If there is a surname that is associated with the stew of Madrid, it’s that of Verdasco, a family that came to the capital from Asturias four generations ago and today are the major reference points of a different way of making the stew.
We owe the original to them, the Taberna La Bola, and the arrival of La Rayúa, homage to the nickname that the grandmother Verdasco had, reproduced the same gastronomic principles and it traditional way of preparing the stew: fire, time, mud and raw material. Only in the conjunction of these four elements can we obtain a top quality dish, served in three dishes, with its noodle soup, chickpeas and sacraments. It implies that the ember where these stews are forged is from the first hour of the morning making “chup-chup”.
“At nine in the morning we are already putting the first cooked in the fire”, says Agustín Verdasco, who after decaed at the front of the kitchen is now located from 2016 to the controls of Rayúa, very close to the Plaza de la Luna. “The secret is to control the fire and above all, have a lot of patience”, remarked Agustín, aware that the stew is the magnet that attracts tourists and locals alike to his restaurant.
Respecting the time it takes to make the soup is key to it having substance. The meat is made and the tender chickpeas, which are also accompanied on the table with chilli, chives and tomato sauce, something not so common in our times. With the pasta now in the soup, which is done in the last few minutes, so the noodles don’t go undone, the feast begins. The second rollover is the chickpea and vegetable, finished off with meats, a compendium of courts that allows us to gather a corral for pieces: chorizo, bacon, marrow, ham, hen, cordillo and morcillo are the tasty excuse with which we dedicate ourselves with the delight to dip bread.
For the rest of the menu, because not only cooked is eaten in Raya, we move to a classic Madrid cuisine but also to the use of the grill. Essential starters are the black pudding fritters or the Madrid rice, in which the meats from the stew are cooked. In the second, the raw material reigns again, in this case with presentations in whole, as can be in the beef tenderloin or cod confit with leek sauce Perfect representation of a kitchen in which the product is made.
The afternoon, topped by dessert, must be accompanied by the classic apple fritters – it’s difficult to only eat one, because its flavour and crunchy texture makes them a vice.
Phone: 91 522 48 01
Hours: Monday to Sunday 1:30pm to 4:30pm | Closed on Sunday and Monday nights and holidays.
Average price: 19€ cooked per person. Rest of the menu: 25€ a 30€.
Text: Jaime de las Heras.
Photos: Magdalena Puigserver.