The 12 best recipes of Madrid cuisine: a tavern gastronomy with influences from all over Spain


Madrid's gastronomy is one of the best known in Spain, and not only because we are talking about dishes that were formed due to its capital status, but also because it is a hybrid of the main cuisines of Spain.

In a city that has not stopped receiving emigrants since Felipe II transferred the kingdom's throne, the kitchen has a little from all over Spain: of course, from the Castilian environment, but, to a large extent, from the Andalusians, who brought his love for frying, and the Basques, always very numerous in the forum.

But, regardless of the different influences, Madrid's cuisine is a bar and tavern cuisine, caloric and festive, with a spoon, toothpick and sandwich. Its natural environment is the bar, but nothing prevents us from recreating it at home, with these classic recipes.

1. Madrid stew

We could not start with another recipe since Madrid stew is a classic of traditional Madrid cuisine. Although we are talking about a recipe that exists in almost all of Spain, the way it is prepared in Madrid, with its three twists, has become the most iconic.


For 4 people
  • Chickpeas 200 g
  • Calf knee bone 1
  • Pork backbone 2
  • Reed bone 2
  • Black pudding 300 g
  • Chicken 200 g
  • Bacon 100 g
  • Fresh chorizo 2
  • Potato 2
  • Carrot 3
  • Medium cabbage
  • Noodles 80 g
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Sweet paprika (optional)
  • Garlic cloves

How to make Madrid stew

Difficulty: Medium
  • Total time 3 h 30 min
  • Elaboration 30 m
  • Cooking 3 h

The night of the eve we soak the chickpeas in warm water with two tablespoons of salt. In a large pot we put the black pudding and the chicken, all the bones and the bacon. Heat until bringing to a boil. We lower the heat to easily remove the foam that forms (when it boils in spurts it is impossible). When there are no more impurities in the water, we introduce the chickpeas, drained from the soaking water and into a net. Cook for about three hours or until the chickpeas are just right. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the half cabbage (in one piece) in plenty of water for about 30 minutes. Drain, chop and sauté in a frying pan with a little oil and a couple of garlic cloves. Before removing from heat, add half a teaspoon of sweet paprika (optional) and season to taste. We booked. We heat water in a small saucepan and, when it starts to boil, we introduce the sausages. Cook for five minutes, remove and reserve. We discard the cooking water. Peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into pieces of equal size. We put the vegetables in the pot when there is a half hour of cooking left (approximately two and a half hours after we add the chickpeas). We take the opportunity to adjust the salt point. We cover the pot and finish the cooking. We remove the pieces, add the noodles to the broth and cook for two minutes. Meanwhile we distribute the vegetables and chickpeas in a source, the meats in another and prepare a tureen so that, as soon as the soup is ready, we fill it and take all the elements to the table to serve the Madrid stew in the traditional three turns .

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Link to the recipe | Madrilenian stew recipe

2. Tripe Madrid style

The quintessential offal dish is still a staple on the menu of some of our best tapas bars. It is mandatory that the sauce is very thick. There are many recipes, but this recipe is the most typical.

  • Ingredients: 1 kg of beef tripe, 1 Asturian chorizo, 1 onion black pudding, 150 g of bacon, laural, 2 cloves of garlic, chilli to taste, 50 ml of tomato sauce, spices for tripe to taste.

  • Preparation: Madrid-style tripe is normally made using various types of meat from the offal. Thus among its ingredients we find beef tripe, leg and nose. In the offal, we can order a kilo of tripe indicating that we want that weight distributed among the three ingredients. We clean the corns well and cut them into square pieces of approximately 2x2 cm, so that after cooking they can be bite-size. Once clean, we put them to cook with a bay leaf and a good handful of salt, also adding the bacon or ham or ham meat and the spices for tripe. We let the tripe cook for 4 hours in a traditional saucepan or 45 minutes if you use a speed cooker. Once they are cooked, we drain them and reserve the cooking water, which will be thick and loaded with gelatin. When there is an hour to finish the traditional cooking, we add the chorizo ​​and the blood sausage, which we will have semi-cooked separately. By integrating them now, leaving them to finish with the other ingredients, we will avoid the blood sausage from bursting or the recipe from being too loaded with the fat of the chorizo. We prepare a sauce by poaching two garlic cloves with the finely chopped onion and a chilli so that the tripe has a spicy point. Then we add a tablespoon of tomato sauce, the cooked tripe, the chopped chorizo ​​and black pudding. We are also gradually adding the cooking broth. We finish by letting the whole boil for 20 minutes until it acquires creaminess and reaches a desired texture.

Link to the recipe | Madrid-style tripe

3. Prawns with garlic

Garlic prawn is one of the most sought-after tapas by foreigners visiting the capital, and one of the most classic in Madrid's cookbook –although it doesn't attract so much preaching among locals–. Its origin dates back to the Andalusian coastal towns, but it was established as a tapa in Madrid.

  • Ingredients: 400 g of cooked prawns, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 cayenne pepper, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, salt.

  • Preparation: If the prawns are fresh, we remove the head and tail, leaving the shell of the body, although this depends on tastes. If they are peeled this step you skip it. We put the prawns in a bowl and cover them with water, pour a good jet of white wine and let them rest for two hours. In an earthenware casserole preferably, we put a little olive oil with the chilli, heat and brown the rolled garlic cloves. Add the drained prawns, raise the heat and add a little of the broth where they have been soaked. If necessary we would add more broth, totally at our choice. We salt to taste and serve immediately as soon as they are cooked.

Link to the recipe | Shrimp Scampi

4. Chopitos

Another typical portion of the Madrid bars that has Andalusian origin are the typical chopitos, which are found in most bars. The chopitos are the baby of the cuttlefish, and the lace are the baby squid, although in Madrid both things are usually served as the same thing. The important thing, in any case, is that they are crunchy and not very oily, something that unfortunately does not happen in most bars in the forum.

  • Ingredients: 250 g of chopitos or sprigs, 50 g of flour, 4 g of salt.

  • Preparation: To make the sprigs or chopitos well and make them crisp and not oily at all, you have to do several things with them before frying them. First, wash them well under the tap, then let them drain in a colander. Once clean, it is convenient to dry them well, so that they do not cause splashes during frying and so that they take the flour well without weighing it down. The second part is to remove the pen and the interior, an easy task that is done by squeezing the pod as if it were a tube of toothpaste. Thus it is removed without difficulty. Once clean, to dry them, we can spread them on a kitchen cloth and cover them with another, or use kitchen paper, which is perhaps the best option since many times they come with some ink and they can stain the cloths if this happens. Once clean and dry, we proceed to salt them by sprinkling fine salt on top and pass them through the flour. If you do not have a sieve to sift them later to remove the excess, it is best to bathe them well in flour and then shake them over a colander or a vegetable drainer giving movements so that they jump and expel the flour that is not necessary. Meanwhile, we will have put the oil to heat, or turn on the fryer at 170º, to be able to make a quick frying at high temperature, which will make the baby corn crisp and not take too much oil. Once golden, we drain them on absorbent paper and serve them immediately.

Link to the recipe | Chopitos

5. Squid sandwich

Although there is no place in the Iberian Peninsula further from a live squid than Madrid, the calamari sandwich is one of the most genuinely cat bites on this list. As we have seen, due to the Andalusian influence, the capital always liked fried foods, and squid was for a long time one of the most affordable seafood products. And just put it between two pieces of bread to have a meal caloric enough to endure a whole day of hard work.

  • Ingredients: 1 small fresh squid, 50 g of chickpea flour, 50 g of wheat flour, salt, extra virgin olive oil, bread.

  • Preparation: We start by cleaning the squid and separating the fins and tentacles. We cut the body into rings with a sharp knife. These rings, and if you also want the tentacles, are perfect for our squid sandwich. The fins are somewhat harder so we will use them for stews such as chickpeas with squid, one of my favorites. We mix the wheat and chickpea flours -if you want you can use the special flours for frying that they sell in supermarkets- and we pass the squid to flour them. It is important as we told you when talking about the techniques to improve fish frying, to eliminate excess flour, shaking the squid over a strainer, as you can see in the images. While we have done this, we will have been heating the olive oil. It is important that it is at a very high temperature, between 180 and 190 degrees C, so that the batter is crunchy, not oily at all and does not detach from the squid rings. Once the squid are browned, drain them on absorbent paper and then place them on the bread, so that it is well filled. Normally from a medium-sized squid, you can get enough to make two squid sandwiches.

Link to the recipe | Squid sandwich

6. Patatas bravas

Although patatas bravas are eaten throughout Spain, they are especially typical in Madrid, where they are eaten only with brava sauce, without adding mayonnaise, as is the case, above all, in Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia. The secret of the dish lies in a correct fit and a good paprika sauce: the fries with ketchup and Tabasco sauce are not patatas bravas.

  • Ingredients: 3 potatoes, half an onion, a tablespoon of sweet paprika, a tablespoon of hot paprika, two tablespoons of wheat flour, 500 ml of chicken broth, olive oil.

  • Preparation: To make the sauce, we start by chopping the onion very finely and poaching it in a large pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. We let the onion cook over a very low heat and before it turns color, add the sweet paprika and the hot paprika, mixing well with the spoon. Add the flour, cook it for a minute or two and when it binds with the oil to form a roux, add the chicken broth little by little as when making a velouté (a kind of béchamel in which broth is used instead of milk ). Cook for ten minutes so that the paprika and flour are not raw. Finally, we crush the sauce with a mixer and pass it through a fine sieve to make it perfect. To prepare the potatoes, we peel them well and cut them into irregular pieces that can fit in your mouth in one bite. We heat the olive oil and fry them over medium heat until they begin to brown. Some people prefer to cook them for two or three minutes before frying them, but it is not necessary. We drain the potatoes well, leaving them on an absorbent kitchen paper and cover them without overdoing ourselves with 3 tablespoons of brava sauce.

Link to the recipe | Spicy potatoes

7. Soldiers of Pavia

There are many discussions about the origin of the peculiar name that is given to the battered cod skewers, very typical of Andalusia but also of Madrid, but it is believed that it comes from its similarity to the color of the uniform of the soldiers of the Cavalry Regiment of Usares of General Pavía, whose coup ended the First Republic. The most typical are those of the centennial Casa Labra restaurantre, a place where, it is believed, they began to be served in the capital.

  • Ingredients: 500 g of cod, 1 egg, 100 g of wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of chemical yeast, 50 ml of beer, olive oil, salt, parsley, 1 clove of garlic.

  • Preparation: We need some desalted cod fillets that we have already bought in this way or we will have desalted ourselves in cold water, changing it every 12 hours and keeping according to the thickness for two or three days in the fridge. Once we have the cod, we cut the tacos, saving the finest areas or the sides for other cod recipes such as Bacalao Dorado or Bacalhau a Brás in which we will make the most of it. To prepare the batter, we chop a clove of garlic into tiny pieces, beat an egg, add half the flour, the yeast and the beer and beat with a few rods until it is homogeneous. Then, we incorporate the rest of the flour until we get a thick cream with which we will coat the slices of cod. If the cream is too thick, we add a little more beer and if it is too light, we add a little more flour. We sprinkle with a little parsley and stir and we have it ready for the batter. We put plenty of oil to heat in a pan and we coat each portion of cod frying it for about two minutes on each side until it is golden and crispy on the outside.

Link to the recipe | Soldiers of Pavia

8. Grilled cuttlefish

Grilled cuttlefish, which is always accompanied by a garlic mayonnaise sauce, is a typical tapas from all over Spain, but it became popular especially in Madrid. Although today it can be found throughout the year, cuttlefish are in season in spring.

  • Ingredients: 1 cuttlefish, 2 cloves of garlic, olive oil, parsley.

  • Preparation: When buying the cuttlefish, we will ask the fishmonger to remove the shell, the eye and the beak, as well as the interiors, but if possible, not cut it. We will also ask that you remove the skin. We start by separating the tentacles of the cuttlefish, and removing the fins and other parts to get a nice and homogeneous cuttlefish body. We keep the fins, the thick parts and part of the tentacles to be able to make a cuttlefish fideuá with them, for example. We prepare an olive oil with a very minced garlic clove and some very minced sprigs of parsley. We mix and reserve. In a hot ribbed pan, brown the cuttlefish. To make it well browned, I recommend you slightly varnish the cuttlefish with olive oil and after leaving the cuttlefish in the pan, we put a parchment paper and a heavy saucepan on top, which will help it to be done evenly and mark the surface scratches the pan. When it is golden brown, we turn it over, glaze it with the garlic and parsley oil and let it cook on the other side. After browning the body of the cuttlefish, cut a lemon into quarters and brown them in the same pan next to the tentacles, which will be done in a couple of minutes. We place the cuttlefish in a bowl, recomposing the shape of its body and the tentacles and add an extra glaze with the garlic and parsley oil. Meanwhile we have to make a homemade aioli, crushing a clove of garlic until it becomes a paste and adding olive oil very little by little so that it emulsifies. Thus we would obtain an authentic aioli. If it does not come out, you can help yourself by adding an egg yolk and a few drops of water to the garlic paste, although strictly speaking it would no longer be the garlic oil sauce, or make a classic mayonnaise and crush a garlic clove together with the oil and the egg, thus obtaining the so-called ajonesa. For this recipe, just serve a small bowl of aioli separately so that those who want to spread a portion of cuttlefish in said sauce. With the rest of aioli that you get, you can make another mythical tapa recipe in our country, the aioli potatoes, one of the richest and cheapest appetizers that we can make at home.

9. Broken eggs

The great promoter of cracked or broken eggs was Lucio Blázquez, a chef from Avila, who from his restaurant Casa Lucio praised this dish, now typical of all of Madrid. As Lucio has related on numerous occasions, this dish was his grandmother's creation, because every time an egg fell to the ground, he picked it up and broke it on top of the potatoes.

  • Ingredients: 4 eggs, 3 potatoes, extra virgin olive oil.

  • Preparation: We start by peeling the potatoes and cutting them long. We put them in a bowl with plenty of water to remove the starch, in this way they will not stick when frying. We drain them and dry them well with a clean kitchen cloth. We put olive oil in a pan over medium heat, when it is hot enough, we add all the potatoes and let them cook until they are tender. We raise the heat to the maximum and brown them slightly, not too much because if they are too crunchy they will not absorb the egg well. Remove them with a slotted spoon and put them on a tray. In that same pan, we remove oil until leaving only a few tablespoons. We raised the fire to the maximum. We add the eggs and leave them for a minute for the white to set. With great care and with the help of a slotted spoon, we turn them over and put them on the potatoes. Now it only remains to break them with the help of a fork and a spoon. Serve them immediately.

Link to the recipe | Broken eggs

10. Baked sea bream

Baked sea bream is perhaps the only traditional recipe in Madrid gastronomy that, obviously, is not typical of taverns. And it is because it is the typical fine Christmas dish. Today this fish reaches exorbitant prices on these dates, and what was a very typical dish in broad layers of the population is reserved today only for the wealthiest tables.

  • Ingredients: 1 kg of sea bream, 3 potatoes, half a bowl, 1 lemon, 15 g of breadcrumbs, 5 g of sweet paprika, 1 clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil.

  • Preparation: We prepare the fish by making some cross cuts until it reaches the spine. The usual thing is to give three slightly inclined cuts on only one of its faces. Then, we introduce in each of the cuts a half slice of lemon. While the oven is preheating, we peel some potatoes, cut them into three-millimeter slices and mix them with half an onion cut into julienne. Arrange potatoes and onion in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Add water without covering the potatoes and a thread of olive oil. We put the sea bream on the bed of potatoes and bake them at 190º for about 45 minutes. When they take 30 minutes, we prepare a crust of breadcrumbs, paprika and a clove of garlic crushed in the mortar and spread it on the sea bream. In the last 15 minutes, the fish will be finished and the crust will brown, giving our sea breams their characteristic and traditional appearance of a Christmas dish made in the oven. We serve by making the classic warnings about thorns and we are ready to enjoy.

Link to the recipe | Baked bream

11. Veal needles

Veal needles can be found in many parts of the Spanish geography, however they are linked to Madrid in origin and are one of its traditional recipes. It is puff pastry filled with a kind of quick bolognese made with minced beef, onion and veal that is baked until crisp and golden.

  • Ingredients: 1 sheet of puff pastry, 5 g of butter, olive oil, 1 small onion, 200 g of minced beef, 75 g of tomato sauce, half a tablespoon of wheat flour, 50 ml of milk, salt, pepper ground black, one egg.

  • Preparation: We start by preparing the filling, which has to cool before continuing with the recipe. To do this, heat a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and poach the chopped onion. When it begins to turn translucent, add the minced meat, salt and pepper and stir while frying over medium-high heat. We add the tomato sauce and stir. Then we add the flour and stir again. We let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the milk. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. We remove and cool. We spread the molds with the butter, it is easier if it is melted. We cover the base and walls with the puff pastry and fill. We paint the edges with beaten egg and cover with more puff pastry, pressing so that it sticks well and releases the excess puff pastry (which we remove). Brush the surface with more beaten egg and cook in the lowest part of the oven, pre-heated to 200º C with the bottom, for 15 minutes. Then we lower the oven to 180 ° C, change the position of the oven up and down and bake for 20 more minutes or until golden brown. We let them temper on an oven rack and unmold them as soon as we can take them without burning. If we have greased the molds well, they will come out easily.

Link to the recipe | Veal needles

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