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Caldo Gallego with Gigantes. A Greek Legume for a Spanish Dish.

Gigantes is the name of these huge white Beans I got from my foodie friend Ivy from Kopiaste, straight from Athens! We made a package foodie exchange and will post about the rest of the wonderful Greek foods she sent me very soon!

Back to the 60s, when I was a kid, there was only one TV channel and it was in black and white, we didn’t have playstations nor nintendo games… we had books, street games, nice and rounded dolls (not super skinny barbies) and small plastic cars; but most of all, we had imagination! A cardboard box could become a school bus or a dolls’ house. And after reading Greek Mythology I would become Palas Atenea (Athena) the goddess of courage and wisdom! Back then, those were not adjectives for girls nor women… we were taught to be nice and submissive future wives, but I dreamt I was a smart and powerful goddess, standing on my room’s chair I would point with my sword the dolls sitting on the floor that deserved a place beside Hades, the god for the Death. From here, my tribute to all Greeks :D.

To do this dish, I changed my sword for a chorizo and I used my imagination to make a Caldo Gallego from Galicia with Greek Gigantes and the ingredients I had in my pantry and fridge. The result was spectacular, the taste so rich and the texture of the beans perfect!!!

Thanks Ivy for sending me the Gigantes Plaki recipe, but I finally made up my mind and decided to do this broth that is closer to a stew than to a broth. Maybe you like the recipe and do it yourself :D. All my family was here for lunch and they all Loved Gigantes!!!!

Ingredients for 8 servings: 500 grs. of Gigantes (or normal sized white beans), 1 good ham fresh bone (with a bit of ham still adhered to the bone), 200 grs. smoked panceta (mine was cured), 1 chorizo colorado (I used 200 grs of cured and tender chorizo cular), 400 grs. potatoes, 500 grs. of tender green leaves of grelos (typical veggie from Galicia. I couldn’t find and used half a small cabbage), olive oil and water.

* The previous day cover the beans with cold water, 2 or 3 times the beans height. I had them nearly 20 hours soaking because they were so big.
* Wash the ham bone under tap water and place in a big casserole, fill it with cold water and bring to boil, after 30 minutes discard the water. This is done to take the salt from the bone away, if your bone is an iberian acorn ham one, doesn’t need to have a previous boil.
* Place the bone ham in the casserole again. Rinse the beans and put them in too. Cover with cold water 2 times the height of the beans, or if you want to have enough stock to make soups, then pour 3 to 4 times the height of the beans. Bring to a boil and then simmer at low heat for 10 minutes.
* Meanwhile cut the panceta and chorizo (take peel away) in dices. If you use a galician chorizo don’t cut it and cook it with the peel. Chop the cabbage in big pieces and add to the casserole.
* Simmer the ingredients for 3 hours and a half, shaking the casserole now and then so that you don’t break the beans.
* Meanwhile peel, wash and cut the potatoes in small pieces breaking them with your knife so that they leave the starch out. Add them to the casserole 30 minutes before the beans are done.
* It took me 4 hours to get them soft and tender, but depending on the kind you use it can take less. Keep on testing to see when they will be done.
* Taste and add some salt if you consider it necessary.

This dish will be much better the day after, so strain the beans and keep the stock in a different recipient, once cold, place in the fridge.My casserole wasn’t too deep and I didn’t get much stock, so we had it as a stew.

A proper Caldo Gallego would have some of the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl and everything would be covered with the stock and some drops of olive oil on top. Another tray would be presented with the rest of the beans, chorizo, panceta, potatoes and cabbage.

I’m submitting the picture hereunder to the Jugalbandi‘s Click Event for May… Beans ‘n Lentils.


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05/12/2008 · 11:31 h by Peter G

Gigantes are my favourite Nuria! I love how you made them into a stew with the chorizo…beautiful chica…and it looks very filling!

05/12/2008 · 12:06 h by Peter M

Nuria, a clever use of gigantes…a Spanish pork & beans but much better with the Chorizo. Any bread left?

05/12/2008 · 12:31 h by We Are Never Full

whoooo ooooo! this looks really delicious. that picture of you holding the sausage (chorizo? salchichon?) cracked jonny and i up. no i’m not up to dirty thoughts…

05/12/2008 · 12:43 h by Maryann

We could play in a cardboard box for days! haha

05/12/2008 · 13:21 h by bee

“nice and rounded dolls”
lol. thanks for a beautiful entry.

05/12/2008 · 14:12 h by Núria

Thanks Peter! It’s a compliment comming from a Greek guy! :D

Thanks Peter! It’s also a compliment coming from another Greek guy! :D

You t♥♥ are so dangerous ;-) Yes, it was a chorizo… but too big to have it all in… just used a small part ;-)

Hola Maryann! You also had Imagination! Didn’t you? Lovely games back then.

Hey Bee! How would you say they were not the anorexic type of dolls? They had wonderful cheeks and strong legs and bellies :D

05/12/2008 · 14:59 h by JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

Sounds like me playing childhood games! Heck, I still want to be Athena! Well, actually, I have a big place in my heart for Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt – I think it has something to do with my zodiac sign as a Sagitarrius! :)

That dish looks incredible!

05/12/2008 · 15:57 h by Ann

That looks fabulous!

05/12/2008 · 18:59 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

The dish looks lovely! But I’m having to laugh, because there’s a huge TV show here called “Sabado Gigante!” and now I’m going to think it’s about beans on Saturday… you can see how bad my language skills are. ;-P

05/12/2008 · 23:01 h by giz

What a cool idea that you exchanged local things and then cooked with them. You did a super job. The broth/stew/soup looks wonderful – I love it when you can identify every single thing that’s in a bowl.

05/13/2008 · 5:01 h by Heather

You know that two of my favorite things are pork products and frijoles! This looks delicious. My mom used to cook a pot of white beans with a ham bone, and it always reminds me of childhood to see it.

05/13/2008 · 8:13 h by Núria

Hola Jenn! Artemisa is one of my favourites too!!! Her name in the Roman mythology was Diana and she always had her bow and arrows… aaahhh, those stories were great!

Thanks Ann!

He, he, Jen: this things happen to me all the time two! You know that Gigante means Giant and the spelling and the meaning is the same in greek and spanish… curious uh?

Thanks Giz! Yes the package exchange was so exciting!!! And the result too :D

Hola Heather! I know you love these ingredients, if it’s not too hot, maybe you could try the dish :D.
After the Spanish civil war, there was a “business/job” really amazing: a man would go walking the streets with a ham bone and women at their houses would ask for his services, he would lend the ham bone for one hour for that woman’s stock and then keep on walking with the bone until another woman would ask for him and his bone… those were hunger days!!!

05/13/2008 · 9:50 h by Ivy

I love your recipe Nuria. It’s nice to learn something new and it looks delicious. About the sixties you are so right. We used to play in the streets with lots of friends. Although I did have some pretty dolls, my mom had a sewing machine and I used to play and learn how to sew and I made my own doll and still have it.

05/13/2008 · 12:33 h by Núria

Hola Ivy! So happy you like my Gigantes dish!!!! :D
Those clothes’ dolls were done here too… amazing that you still keep it!!!

05/13/2008 · 14:59 h by Bellini Valli

As kids growing up we had to use our imaginations. I loved to be Mary Poppins and jump off of walls with my umbrella…this is not as dangerous as it sounds. I have had a similar bean dish so know that it is delicious Nuria:D

05/13/2008 · 16:11 h by Pilar - Lechuza

Nuria, fantástica versión del caldo gallego. Te lo dice una gallega de pura cepa.
Un abrazo

05/13/2008 · 19:40 h by Núria

Hey Val! I know that you loved to be Mary Poppins!!! I thought that Bert was a lovely character too! Buen provecho, darling!

Caramba, muchas gracias, Pilar!!! Estoy muy contenta con el resultado final… y mi familia también, he, he :D

05/13/2008 · 21:06 h by Mallory Elise

thank you Nuria for the little award! thats the first internet thingy i’ve gotten, chouette!! i dont know where to put it. i’ll put it on the side and brag about it or something mallory-ish.

i love your pic for the contest! im sending in one from my post on the beer nuts in portugal!


07/25/2008 · 6:02 h by Nathan

Hi Nuria, I was surfing through some of your recipes again and I saw your Caldo Gallego.

Tomorrow I am making a Caldo Gallego and will post it around night time here at latest.

It’s kinda similar to yours but also very different. (because it’s been kinda “Cubanized” I guess but it is delicous)

I’ll share it with you and anyone who happens to bump into it tomorrow :)

07/25/2008 · 8:50 h by Núria

Hola Nathan! Thanks for inviting :D, but on weekends I’m not blogging… I’ll see your Caldo gallego (cubanized) on monday :D… I’m thinking that due to the time difference, maybe you have already post it… I’ll take a look ;-)

Buen fin de semana, chico!

12/09/2019 · 15:44 h by Aurora Rodriguez Aragon

Do you have an Instant Pot versión of Caldo Gallego? Would love a faster version than my go to.

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