Monday, February 20, 2006

Patatas a la Pobre


There's a story behind this very simple dish. This is one of my fathers favourite meals of all time. Boiled potatoes, peppers and smoked pork belly cooked in a pan with onions in olive oil and a bay leaf for good measure and then the contents of the pan dumped over the boiled spuds. Then leave it covered for a bit. About the length of time it would take a woman to walk a kilometer or so over fields to men bringing in a harvest. When he was growing up in rural Spain, this was lunch; the sight of my grandmother with a pot in her arms and the sun high in the sky. The goatskin full of water, or wine more likely, held high above the head and aimed into their mouths, the higher above the head, the more skillful the drinker. This is comfort food of the best kind, the oil from the pan and that shed by the peppers and pork soak into the potatoes and their soft warmth is offset by the golden caramelised onions and sweet seared peppers. Whenever I eat this, even though it's warming on a night like tonight, it reminds me of golden hazy days, the smell of drying grass, the warm buzz of summer afternoons and the faint waft of black tobacco. Poor mans potatoes, they call this, but it really is something to treasure.


cookiecrumb said...

Oh, thank god the sensualist is back. Missed you.

GastroChick said...

Hi Monkey gland

You can't beat potatoes for sheer comfort.

I just read your review of Maze which I found very interesting. I recently ate at Gordon Ramsay on Hospital Road and can honestly say that I enjoyed Maze far more.

drbiggles said...

1 patatas, 2 patatas, 3 patatas, 4 !! You say patatas, I say patatas.

I need to get my mind right.


Matt Armendariz said...

Man, you really got me with this story here. It's beautiful, romantic and is making me so hungry.

I'm so glad you share this stuff with us, damn.