Brill and Barbecue Preparation

boutique del pollastre flora

boutique del pollastre flora

October 5th, 2013

It was Saturday and I wanted lots of quail for a barbecue tomorrow (we’d invited as many as 20 people potentially), so I needed to be at the Boqueria early. I was disappointed when trying to buy lots of quail on an August afternoon and I wasn’t making that mistake again!

lonely quail

lonely quail

Boutique del Pollastre Flora is normally a good place to buy most fowl and their oversize quail cost 1.39€ each, which is great.

guatlles

guatlles

My heart did sink when I only saw 3 quail sitting on a tray, but the cheerful butcher disappeared downstairs and came back with a full box. He spatchcocked the little birds to save me the trouble later.

platans especies morilla

platans i especies morilla

Next I went to buy spices for a marinade from Platans i Especies Morilla, an unusual stall which specialises in spices and bananas. I barely notice the banana department on the other side because I’m generally more interested in the brightly coloured powders. Perhaps there’s a family connection with Morilla Fruites, the stall next door?

chimichurri

chimichurri

I asked the Spice Lady what kind of spice she had for quail. She responded that she didn’t have anything and went silent. I tried a different tack and asked what she had for chicken. This time she said she had a mild herb mixture or chimichurri which was a bit more piquant. I took 100g of the latter.

octopus shopping

octopus shopping

I’d seen a wonderful recipe for Octopus Carpaccio, posted by Chica Andaluza recently and had been dying to try it out. So I bought an octopus (about 1 kilo) from one of the Boqueria Fish Ladies before dropping the shopping back at the flat and going out to lunch.

We went to Bar Victoria for lunch, but since I last posted lunch there in August, it seemed premature to reblog them so soon. Needless to say though, the food was excellent and they even gave us a free beer while we waited for a table. Bar Victoria is one of the few places where they do a menu del dia for lunch and supper at about 11€ all in!

quail in marinade

quail in marinade

Following lunch, we went back to the Boqueria, bought a few more quail, vegetables, little fish and a kilo of large chicken hearts

I chopped a handfull of coriander and six pieces of garlic, which got mixed together with several cups of olive oil, the chimichurri, the juice of a lemon and a heaped teaspoonful of hot smoked pimentón. I kept tasting the marinade until it tasted good and the amount looked right for 14 quail. Each bird was dipped and smothered in marinade then placed into a large freezer bad. The small amount left in the bottom of the bowl went into the bag of quail too – all this went into the fridge overnight.

toe curling

toe curling

Tanya, la Chica Andaluza had very helpfully posted the original Octopus Carpaccio video on her blog, which we studied a couple of times before embarking on our mission.

pulpo

pulpo

First of all one needs a cooked octopus of about 1 kilo in weight. Ordinarily it’s best to freeze an octopus before cooking, because this helps to make it tender and reduce cooking time. We didn’t have time for freezing and defrosting, so opted for long slow cooking.

Oli cleaned the octopus, removing the beak, eyes and internal organs (there’s great footage of this in the instructional video). The octopus was cooked gently in a stock made with an onion, a few whole pieces of garlic, allspice, star anis, bay and fennel seeds. If you dip the legs in 5 or 6 times it makes them curl up (as per the picture two above), which makes them look good and helps with the recipe.

cooked octopussy

cooked octopussy

Octopussy was cooked for about one hour and fifteen minutes, until it was tender (freezing would probably reduced cooking time by about half). Allow to cool before proceeding with the next stage.

For the next stage of the recipe, you need a 1 litre plastic drinks bottle. I bought tonic so that I could drink the London No 1 Gin sitting on a shelf!

bottled pussy

bottled pussy

Cut the top off the bottle so that you have a long tube. Pierce the bottom, so that there are 6 or 7 drainage holes. Cut 4 equally spaced strips from the top of the bottle to about half way down. These 4 strips will be trimmed and folded down on top of the octopus, once it’s inside the bottle.

squashed octopus

squashed octopus

Cut the head off the octopus and the body into 4 parts. Push all the pieces into the bottle. We used a cleaned wine bottle to squash all the parts firmly down, it does need a lot of squashing. Liquid will come out through the drainage holes at the bottom – this can be discarded or kept as stock for something else.

pussy in cling film

pussy in cling film

Trim the plastic strips at the top of the bottle, so that they fold over the octopus. Press them down firmly and wrap the bottle tightly in several layers of cling film. Put the bottled octopus into the fridge and chill overnight.

oven ready brill

oven ready brill

Felling hungry after all that exertion, Oli prepared a Brill with some fennel seeds, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

cooked brill

cooked brill

The fish was baked in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 200º C. It tasted amazing!

Coming next Quail Barbecue…

About Mad Dog

https://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Fish, Food, Game, Meat, Recipes, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Brill and Barbecue Preparation

  1. Eha says:

    Bet it tasted amazing! [So much so it made me come off ‘holiday mode’ to tell you 🙂 !] This whole post is one methinks I have most enjoyed of all I have read under your byline!! Next time I get hold of fresh ‘pussy’ I’ll very much refer back to this [Hmmm?!][Love your stock also: have not put fennel seeds in mine: will be corrected!]!

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    Great post, MD. Is too late to get an invite? I’ll wash dishes.

  3. So much good food and a good sprinkling of cool pictures. The brill is wonderful, but the quail in marinade looks like a scan of “elephant man” in the womb! Love the heading “Pussy in Cling Film”….could be the title for the Christmas pantomime at the Crazy Horse:)

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Roger – I thought the same about the quail, When spatchcocked and grilled I think they look like angels too! I get my inspiration for all the titles from the French House. They could be worse if the Colony was still open 😉

  4. You cheeky monkey with your pussy shots! I bet that was one delicious meal…did the carpaccio slice well (bet yours did) or did you end up with chunks like me?

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow well done! What a great day at the market. Quail is a bit elusive over here. Good job with the octopus. You really have to be careful not to make it rubbery. I saw Chica’s post and was pretty impressed. The fish and quail all look so fresh and wonderful. What a delicious and impressive meal that is. Next time I”m coming to dinz.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Amanda, you are on the guest list with Chicago John 😉
      I loved Chica’s post and I’ve been dying to try it – a sunny rooftop barbecue seemed to be the right time and place.

  6. Michelle says:

    I’d like to wangle an invite, too!

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    Tell Amanda and John to move over. Make room for one more please. That brill looks awesome.

  8. Pingback: Quail Barbecue | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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