After an entire week of stuffing myself with glorious Portuguese food, my first outing less than 16 hours after arriving back home involved… food. And lots of it. ‘Team Tapas’ was on its annual mission to indulge in the best cocido to be had anywhere in the province, served by a restaurant called Finca Los Valdespinos in the village of Carmarenilla, 25 mins drive from Toledo.
Cocido is a typical dish of central Spain (of Madrid, in particular, and often referred to as “cocido madrileño”), and a very simple affair. It’s a stew made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans to readers from the US), noodles, vegetables, potatoes and different kinds of meats.
Unlike the stews you may be familiar with, cocido is not just slopped into a soup dish and put in front of you, but served up separately, in three courses. First comes the broth with noodles:
Next in line are the chickpeas, veg and potatoes:
Last up is the meat component:
The restaurant was heaving, and they have several dining rooms.
The decor of the place is … eccentric, to say the least. The rafter-riding witch you can see up there is not alone. She has an army of sisters, accompanied by straw chickens and all manner of rural paraphernalia cluttering up every available corner. It’s quite overwhelming. By contrast, what comes out of the kitchen is not just in excellent taste, but nothing short of divine!