18th October 2011
On Tuesday we had dinner with Adrian and Rosa in Poblenou.
Rosa prepared a delicious selection of tapas, as starters. We had Boquerones – anchovies that have been cured in vinegar, then preserved in olive oil. Jamón Serrano – wafer thin mountain ham, cured and hung for 18 + months before serving. I don’t think I’ve ever been into a Spanish bar that didn’t have a few hams hanging from the ceiling and it’s normal to buy a whole ham for the family kitchen, where it’s mounted in a special wooden vice to aid carving.
Rosa sliced ripe tomatoes, sprinkled them with cooked Navy Beans and drizzled olive oil on top. Interestingly the beans are the same type as used for baked beans in Britain.
No Catalan meal would be complete without Pa amb Tomàquet (Pan con Tomate in Castilian Spanish) – a fantastic invention! Tomato is squeezed into the bread along with a little olive oil and pinch of salt.
There were two parts to the main course, firstly Trinxat, a dish similar to Bubble and Squeak. Cooked cabbage and potato are fried in olive oil with garlic and bacon or salted pork, to make a Tortilla like “cake”.
Secondly we had Peus de Ministre (minister’s feet), better known as pig’s trotters. These particular trotters had, I believe, been previously cooked and preserved in a similar manner to duck confit. The meat literally fell of the bones and had a delicious stickiness, which Fergus Henderson would describe as unctuous.
Contrary to popular belief, there could be health benefits to eating trotters – they contain large quantities of collagen and the fat is purported to be a source of good cholesterol. I was impressed by how lovely they tasted, as you can tell from the bones on my plate!
We finished the meal with chocolates, coffee and shots of vodka.