Category Archives: Paella

Meat Porn

Variance on a theme by c. sativa

Well I might get a few more readers with that title, though I may get reported for misleading non- ‘mature’ content. Only mature thing around here is my receeding hairline. Anyway, the above dish was a freezer special, I had stewed some meats together, chicken, beef rib and chorizo with some frozen lobster stock left from Christmas (not ideal) and then kept for a rainy day. The beef ribs are often sold for the barbecue, but they are way too tough and are far better stewed.

The rains been a long time coming, but in with the Calasparra rice and saffron. Some yard long beans as shown, but no more seafood. I think this still comes under the paella umbrella. Come to think of it, I’ve never done the traditional Spanish rabbit based paella. I must make a note of that omission as they’ve got them at Meat Direct.

Pink lamb and Burghul wheat

To be honest I cant remember how I cooked this lamb. I think I smeared the last of my very delicious Massaman Thai paste  over it and rotisseried. It is also very good either in a chicken or on it deep fried, ‘Southern style’. Some soaked burghul wheat with some barbecued aubergines, olive oil. Some green beans and tomatoes, obviously.

Sweet soy belly pork

Shona made this with belly pork this time, not pork ribs. The soft and unctuous skin is rather good, though the bones do add, well, boneyness.  This is great for the slow cooker. It’s worth doing as many shallots as patience will allow. The ones you get here require Angelic levels of it; they are frigging tiny. Whole star anise, cinnamon stick, soy sauce, and palm sugar and a chili or two, children allowing. Yum, yum, yummity yum.

Not doing well with the cutting down on the dead animals.

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Urchins for urchins

Flor De Calasparra

I’ve had the little urchins in the freezer.  Like snakes,  it takes the edge off their aggressioin.

OK, not Willspawn, but the spikey sea critters. Shona bought me these for a birthday which was overshadowed by post wisdom extraction hell, so they’ve been waiting for an outing. Also in the freezer was some of prawn stock, made with left oververy gorgeous prawn feasts, and in the absence of North Atlantic lobster stock, this makes an epic base for paella.

I don’t really have a regular recipe for paella, the essential elements are of course rice, saffron and the sea, but I have made some meaty bastards just with prawn stock and chunks of animal, chorizo and recently beef rib.

On this one I fried some onion and garlic in olive oil with some sweet smoked paprika and a pinch of some deeply crimson and mind blowing saffron (Baby Saffron brand) til translucent, then the rice (250g of Flor de Calasparra paella rice), a chunk of frozen passata, and the stock (about 5-600ml plus some water). As it neared completion, I scattered in some cooked Jewfish- a delicious and firm NT local fish, then some frozen peas and chopped parsley. As the base nicely crusted, I placed some of the urchins around the edges with some not too hot fresh chili on one half for the grown ups and let them gently warm through before serving. The boys loved it though like magnets, the urchins repelled each other.

The iodine hit from the urchins is pretty unique, possibly similar to that you get with oysters. Is there is something like synesthesia here? Maybe not quite, but occasionally food has a profound sensory evocation, maybe like looking at the ocean on LSD? Every now and then this strikes, and it’s great.