Patatas Els Tinars

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I came across this dish years ago in a restaurant called Els Tinars near Sant Feliu on the Costa Brava. The restaurant had a Michelin star, but the food was simple and reflected what grew and was hunted locally. I remember eating trays full of local snails and simply grilled saffron milk cap mushrooms, but the recipe that has stayed with me is this simple potato dish. It must have been conceived as a way of using up some of the trimmings from the cured hams as the fat is delicious when cooked. It was served as a starter, but I suppose it would also make a great supper dish.

I came across this dish years ago in a restaurant called Els Tinars near Sant Feliu on the Costa Brava. The restaurant had a Michelin star, but the food was simple and reflected what grew and was hunted locally. I remember eating trays full of local snails and simply grilled saffron milk cap mushrooms, but the recipe that has stayed with me is this simple potato dish. It must have been conceived as a way of using up some of the trimmings from the cured hams as the fat is delicious when cooked. It was served as a starter, but I suppose it would also make a great supper dish.

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2tbsp olive oil
2 slices or about 30-40g Serrano ham, finely chopped
80g minced fatty pork, like belly
1/2tsp chopped thyme leaves
A good pinch of pimenton (Spanish paprika)
1tsp tomato purée
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large baking potatoes such as King Edwards, or Maris Piper, peeled and sliced 2-3mm thin

Gently cook the onion, garlic, and ham in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the minced pork, thyme and pimenton, season and cook on a high heat for a couple more minutes, stirring until the meat lightly colours. Add the tomato purée and just cover the meat with water. Simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Oil a baking tray and make 4 roughly shaped circles measuring about 15cm in diameter, with 2-3 layers of potato slices overlapping each other. Season lightly and add another layer of potatoes on each. You can make them in individual pans if you wish. Brush them with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes. Spread the pork mixture in a thin layer all over the potatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. If they start to brown too much cover with foil and turn the oven down a little. Serve them just as they are.

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