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Rice in broth: Caldosos y Melosos

Plat de riz puchero en terre

Ground rice dish “puchero”

There are two categories of rice in broth:

  • The Caldosos Arroces: a Valencian version of our pot au feu, with a handful of saffron rice.
  • The Melosos Arroces: also called “semicaldosos”, they are identical but with less broth, we obtain a rendering of the aroma “molasses” like a syrup very thick and very viscous, thanks to the starch released by the rice.

They cook in a “Puchero” or “Perol de Barro”.

History of rice broth “Caldoso” or “Meloso”

Valencians have always used Pucheros in the ground (pictured here on the right).
Today the tradition is lost a little and it is not uncommon to see them cooked in cast iron pots or large pots.
We can thus afford to cook with a stronger fire, the dish being less fragile to sudden differences in temperature.

Proportions common to broth rice

For rice: The proportions per person are: from 50 to 75 g of round rice A.O.C. of Valencia.

For water: 1/4 liter of water per person, or a little more …

Be careful to take into account:

  • the cooking time of the rice: read the instructions on the package.
  • the appetite of your guests.

Tips for a successful Bouillon Rice

All these tips are common to all “Caldosos” or “Melosos” rice:
For your recipes:

  1. The ingredients are always placed in cold Puchero water.
  2. On the contrary, the rice must always be introduced into boiling broth.
  3. If you cook with a terracotta Puchero: it is advisable to use a diffuser that breaks the flames.
  4. Start with a very low fire, and increase little by little …
  5. The rice must NEVER be washed.
  6. When you introduce the rice, stir everything to distribute it well
  7. Start cooking the rice over high heat but gradually lower the heat when half cooked.
    The cooking time of the rice observed: 15 to 20 min, so half-cooking is between 7 & 9 min.
  8. Remove the dish from the fire a little before the end of cooking, because the heat returned by the earthenware dish, will continue to cook the rice.
  9. The difficulty of these rice is to monitor the end of cooking, so that the grains are not overcooked and remains closed.
    Otherwise they explode & your dish is really missed.
  10. Preferably use a large wooden spoon.

Some Rice Recipes in Bouillon

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most typical and authentic broth rice recipes from the Valencia region:

  • Arròs amb fesols i naps
  • Arroz “Es Carranc”
  • Arroz con callos de ternera
  • Arroz con pulpo
  • Arroz con perdices
  • Arroz caldoso de pascado
  • Arroz caldoso con pulpo y robellones
  • Arroz caldoso con codornices y collejas
  • Arroz meloso de conejo con boletus, laminas de trufas negras y foie

All these recipes, and many more, will be online soon …

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