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Seasonal Spanish Food
by Jose Pizarro

We have a saying in Spain: "Del cerdo, se come hasta los andares," which basically means that we eat every last bit of a pig, down to its trotters. And pig's ears are a great delicacy—I adore them! So much so that my mother always makes this snack for me when I go home.
Pig's ears have a delicate taste, and a texture rather like a granular shiitake mushroom: a bit gelatinous or slippery and a bit crunchy.
Some butchers don't like to sell pig's ears—they get more money for them if they are ground up for sausage meat. So they may need a bit of persuasion to sell you two whole ones for this dish.
Serves 4


    · 2 pig's ears
    · 1 onion, sliced
    · 1 leek, cut into chunky slices
    · 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
    · 2 bay leaves
    · sea salt and black peppercorns

    · 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    · 1 onion, finely diced
    · 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
    · 6 tablespoons white wine
    · 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (hot)


First, cook the pig's ears. Simply put everything in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 2 hours, topping off with water if necessary and removing any foam that comes to the surface. Keep simmering until you can stick a knife into the thickest part of the ear very easily. Let the ears cool, then use a pair of scissors to cut them up into 3/4 in. squares.

For the sofrito, heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion until soft but not colored. Make a paste with the garlic cloves and the wine in a pestle and mortar. Stir this into the onions along with the paprika, then add the chopped-up pig's ears. Simmer until the wine has evaporated and you are left with an oniony coating on the pork.

Eat as a snack or a tapas dish.

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