Monthly Archives: January 2011

filloeira…

The filloeira – a cast iron skillet that allows you to make multiple filloas simultaneously.



After the matanza you always make rexos aka chicharrones with the odd cuts of pork and fat (see here for method), it is a way to render down the meat, to confit it so it lasts longer.

Rexos are delicious just with a hunk of bread, but even better added to savoury crepes known as filloas (see here for the recipe). The filloeira would have originally had legs and sat over the fire to cook.

other foody posts on this blog:

few flowered recipes

cocido gallego

chorizos

returning to the matanza

chorizos

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

cocido gallego…

A dish made traditionally after the matanza at christmas or for carnival…a winter feast. A robust, hearty dish very typical and popular in Galicia:

Ingredients:

Grelos – these are turnip tops, you can substitute this with cabbage but it is not the same without these bitter winter greens.

chickpeas

potatoes

chorizo sausage

touciño – this is like salted pork belly or pancetta but in a big piece, not chopped up

costilla – salted pork or beef rib

cacheira – half a pigs head – this is optional!

You can add any salted meat that you can get to this dish really and also chicken

Put a big pan of water on the stove and add the salted meat and the chickpeas (the chickpeas are kept together during the cooking process in a linen bag). Bring the water to the boil and cook for a couple of hours till the meat and chickpeas are tender but not disintegrating. Remove them from the water and set aside. Now add to this same water the peeled potatoes and the chorizo (the chorizo should not boil for more than 20 minutes), boil til cooked. In a separate pan using some of the same stock from the meat cook the grelos till tender. Drain them, fry some garlic in olive oil and use this to dress the grelos.

cocido in progress

Take some of the stock from the meat/potatoes/chorizo and add this to the chickpeas that have been set aside, they are now ready. Then it is just a matter of cutting up the meat and putting everything on a plater.

Galicians tend to like their meat fatty, i think this stems from the need to fuel up for the harsh winters and all the physical labour that such an agrarian landscpe required…It is not refined cooking but what it may lack in aesthetics it more than makes up for in flavour.

Any stock that is left over is unbelievably tasty, you just need to cook a little vermicelli pasta in it and you have a delicious sopa de fideus – pasta soup.

other foody posts on this blog:

first forage of the season

nose to tail and farajullas

flloeira

returning to the matanza

chorizos

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

chorizos…

The matanza continues…(like i say it’s raining, what else is there to do??). We make chorizo sausages. Not just with dis-guarded parts of the pig that don’t belong in any of the joints that are portioned out by the butcher, we put in choice parts like the loin and the shoulder. We have a small mountain of meat to chop up, this is an artisanal product and everything is done by hand.  The ratio of meat to fat is about 65% meat to 35% fat. Then it is very simple…

Garlic, salt, sweet paprika and chilli powder are added and that is it. It is all mixed up and left to marinade for 2 days.

zorza

This mixture is called zorza and it already smells wonderfully like chorizo. After day one you take a little of the mixture and fry it to taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly. One more day of marinading and the zorza is ready to be made into chorizo sausages.

I kind of like this process, after getting over the obvious rude bit…it takes some skill to fill the skins just so without bursting them, and then each individual sausage is tied with string. Making chorizos like this is a very labour intensive process, our fingers are raw from the tying off part by the end, but it is very satisfying. In the end we produce around 500 sausages.

The chorizos are now hung to cure around an open fire-place (the lareira) in a well ventilated room…

Perks of the job, with the matanza comes the pleasure of the choicest of cuts for your lunch, here the pork loin is simply fried in olive oil with some salt and garlic and a few slices of apple thrown in for good measure. Simple and delicious:

other foody posts on this blog:

cocido gallego

chorizos

returning to the matanza

chorizos

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

read all about it…

A slight diversion from the Spanish posts to mention something i should have posted before. I post on another website, a photographic one called Blipfoto (see here), it started off as a modest Edinburgh based site where you are are allowed to post only one photograph each day and that photo has to have been taken on the day you post it. All the photos are public and everyone can see everyone’s work. Anyway, Blipfoto has become huge in the last year and the press got interested. There were articles in the Times and the Sun, to cut a long story short they used my photo in both articles.

from The Times, Wed 29 Dec, 2010

Blipfoto were hugely apologetic as both papers failed to credit any of the photographers but i was fine with that…not so keen to have my name in the Sun anyway! Interesting to see the differences between tabloid and broadsheet on the same story.  The boys standing on their head is my image, i posted about them previously here.

from The Sun, Mon 3 Jan, 2011

returning to the matanza…

warning: this post is most definitely not vegetarian friendly, nor is it for the squeamish…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

i have blogged about morcilla and the matanza before.
But i have never been quite so directly involved…. One of our pigs was due to be killed. Normally they are taken to the butcher for this but because we wanted to make morcilla or black pudding, the butcher came here to kill it so we could collect the blood, then the animal is taken to the butchers.

So how do i write this…it was a strange, uncomfortable, surreal experience for me…I found myself in the dark on a stormy night watching the animal being killed. The pig is stunned first with an electronic gun, but of course when its throat is cut it struggles. The butcher asks me to hold one of his legs, to stop it from hurting my mum who is collecting the blood (yes i know how this sounds)…
I am a little shocked, i was already a little freaked out by the process, i did not expect to be so involved. However i do strongly believe that if you eat it, if you cook it and eat it…you need to be able to deal with where it came from. I am shocked, the pigs leg feels warm (of course), almost human. I close my eyes hold on tight and wait for it to stop twitching.

The butcher i must say, did the job by himself that once took 4 men to do, he did it all so quickly and efficiently and without fuss that it was as “humane” as it could possible be for the animal given the circumstances. BUT it is shocking, no doubt about it …The blood meanwhile needs to be stirred constantly in one direction the second it hits the pan. The pan already contains water and a peeled raw onion, anti-coagulants apparently and you need to keep stirring till it cools down completely. i stir away for half an hour or so.

So now that the main ingredient has been gathered, the morcilla can be made. For the full recipe see here. Once all the dried fruit, flour, spices and bread has been added to the blood it is still surprisingly liquid, but it will set during the cooking process. Next the skins of the large intestine are filled with the mixture. You must be careful not to over fill them…

(My photos of this process looked so gory that i went outside and photographed through the window to “dampen” the effect a little!)

The puddings are then boiled – this is a very delicate process as if the skins burst at this point, you lose the whole pudding. They must be suspended in a large pan and must not touch the bottom (again see here for details) and the water must be kept only just boiling.

The puddings will take anything from 45 mins to 1 hour 30 mins depending on the thickness. You test them by pinching them with a sewing needle. If no liquid emerges, the pudding is cooked…

If you are lucky enough to have a lareira – an open fire place common to traditional galician houses that is ideal for smoking and curing, you can hang the puddings there for a few days, otherwise hang them somewhere dry and well ventilated. In a few days the puddings will be ready to be sliced and fried and they also freeze beautifully…

fried morcilla – you can see the pine nuts and pieces of figs in the slices…i know it does not look pretty but it tastes divine, sweet, a little salty, a little crispy on the outside and smooth in the middle…

OTHER FOOD POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano