Of the many stews common in the Valencian Community, "puchero" is the most representative. For a long time, it was an obligatory meal on Sundays and bank holidays. It was also eaten in a special way for family reunions over Christmas lunch. Of all the stews made throughout the year, the Christmas puchero was and is the richest and most sumptuous. “Pilotes" (meatballs) are essential in this dish, distinguishing Valencian stew from those of other regions.
Soak the chickpeas in salted water the day before. Add the beef, lamb, bones, ham, chicken, bacon and cardoons into a pot of salted water. Add the chickpeas when it starts to boil. Then add the chorizo, black pudding and carrots. Continue to cook over low heat. When cooked, add the chopped potatoes and the meatballs a few minutes later. Boil for 20 minutes. Use the broth to make a soup with pasta or rice to serve as a first course. Then serve the meat and meatballs in one dish and the legumes and vegetables in another as the second course.