This succulent stew is typical of the Maragatería district to the northwest of Astorga close to the mountains of León. The story goes that, unlike elsewhere in Spain, the locals used to serve the soup at the end of the meal in case they were attacked by the Moors and had to give it as miss, so that they would at least have eaten the most nourishing part of the meal--the meat, chickpeas and vegetables.
Prep Time: 45 min. [PT45M] plus soaking time
Cook Time: 3 hr. [PT3H]
10 oz cured pork shoulder
Soak the pork, the ear, and the chickpeas for 12 hours. Place the meats in a large pot, add water and cook for 15 minutes. Add the stewing hen, the chickpeas tied up in a net, the washed and chopped potatoes, carrots and leeks, the parsley, and the whole chorizo. Simmer for about 2 1/2 hours and when nearly done, season with salt. Finely chop the cabbage, wash and cook in salted boiling water with the pork shoulder until soft. Dumplings: Beat the eggs, season and add the chopped liver, serrano ham, chorizo, and garlic. Add bread crumbs to make a paste and shape into large dumplings. Coat in bread crumbs and boil in the stock. When everything is cooked, strain off the stock and cook the noodles in it.
Serve all the meat first, then the vegetables with the chickpeas, and finally the noodle soup.
Selected by María Jesús Gil de Antuñano
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