‘Tapas are not the only Spanish food’. Brindisa: The True Food of Spain is out today.

• Sep 8, 2016 • Tags:


Brindisa, the renowned Spanish fine food import company, has become a byword for excellent Spanish food.

The Brindisa Spanish Cook Book is the ultimate in contemporary Spanish cooking, including classic regional recipes, tapas dishes and information about the very best ingredients and food producers. Ranging from the most unusual artisan dishes to the classics of Spanish cooking, this recipe collection draws on Brindisa’s specialist knowledge to introduce you to delights such as jamon iberico de bellota, chorizo, cured ham and fish, fumet (rich Catalan fish stock), farmhouse cheeses, prepared pulses, olive oils and vinegars, sweet treats and storecupboard basics that are essential for Spanish and Mediterranean cooking.

Covering the unique way good food is integral to everyday Spanish life, ranging from traditional breakfasts to substantial lunches, small plates of Spanish food and very simple suppers for during the week, to big family get-togethers at the weekend, this is not just a book about recipes, but a true celebration of Spain, its food and people, countryside and producers.

To celebrate this culinary occasion, we have picked out a recipe from the book for your dereliction: ‘Lentejas Asunción’. The perfect Spanish comfort food for the darkening, cooler nights.

Lentejas Asunción

Ásun’s lentils with pork

This is a recipe inspired by Asun Gordo, who uses pardina lentils from her home region of Burgos in Castilla y León, which have a very creamy texture. She uses a wet marinade for the pork, but our head chef, Nico, preferred to make the dish with a drier combination of herbs and spices and Rupert came up with the inspired idea of finishing it with a picada that would echo the same flavours. The potatoes are cut cascada-style.

Lentil dishes such as this tend to improve if you make them a day in advance, keep in the fridge and then reheat before serving.

Serves 4Lentejas_Asuncion

6 pork ribs (350g)

250g pardina (or Puy) lentils

2 tablespoons olive oil

100g diced onion, diced as finely as possible

70g leeks, white part only, diced as finely as possible

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 bay leaf

a pinch of sea salt

2 cooking chorizos (200g), cut in half lengthways and then crossways into quarters

75g tomato sofrito (see recipe on here, or from a jar)

140g carrot, cut in half lengthways and then again crossways into quarters

10cm of the green part of a leek, very finely diced

1 green pepper, chopped

500g potatoes, cut into uneven chunks (see here)

For the adobo marinade

4 black peppercorns

½ teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife, then roughly chopped

2 teaspoons pimentón dulce (sweet paprika)

½ a lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

For the picada

1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

½ a clove of garlic

juice of ½ a lemon

For the adobo marinade, crush the black peppercorns and put into a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix together, then put the ribs into the bowl and rub them well with the marinade, making sure they are covered all over. Leave in the fridge for 3–4 hours or overnight.

Rinse the lentils well in a sieve under the cold tap.

Heat the olive oil in a casserole pan. Lift the ribs out of their marinade and put them into the pan (discard the marinade). Sizzle the ribs for a minute on each side to brown them, then move them to the outer edges of the pan.

Put the onion, leek, garlic and bay leaf in the centre of the pan and stir to coat them well in the oil and meat juices. Add a pinch of salt, then turn down the heat and let everything cook gently for another 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up again, put in the quartered chorizos, meat side down, and stir for about a minute to brown. Add the sofrito, stir for another minute, then add 1.2 litres of cold water and the carrot, lentils, green leek and the pepper.

Bring slowly to the boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface, then turn down the heat to a simmer for 40 minutes, adding the potatoes after 25 minutes, until both lentils and potatoes are tender. Pound the ingredients for the picada together in a pestle and mortar, then take the pan off the heat and stir in a tablespoon of the mixture (or more to taste). Taste and adjust the salt if necessary before serving.

Brindisa is out now.


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