Apart from the fact that it tastes so good, why is it that the Spanish eat so much pork. Perhaps it originated as a knee-jerk reaction during the post-Moor period when the Spanish Inquisitors were roaming the country torturing anyone who didn’t conform to their particular brand of monotheism. Jews and Muslims who had converted to Christianity often lived in fear and proclaimed their new faith by publicly eating pork. The more enthusiastic converts would hang a ham or sausages above their door. In this recipe, based on the one by Frank Camorra, our author of the week, grilled pork is served with two lively sauces: a fresh oregano and raw garlic sauce, and a red sauce made from piquillo peppers and chilli. Any pork cuts work, including chops, fillets or neck steaks, and for really good flavours, try and get naturally rared free range pork.
2 handfuls of oregano leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
a handful of parsley
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2T fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 lemon, juice of
Salsa de piquillo
250 g jar of piquillo peppers, drained
2 red medium-hot chillies, seeded
2 garlic cloves
1t smoked paprika
1T ground cumin
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 kg pork (see introduction)
oil, for pan-frying (optional)
- Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend for 1–2 minutes, or until smooth. Season to taste, pour into a serving bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
Salsa de piquillo
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 1–2 minutes, or until smooth. Season to taste, pour into a serving bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- The pork can be char-grilled or pan-fried.
- To char-grill , heat some barbecue coals so that you can only hold your hand 12 cm above them for no longer than 3 seconds. Season the pork well and grill each side for 3 minutes , then turn and cook again for 3 to 4 minutes (the pork should still be nice and juicy, do not overcook). Remove from the heat and allow to rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.
- To pan-fry, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place 40 ml oil in a large, heavy-based, oven-proof frying pan over medium–high heat until very hot. Add the pork and cook each side for 1 minute, sprinkling each side with fine sea salt as you go. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook the pork for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with the two salsas on the side together with a salad, and some roast potatoes or a potato salad.
For more of Frank Camorra’s recipes, click here
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