A recipe book from the Rioja region without a recipe for “potatoes with chorizo” could not be taken seriously. And there is no one better than the chef from Cachetero (Txebiko), along with Mercedes Garcia, winemaker from Bodegas Montecillo, to reveal the secrets of one of the essential dishes of traditional Riojan cookery.
The key to this recipe is in the way that you cut the potatoes, splitting them apart by pressing the knife in lightly and then pressing out to the sides, so that they release their starch whilst cooking and thicken the sauce. They are often called “Rioja-style potatoes” although these were traditionally made with both chorizo and marinated pork ribs.
1. Leave the “choricero” pepper soaking in warm water to rehydrate it. Drain and scrape out the flesh with a knife.
2. Put a spoonful of oil in a saucepan and gently fry the finely diced onion along with the chorizo.
3. Peel, wash and break up the potatoes with the point of a knife.
4. Crush the garlic and salt in a mortar.
5. Place the broken-up potatoes into a saucepan; add the crushed olive and salt, the flesh from the pepper and a pinch of paprika.
6. Cover with water (you could use the water that we used to soak the “choricero” peppers) and cook over a low heat for 30 or 40 minutes.
The Cachetero touch:
This stew needs resting time, cover it and leave at room temperature. The potato should be a variety that is suitable for stews, such as “Mona Lisa” and slightly spicy fresh chorizo with the PGI Rioja seal.
To pair with this cornerstone of traditional Riojan cookery, there is nothing better than one of the region’s iconic wines: Montecillo Reserva- fresh, fruity, polished and distinctly elegant.
1 ½ kg of potatoes
1 “choricero” pepper
1 pinch of sweet or spicy paprika
¼ of an onion
1 spoonful of olive oil
6 pieces of fresh spicy chorizo from the PGI Rioja
Preparation time: 40 minutes