They’re everywhere, you’ll find them all over the island, stuffed into their tight red coverings, leaving nought to the imagination; embarrassing really, as they proudly flaunt repulsive bulges and bumps. Getting it all out there and being confidently proud of it.
I’m suggesting here, good Islanders, to take a minute out of your day and contemplate chorizo’s rather unglamorous cousin, la Sobrasada. Certainly the opposite of elegant; thick and uneven, this unalluring sausage has an excuse for it’s beastly proportions……. Unlike the hoards of MAMILS (Middle Aged Men in Lycra)that infest our amazing mountains and shores. One really can’t quietly advise a sobrasada to take a ¨good look¨ in the mirror or ask a trusted friend’s opinion when it comes to exposing unsightly and textile defying flesh.
Ripe for parody, the lycra wearing latte set, everyone hates them, really, seriously everyone does. Who hasn’t been held up behind them in their car on the roads and witnessed them willingly prance around in skin tight lycra with padded bottoms offset by a veranda gut. Truth – the real reason these corpulent middle aged warriors wear lycra is that they think it looks good. Yes. Really. They. Do. Personally I think they all need a bloody good spanking. Maybe if they inserted una sobrasada down that there in all that lycra, they might just garner a bit of respect from me at least, oh, and ride in a single file.
Getting right off track here, I was surprised to find that the name Sobrasada originates from Sicily. There was a technique called `sopressa’(pressed) that applied to the stuffing meat. Through the maritime trade it reached Valencia and then to Mallorca where it was embraced and became a popular way of preserving food for a long period of time.
After fattening the family porker for a year, the Mallorquins throw a pig party know as Matança, where they slaughter a big black pig or porc negre. Not much of a celebration if you are the pig. The whole family, neighbours and friends are invited to this somewhat seemingly blood thirsty, yet festive gathering and reduce the pig to a paste. Sobrasada, made with lean cuts, is then minced and mixed with fat and lovely spices such as paprika, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
Due to the Islands climate and it’s high levels of humidity, el piggy is stuffed into the intestines or pigs belly, tied and hung to cure for at least two weeks which probably accounts for its slightly lumpy and obscene appearance.
So, now you’ve got a boat load of wonderful guests and cruising in the beautiful Balearics, what can be more satisfying than using local produce?
I was thinking, let’s make unsexy sobrasada sexy, umm, a great thought and I think I have sexed this sausage up. No jokes though, the Mallorquins are very serious about their bangers and unlike those portly pedallers on two wheels, there is no mocking of this artisanal sausage. Lovingly paired with honey, dancing a beautiful tune with seafood, a Mallorquin surf and turf if you like,
Sobrsada is the Queen of Mallorquin sausage and should be treated with the deference it so justifiably deserves.
Clams with Jamon Iberico and Sobrasada
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 thin slices Iberico jamon, finely chopped
6 sage leaves
5cm piece sobrasada, skin removed and cut into
2 teaspoons plain flour
100ml dry fino sherry
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1kg fresh clams, cleaned
chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a large frying pay over high heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the jamon and sage and stir for another 10 seconds, then add the sobrasada and stir for another minute.
Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine, then add the sherry and whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Season to taste.
Add the clams, shake the pan to combine well then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until all the clams have opened, chuck out any still closed.
Divide among small shallow serving bowls, scatter with parsley and drizzle with a little extra oil.
Simplicity at its best……just gorgeous
Sensational Snails with Sobrasada
48 small to medium sized snails, boiled
200 grams sobrasada, diced
20 ml brandy
salt and pepper
150 grams jamon serrano
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tomatoes, skinned and diced
half a teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
250ml white wine
Cook the onion and garlic gently in the olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish until translucent.
Add the tomatoes and jamon and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Add the cooked snails and heat them thoroughly in the sauce, gently simmering but not boiling.
Croquetas de Sobrasada
125g sobrasada, room temperature
1 small onion, finely chopped
60g unsalted butter
100g plain flour, divided into tow
500ml full fat milk
1 small handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 large eggs
25g finely grated Manchego cheese
1 litre vegetable oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Aioli for dipping
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and cook over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add half the flour (75g) and cook, stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Switch to a whisk and gradually add the milk, whisking regularly until you have a smooth thick bechamel sauce. Grab your wooden spoon and stir in the sobrasada. Continue to cook until the mixture has the texture of mashed potato and pulls away from the sides of the pan for 2 – 3 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper then transfer to a shallow container and cover with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Allow to come to room temperature then chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Once the bechamel has chilled, lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese to a second bowl, stirring to combine. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Dust your hands with some of the remaining flour and scoop out a heaped teaspoon of the firm bechamel. Roll into a ball then dip into the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.
Transfer to the tray, then repeat until all of the mixture is dipped and rolled. Continue to dust your hands to prevent sticking. Chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat oil in a deep fryer until it reaches 175C. Line a tray with paper towel. Fry the balls in batches of no more than 5 at a time until crisp and golden – about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately with aioli for dipping.
Luvvies, just be warned – when sitting in a cafe, enjoying the spring sunshine in many of Mallorca’s pueblos and the men in their skin tight suits waltz in. Keep your eyes firmly on your sausage and eggs because looking up will definitely give you an eyeful of theirs. Can’t be doing that, no one ever deserves that.
Bless their little cotton socks,
Galley Goddess xxx