- 4bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
- 2beef ribs or pork chops
- 1lamb shank
- 4bacon slices, cut in half
- 1meaty ham bone, or smoked ham hock
- 1cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 4links white butifarra sausage
- 2links morcilla with onions (optional)
- 3carrots peeled
- 4large waxy potatoes, peeled & cut in quarters
- 1/2small cabbage, cut into large pieces
- 2leeks, (roots removed)
- 2celery stalks with leaves
- 1/2lb medium shell shaped pasta (Large pipe rigate pasta most closely resembles the traditional Catalan galets.)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- Sea salt and pepper, as needed
- 1/2lb ground beef
- 1/2lb ground pork
- 1egg, beaten
- 2cloves garlic, minced
- 1tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2tbsp milk
- 1/4cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2tbsp olive oil
Place bacon into a large stock pot. Cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and bacon is just starting to brown. Remove bacon and reserve. Add both types of sausages to the rendered bacon fat in the pot and cook until just browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove sausages and reserve.
Place the chicken, beef or pork, and the lamb shank in the pot with the bacon drippings and sear on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the ham bone or hock, and water sufficient to cover the ingredients by two inches, or about 16 cups. Season with a teaspoon of salt, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and allow to gently simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, skimming foam with a slotted spoon after the first 15 minutes. Wash potatoes, carrots, parsnips, leeks, cabbage and celery stalks. Slice leek and cut other vegetables in large pieces and set aside.
After 30 minutes of simmering, add the chickpeas to the pot. While meats and chickpeas are cooking, prepare meat mixture for meatballs and/or filling pasta shells.
In a large mixing bowl, soak breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Add egg, salt and pepper, garlic, chopped parsley, ground beef and ground pork. Using your hands mix well until combined. Divide the mixture into two parts - one for meatballs and one to fill pasta shells. Make 1 inch meatballs with half of the mixture. If you do not wish to pipe the pasta shells with the remaining mixture, make the additional mixture into meatballs.
After meats and chickpeas have cooked for 1 1/2 hours, add meatballs, sausages and vegetables to the pot and continue cooking on medium for 30 minutes.
Using a pastry bag, pipe the remaining meat mixture into the uncooked pasta shells.
Thirty minutes after adding the items in Step 3 to the pot, turn off the heat and strain the broth into another pot. Keeping the meatballs aside, remove meats, sausages and vegetables to a serving platter, cutting each butifarra in half and the morcillas into quarters. Cover and keep warm. Heat the pot with the broth to a boil and add the stuffed (or unstuffed) pasta shells. Cook about 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and shells are tender but firm. Add the meatballs to the broth with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and warm through.
Serve the broth, meatballs and pasta shells in individual servings bowls. Serve the sausages, meats, potatoes and vegetables on a platter for sharing.