This traditional tapa comes from Avila in the province of Castilla, the epicentre of Spain. Castilla is a land of history, kingdoms, castles, cathedrals and an outstanding gastronomy. You could say this is a rustic mashed potato dish, spiced up with smoked pimentón and traditionally served with pork crackling.
3 large waxy potatoes, Peeled and quartered
1 whole head of garlic
1 bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil, For frying
300g pork belly, Cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tablespoon sweet pimenton
1 teaspoon spicy pimenton
freshly ground black pepper
1 Put the potatoes, garlic, onion, a pinch of salt and the bay leaf in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. 2 Drain the potatoes, but keep a bit of the water, the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Peel the garlic and keep the pulp.
3 Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan and fry the pork belly pieces with the bay leaf from the potatoes and a bit of salt until crispy (this can take up to 30 minutes). Set the meat aside to rest.
4 In the same pan, fry the halfboiled onion, then set aside for later.
5 Fry the garlic until light golden. Add the sweet and hot pimentón and after 10 seconds add the potatoes, give them a stir and mash them in the pan with a fork. If they get too dry use the reserved cooking water to thin the purée. Season with salt and pepper.
6 Serve the potatoes with the crispy pork belly and panfried onion on top.
Recipe courtesy of Omar Allibhoy. See here for more.