So, Spanish cuisine: a definite crave-hate relationship. My grandpa on my mother’s side was a serious man from Asturias, Spain who immigrated to the Caribbean at a young age. When we would visit my grandparents, when he wasn’t spoiling me by taking us to eat sushi, he would insist on going to a Spanish restaurant (almost) every other time. So, naturally I grew sick of it. The plates always seemed to be covered in pimientos morrones, preserved sweet red bell peppers.
It has been years since he passed away and I could not miss those peppers any more. In fact, I grew up to love them. But, in paying respects to my ancestry (and my childhood disdain for pimientos) I came up with this rice dish. Butifarra, a sausage consumed both in Spain and Puerto Rico, is filled with pork yumminess. The rice, once cooked, turns into a creamy, porky concoction with a paella’s socarrat-like crust. Mopping the floors after grease and fat go flying every which way is totally worth it.
2cupsbutton mushrooms, quartered
1large tomato, cut into thin wedges
3garlic cloves, minced
2cupsshort grain rice
2cupsham or pork stock
2tspsweet Spanish paprika
Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Sear and completely cook the butifarra sausage. Remove the sausage, cool for 10 minutes, slice into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. In the same pot, sauté the tomato and mushrooms, then deglaze with the white wine and add the garlic. Cook until the tomato has softened and the alcohol has evaporated from the wine. Add the rice, stock and paprika and stir. Bring the stock to a boil and sprinkle the sausage on top. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked through and no broth is left.