Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 5 - Andorra

First, some background on this gorgeous little country, which I will admit I didn't even know existed until I embarked on this adventure. Aside from getting to cook and eat all kinds of interesting food, one of the best parts of this journey is learning about countries, their history and culture in a meaningful and permanent way.

Andorra is located in the middle of the Pyrenees between Spain and France. One of the most mountainous areas in Europe as well as one of the smallest countries covering just 468 km2, Andorran cuisine has both French and Spanish influences.

Tonight I made Wild Boar Stew served with an Andorran Rice and Mushroom dish and a Dandelion Greens and Pine Nut salad.

I marinated the boar for 24+ hours and cooked it pretty much the way beef stew is cooked. So far, the recipes I find on line have to be tweaked because details are often lost in translation. For example, you'll notice that the attached recipe for the stew doesn't specify the quantities to be added, so I just wing it  and hope for the best.  To make the stew richer, the recipe called for dark chocolate, so I used 65% bittersweet -

The rice dish called for varieties of mushrooms I was unable to find, so I used a combination of baby bella, shitake and oyster mushrooms - really, really good!

The dandelion greens salad was great - if you like bitter greens, which I do. I added pine nuts to the salad because I felt like it (and Andorrans use a fair amount of pine nuts in their cooking anyway).

AND - I served a baguette with GOAT MILK BUTTER: shout out to Meyenberg Goat Milk Products in California: for some of the best butter I've ever had and that complimented the country meal beautifully.

My family rates this meal their favorite so far.

Lastly, or perhaps, firstly, a kiss, hug and eternal love to my Mom, Liz Gude,  the best and most intuitive cook I know who taught me everything I know about food, family and mothering - I love you!

Recipes Below:

Wild Boar Stew

  • Wild boar
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cognac
  • Bacon
  • Vinegar
  • Red wine
  • Almonds
  • Crackers
  • Dark chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • Salt 
Andorran Mushroom and Rice
Cut the wild boar into small pieces and place them in a ceramic pot with the salt, pepper, garlic, chopped onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, cloves, oregano, thyme, nutmeg and cognac, as well as a splash of vinegar and a drop of oil and cover it all with red wine.
Leave it to stand for a minimum of 12 hours. Let the wild boar drain well and fry it in oil in a large frying pan. At the same time, bring all the ingredients of the marinade to the boil in a pot until the carrots are cooked.
Strain it all and put it in a casserole with the wild boar. At the same time, fry the pieces of bacon and the onions in the oil in which we cooked the wild boar. Add the wild boar and a bowl of water, then cover and leave it to simmer very gently
When it is almost done, add garlic, almonds, chocolate and crackers, all finely-chopped and mixed together. Stir it well, add more salt if necessary and, after 30 more minutes, it is ready to be served.
You can also add chestnuts or potatoes, depending on your personal tastes. If the pork is very well done you will need to add more onion to counteract the strong taste of the meat. Reheating this dish will only improve it.

  • 6 cups rice
  • 14 cups water or stock
  • 1kg assorted mushrooms (scotch bonnet, woodwax, milk-cap...)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
In an aluminium casserole, sauté the finely-chopped onion, the chopped garlic and parsley, and the bay leaves.
When the onion is transparent, add the mushrooms and leave it all to cook for a further five minutes. Next, add the white wine.
Add the rice and stir it a bit. Next, pour on the boiling water or stock, adjust the seasoning and cook it for about two minutes on a high heat. Then put it in the oven on 180ºC for two more minutes.
This rice is very suitable for serving with meats.

Dandelion Salad

  • Dandelions
  • Bacon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • Vinegar

Clean the dandelions thoroughly and put them to soak in water in a cool place.
Next, drain them and mix them well with a lot of oil, a little splash of vinegar, salt and pepper. Then add the bacon - which you will have fried in very hot oil in advance - chopped up into little bits, while it is still slightly warm.


Mary Trelease Beaudet said...

Would you say the boar was similar to ham/pork? (for substitution purposes?)...I'm not a big fan of dandilion greens, so here's a dumb question, does one just pick them from the back yard? ...This is fun!

sadie said...

Hi Mary - Yes, sort of like pork, but gamier and tougher. The stew had a beef stew quality to it - very good - maybe better for a cold winter day. As for the dandelion greens...I suppose you could pick them from your yard, but I bought big (like the size of Swiss chard) at Whole Foods. I like bitter greens, but my kids weren't big fans. Thanks so much for supporting this nutty endeavor!

jill said...

Andorra was hard, not alot of recipes. I made trixnat a fried dish with cabbage, bacon and potatos, wasn't thrilled with it. The Catalan salad was better.

jill said...

Andorra was hard, not alot of recipes. I made trixnat, a fried dish with cabbage, potato and bacon, shuld have been good but was greasy. The Catalan salad was better