This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Is the national stew rather than a soup. It is composed exclusively of Spanish produce, such as garbanzos (chick peas), chirizos (Spanish red sausages), long pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and all sorts of roughly-cut vegetables, such as cabbages, endives, carrots, turnips, onions, gourds, and French beans. All these ingredients are put together in a large earthen pot of a peculiar form, with a piece of smoked bacon, a fowl, and a piece of beef. When done, the vegetables are laid at the bottom of a very deep dish, in the center of which is placed the beef, flanked by the bacon and the fowl. The sausages are dished around, and some of the liquor from the pot poured over the whole. In all restaurants, inns, and hotels in Spain there is invariably an olla podrida ready to be served at the traveler's request. " 'Tis reported of the Marquis Ciappoint Vitello, an Italian, who was one of the best soldiers that nation ever bred, that he had so great a liking to this sort of olla when he was in Spain, that he never cared to dine at home, but walking about the streets, if he smelt in any citizen's house this sort of victuals, he went in there, and sat down at his table to dine with him.
Before he went out, he ordered his steward to pay the charge of the whole dinner." It is imparted as a secret, however, that this attractiveness was due to the Spanish sausages which makes both of the foregoing preparations distinctive, and not like the ordinary vegetable stews of other nations.
Take equal weights of fat and lean pork taken from the prime parts of the animal; mince this finely, and season strongly with garlic and cayenne; pour over it as much dry sherry as will cover it, and let it stand in a cold place for 3 or 4 days till it has absorbed the liquor; put the meat into large skins, and moisten with the liquor that remains; tie the sausages in links, and hang them in a cool, dry place; they will keep for 6 or 8 months; when wanted, drop the sausages into hot water and let them simmer gently until done enough. One habit in cookery the Spaniads have which is like the Italians' and is a reminder of the fry-shops of Rome. All kinds of cold vegetables are used in Spain, dipped in batter and thrown into smoking hot oil. This method of cooking vegetables is exemplified in the truly Spanish dish of fried sweet potatoes.
An excellent breakfast dish is a beefsteak cooked Spanish fashion. Take a slice of round steak an inch thick, lay it on a pie-dish, add a little water to baste it with, and bake it for 30 minutes; take it out and cover it with a layer of sliced onions, and bake till the onions are tender; cover it with a layer of sliced tomatoes, and bake 20 minutes; sprinkle on 2 tablespoonfuls of grated cheese, and place in the oven long enough to melt the cheese. During the baking it should be basted every 10 minutes. This recipe is from the note-book of a celebrated caterer.