Following on from yesterday’s blog entry I want to comment on the meal that I had with the journalist and photographer from Hong Kong. On my Iberian ham tour we nearly always go to the same restaurant in Aracena. I have been going there to eat for the last 17 years and never order anything; we just sit down and food arrives! The food at the restaurant is nothing fancy, but is based on very fine raw material, which means everything tastes wonderful. Before sitting down to eat we went into the kitchen to say hello to José Vicente who is both the chef and the owner. He had a plentiful supply of local wild mushrooms. The first photo below is of Boletus aereus, often known locally as tentullo. The second photo is of chanterelle mushrooms with a few boletus thrown in.
Sitting down to eat, we started with some salchichón (see photo below), which is made like chorizo; but instead of paprika, whole peppercorns are used. The salchichón we tried was also marinated in oloroso wine. As you can probably guess it was very good.
Our next dish was thinly sliced raw boletus mushrooms with chopped parsley, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (photo below); a gastronomic delight.
Another mushroom dish followed with more thickly cut boletus cooked on a griddle, or in Spanish “a la plancha”. Sprinkled with chopped flat-leaf parsley, this was yet another delicious dish (photo below).
Continuing with our meal, the next dish was a “revuelto”. This consisted of chip-like potatoes, garlic and onion, cooked in oil at a much lower temperature than normal so all the ingredients were poached. These ingredients were then put into a pan which was heated up and eggs were broken over them and gently stirred in before being served with some acorn-fed Iberian ham on top. I don’t think I even need to say how good this dish was (photo below).
Next up was a salad of baked red peppers with goats’ milk cheese. This was another success with my friends from Hong Kong (photo below).
The next photo shows an Iberian pork rib. I don’t think I or any of the people who have been on tours with me have ever tasted better ribs in their life.
Our last savoury dish was Iberian pork shoulder served with chanterelle mushrooms, green beans and a few chips, as can be seen below. Iberian pork cannot be compared to normal pork, as in my opinion it is far superior, especially if it comes from acorn-fed pigs, which is always the case in the restaurant we ate at.
To finish we had some local cherries followed by “turrón” ice-cream with chestnuts (see photos below).
As you can imagine we were all pretty full at the end of the meal. I for one did not need any dinner that evening. I look forward to receiving a copy of the magazine from Hong Kong with the article on the Iberian pig and all the good things that derive from it. I will enjoy looking at the photographs as reading Chinese characters is a little beyond me.