Dreamy Steamy Cocido

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:

Carmen shows off her expert ladling technique.
That’s Ana in the back there, drafted in by Team Tapas as reinforcement.

Next in line are the chickpeas, veg and potatoes:

There's also a tomato-cumin sauce to go with the chickpeas, plus some cabbage, onions and pickled green chillies

Olga looking all dreamy….
There’s also a tomato-cumin sauce to go with the chickpeas, plus some cabbage, onions and pickled green chillies to be tossed in, according to taste.

Last up is the meat component:

From left to right: Beef, chicken, pork belly, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage).

From left to right: Beef, chicken, tocino (pork belly), chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage).

The restaurant was heaving, and they have several dining rooms.


I do quite like the light fittings 🙂

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!

35 thoughts on “Dreamy Steamy Cocido

      1. ladyofthecakes Post author

        You should go to Portugal. They have the most fabulous cheeses, which they bring as a ‘starter’ for every meal. With GOOD bread. All you have to do is to order the soup of the day (often vegetable based), and you have yourself a fantastic meal.


  1. Kim G

    Looks yummy. The decor reminds me a bit of Dalí, a tapas restaurant in Boston (Cambridge, actually) that serves fabulous food in a place where every single square centimeter of wall space is covered with something busy — pictures, fake hams, interesting tiles, gilded textured plaster, you name it. It’s quite the sensory overload to eat there. In a good way, of course.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the more we learn about Span, the more we wonder to what extent Almodóvar’s films aren’t merely documentaries.


    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      It’s freezing cold. Just been out for tapas with some friends to comfort myself. I’ll be on a tropical island in 10 days, that’s all I can think about right now. Ooooh, to pack my suitcase full of summer dresses….!


      1. Expat Eye

        SO JEALOUS! Pissing rain in Riga. Arrived back tonight 😦 I did buy some nice new dresses in Dublin though – good old Spanish chain stores with 50% off 🙂


      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        I nearly typed Mango there instead of Zara! True. Zara’s stuff is all sludge coloured. But it combines well with the more lively stuff, so I get my ‘basics’ from there a lot of the time.


      3. Andean

        A tropical island… bathing suits… and a wrap or two. Sundresses, sandals, yes, deserving of a night out on the town, if you get off the beach that is…

        The NY area is very cold and rainy today also. We have already had three freezing snow storms… ugh. There can never be too many vacations, and for me to the tropics.


  2. Anna

    Oh my. This seems right up my alley – how come I’ve never even heard of this dish before? Also, I thought the chick peas in the 2nd photo were actually corn, and I LOVE corn, and I got super-excited.



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