Eating The Tour De France Stage 7: Barcelona – Andorra Arcalis. Escudella

After the relatively flat opening stages of this years tour, Stage 7 sees the riders take to the mountains. This year an early entrance into the mountains means the riders will be taking on a Level 1 mountain pass and one of the highest finishes in the races history. At 2,200m the finale in Andorra is sure to separate the ‘homme’ from the ‘garcon’ and it will take a bold and sturdy climber to break away from the pack and seize the day in Arcalis.

The tiny country of Andorra is located in the middle of the Pyrenees between Spain and France. It is one of the most mountainous areas in Europe, its one of the smallest countries and their national football team are the regular whipping boys of world cup qualification.

Like many mountainous countries, Angoras cuisine is simple and hearty. Suited to replenishing your hunger after a hard day working your flock on the steep slopes and one of the countries most traditional peasant dishes is Escudella. 

Escudella means bowl, and in Andorra it is also the name of a big stew. In the Middle Ages, the escudella was a family affair this recipe was likely to have been eaten from one bowl as many would have been too poor to have individual bowls.  Made with bones and feet, whose gelatin give a bovine unctuousness to the dish the vegetables, such as cabbage and turnips, that are common in the mountains and hills, provide plenty of nutrition.

Escudella is the perfect meal after a hard day of work in the mountains and if I was a race director I would make sure my team sat down round a deep bowl and replenished themselves, ready for Stage 8.

1. Rinse the beans in cold water and tie the bones in cheesecloth. 

2. Put both with the chicken, sausage, and ham in a pot or casserole with 8 cups of cold water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce flame, and cook gently, covered for about 2 hours or until beans are cooked and chicken is very tender. 

3. Remove all the bones and discard them. Put chicken aside. Add a cup of  water to the stock if needed for the cooking of the remaining ingredients and bring soup to a rapid boil. 

4. When it is boiling, put in cabbage, potatoes, rice, chick-peas, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking over medium flame for 30 minutes (

5. A few minutes before serving, put chicken meat, removed from bones and shredded, in the pot to heat and serve with plenty of crusty bread and red wine.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009 at 18:44 and is filed under Cycling Recipes, Spanish Recipes, Tour De France Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. hi tom,
    The above recipe looks great. I am gluten,dairy & yeast free so i would be delighted to find a restaurant which served this on a Cycle tour. I find it so difficult to find food that i can eat, that i tend to do cycling holidays where i can cook for myself and then go off for the day.
    Best of Luck

  2. Hello again…
    I’ve a vaguely related question: what sort of simple meals would you recommend for a bike/camping tour? We’re trying to have one warm meal a day and avoid pre-packed meals but we’re on a tight budget. Any thoughts?

  3. .hmmessage P
    font-size: 10pt;

    hi andy sorry for the delay but i am cycleing in germany – in saarsland and the mosel. great fun and great wine!
    so what to take for a cheap warming meals/recipes on a tour. 
    oats are always a winner for breakfast if you need something hot. make sure to have some honey and nuts to funk it up a bit.
    im am also a huge fan of the pulses. you can carry these in tins, a bit cumbersome or dry and soak them. i used to do this with lentils in a spare water bottle. exchanging the water as you see fit. you then chop up an onion, garlic, sweat it off and have a tasty lentil stew over the campfire! pasta is always a easy to pack winner too. what you have with it is up to you, but if you are in a lush part of the world always carry some fresh herbs in a plastic bag/or pick them! fresh parsley/rosemary/basil make a simple pasta of olive oil, garlic, salt a marvel! i carry a chunk of parmesan too. it goes a long way for its weight if you shave it and dont tuck in in the middle of the night!
    hope this helps
    Tom Kevill-Davies 

    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal 

    t. 0789 621 5282

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