FFor me, food is about memories and family, and today’s two recipes of pork and potatoes are two examples. The prime rib was one of my father’s all-time favorites, and the way my mother still makes it is actually very simple: she slowly cooks the meat until it’s really tender, then adds the potatoes and cooks them until it’s just starting to fall apart emotionally. The lentil dish is also steeped in our home life in Spain. As a kid, I couldn’t stand lentils, and I remember a big drama one day when I raised my nose up in a bowl of them at lunchtime. My mom made me eat it for dinner too, and again for breakfast the next morning! Anyway, fast forward to today and I love lentils so much, this is a death row dish now.
Lentils with chorizo and potatoes (photo above)
These are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and they’re perfect all year round, too.
to equip 10-15 minutes
cook 1 hour
2 olive oil
250 grams chorizosliced
1 onionPeeled and cut into thin slices
2 cloves garlicPeeled and cut into thin slices
1 small carrotchopped
300 gr Large Potato Flourpeeled and quartered or cut into large pieces
1-2 fresh bay leaves
250gm small brown lentils (Ideally boy)washed
1 liter chicken stockideally homemade
sea salt and black pepper
150 gm black puddingor chopped black pudding
crispy breadto serve
Put the oil in a deep casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the chorizo slices and cook, stirring, until golden on both sides. Once cooked, remove them from the pan with a perforated spoon and set them aside on a plate, leaving the browned oil in the pan.
Toss the onions in the chorizo oil and cook for five minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the carrots, potatoes and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few more minutes, then add the lentils and broth. Season generously and bring to a boil, then turn over low heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the lentils are softened but there is still a little stinging.
The sauce should be thick, so if it seems a little thick and dry, add a little extra stock. Return the chorizo to the skillet, along with the morcilla, and cook, uncovered, for five to seven minutes. Served in warm bowls with crispy bread.
Braised pork ribs and potatoes with fried herb crumbs
My mom doesn’t include the crumbs in her version of this, but I think they add something extra special.
to equip 10-15 minutes
soak 3 hours +
cook 2 hours
1½-2 kg Baby’s back ribs
1 teaspoon sweet pepper
4 garlic clovespeeled and peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tsp cumin seedsslightly crushed,
150 ml white wine
1 large onionPeeled and cut into thin slices
2 bay leaves
500 ml chicken stockIdeally homemade
300 gr new fries
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlicFinely peeled and grated
75gm fresh white breadcrumbs
Grated zest from 1 lemon
6 sage leavesshredded
Arrange the ribs in a large plate, add paprika, two crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds, and 50 ml white wine. Flip to coat the ribs, then cover and leave to marinate for at least three hours (or refrigerate overnight).
Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan) / 340°F / Gas 3°. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep dish over high heat. Remove the ribs from the marinade (reserve the marinade for later), and stir for four to five minutes on each side, until completely browned. Transfer the ribs to a plate, add the onions to the pan and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes, until browned. Add the remaining garlic and cumin seeds, stir until combined, then return the ribs to the skillet.
Pour in the remaining white wine, bubbling for a minute, then add the bay leaf, broth and reserved dressing. Season well and bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for an hour to an hour and a half, until the meat is tender and begins to pull away from the bones.
Break the new potatoes in half with the tip of a knife (this helps them release the starch), then add them to the casserole and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are completely softened and starting to break down a bit. Thicken the sauce.
Meanwhile, make the herb crumbs. Put the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, fry the garlic for 10 seconds, then add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and sage. Remove the lid from the casserole, sprinkle the crumb mixture on top, and bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with plenty of delicious sauce.
Recipes from The Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple Seasonal Recipes and Memories from My House, by Jose Pizarro, published by Hardy Grant, £27. To order a copy for £23.49 go to guardianbookshop.com