Region: Spain, Andalusia
Category: Rice, Couscous, and Other Grains
Difficulty: Medium Difficulty
The active spice trade in Seville assured an Andalusian cuisine at the upper levels of society that was richly flavored. Once the new plants from the Americas began to arrive, such as bell peppers and tomatoes, they were incorporated into the cuisine, many of them utilized in a similar manner as older spices and vegetables. Ground hot chile and mild bell peppers, especially in the form of paprika, became popular. This contemporary rice preparation from the mountainous region around Córdoba is traditionally made in a large copper kettle called a peroles. The variety of meat, shellfish, and spices make it a very exciting and satisfying dish for the family table.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
Preparation Time: 3 hours
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
¾ pound boneless veal shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into small pieces
¾ pound boneless chicken thigh, skinned and cut into small pieces
¾ pound boneless rabbit (preferably) or hot Italian sausage, cut into small pieces
¾ pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into small pieces
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
½ pound white (button) mushrooms, quartered
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1 tablespoon hot paprika
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
12 littleneck clams, soaked in cold water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda for 1 hour, rinsed and scrubbed well
4 cups medium-grain Spanish rice
10 ounces fresh or frozen peas
1. In a large casserole, heat 1 cup olive oil over medium heat, then cook the onion and garlic until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the pieces of veal, chicken, rabbit or sausage, and pork and brown on all sides, about 12 minutes, tossing or stirring.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium-size skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, then cook the bell pepper and tomatoes until the bell pepper is limp, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bell pepper and tomatoes to the meat in the casserole. Add the mushrooms to the meat. Pour in the water and increase the heat to high. Season with lemon juice, saffron, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Once the meat is cooked and soft, add the wine and clams and cook for 10 minutes over high heat. Add the rice, distribute it around the casserole, and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the peas, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice cooked, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve hot.