Patatas Els Tinars

Patatas Els Tinars

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

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 think it would also make a great supper dish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
80g pork belly, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
1-2 good pinches pimenton
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tomato puree
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2–3 mm slices
30-40g cured ham trimmings, finely chopped
or 30-40g bacon, finely chopped
or 30-40g pancetta, finely chopped

Method

  1. Gently cook the onion, garlic and ham in the olive oil for 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the minced pork, thyme and pimentón, season and cook on a high heat for a couple more minutes, stirring, until the meat is lightly coloured. Add the tomato purée and pour over just enough water to cover the meat. Simmer gently for about 10–15 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Arrange the potato slices in a large, oiled tray into 4 roughly-shaped circles measuring about 15 cm in diameter – the slices should be overlapping and the circles formed of 2–3 layers. Season lightly before adding a final layer of potatoes to each. Brush the circles with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes. Spread the pork mixture in a thin layer over each circle and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, until lightly browned (if they look as though they are starting to brown too much, cover with foil and turn the oven down a little). Serve them just as they are.
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