

Origin: Castilla y León, Burgos

Olla podrida

Olla podrida in Spanish means rotten pot. We know it's not a very tasty name, but the dish that carries it is. Olla Podrida is an excellent example of Spanish food: chickpeas, meat (specially pork) and lots of flavor.

According to some versions, it's rather curious name was intended as olla poderida (which would mean powerful), either because of its ingredients or because in the past only rich people could afford it. However another theory says that the name comes from its very slow cooking on the fire, so slow in fact that the products obtain a very soft texture.

It's originally from Burgos (Castilla y León) and it's cousin of cocido madrileño.

There are many stews in Spain that receive the name of "olla" (pot) or cocido (cooked), though it refers to the same. Traditionally ollas were cooked very slowly in large pots, and their characteristic is the variety of ingredients: legumes, vegetables and meat, and olla podrida is its best representative, it was even called the princess of ollas during the Spanish golden age and it was elevated to the category of symbol of the Spanish cuisine by many writers such as Cervantes and Lope de Vega and is even mention by Don Quixote.

During the second half of the 19th century olla podrida was almost extinguished in Spain, but France had already inherited it when Queen Anne of Austria (consort of Louis XIII) brought it to the French courts tables.

Olla podrida's name changed to "pot-pourrí" which is the current word for dried plants and flowers all mixed together as air freshener. Nowadays the dish has reappeared and it's easy to find, specially in Burgos and surroundings towns.

Olla podrida is mostly consumed during the winter due to its high caloric content. We recommend you ask the locals for the best olla podrida in town.

Olla Podrida | Beans and Meat Stew

Olla podrida

Ingredients (10 portions):

*Most of these ingredients are dispensable.

  • 300 grams of haricot beans
  • 500 grams of beans
  • 1 pig ear
  • 1 trotter
  • 1/2 kilo of marinated pork ribs
  • 3 blood sausages
  • 3 chorizos
  • 1/2 kilo of ox meat
  • 1 hen
  • 1 duck
  • 1 quail
  • 250 grams of lamb
  • 1 piece of bacon
  • 100 grams of chicken liver and gizzards
  • 2 onion
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbs of flour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  • Soak the beans 24 hours in advanced in a clay cooking pot. In another pot soak the ear and trotter
  • After the soaking scrape the meats with a knife and clean properly with plenty of warm water
  • Put the beans in a pan with plenty of water and put on the fire at medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it cook for several hours, until the beans are soft
  • Dice the onion and garlic and half green pepper, stir-fry along with the bacon, then add 2 tbs of flour and stir. This will be added to the broth a little before the cooking is done
  • In a large pan cook the ox meat, the lamb, the hen, the duck and partridge cut (all three cut in cubes), the livers and gizzard
  • Add an onion, the celery and leeks and the remnant green pepper, the sliced carrots, plenty of garlic, the bay leaf and lots of oil
  • Cover all the ingredients with cold water and cook at maximum heat, skimming continuously
  • Add the trotter and ear to the beans pan, with some of their broth, add a little broth to the meat pan too
  • Let the meat cook a couple of hours at low heat, and add broth when necessary. Some meats will be tender sooner than others, remove from the pan those that are ready
  • Once all the meats are ready add them to the olla podrida and drain the broth to serve as soup
  • Traditionally the soup is served first along with some bread slices. The other ingredients were served later, each diner will choose whatever they like