Bread,  Meat,  Recipes

Migas: Spanish magic made with stale bread

Hello everyone and welcome to another week!

After careful consideration, I have finally decided to post recipes twice a week. The days this will happen will be every Monday and Thursday. Does it sounds good? Below you can find the comments box to leave any feedback so please do it should you wish to say anything.

Having said this, let’s move on! When talking about food in rural Spain there is one recipe that inevitably comes up: Migas. Translated in English as bread crumbs, it has played a crucial role (and so still it does!) in the diet of those families living in the Spanish countryside. Our days’ version origins from the ancient Migas del pastor as it used to be the main meal for shepherds during the transhumance period. It originated in Castilla y León, but rapidly expanded to other areas of livestock activity.

The cooking of Migas changes between regions. Cured meats, such chorizo, and pork belly are the most predominant toppings. However, the range is so wide that includes fish (fried sardines), vegetables and even fruit or chocolate. Delicious, isn’t it?

Even though I am a city boy, I have eaten Migas loads of times. This dish takes me back to my holidays in the rural area of Jaén (where my family comes from) and to my granddad cooking them in a stove. My recipe is a mix of his tradition and of my girlfriend’s, who used to use milk and water to make the crumbs more juicy. Very important to use stale bread, but ideally no older than three days. Mine was homemade, by the way.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

  • 1 Large stale bread loaf
  • Garlic cloves (8)
  • Large red pepper (1)
  • Large green pepper (1)
  • Chorizo (15 slices of a whole cured one)
  • Pork belly (200 gr, skinless and diced)
  • Fried eggs (4)
  • Water (100 ml)
  • Milk (a dash)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS OF COOKING

  1. Begin by crumbling the bread. Cut it in slices, remove the crust and extract them bit by bit with your hands. Make them as small as possible and put in a bowl when you finish. Make sure of scratching well the inner side of the crusts before being discarded (I know this whole process is tedious, but must be like this if you want an optimum result)

2. In a small glass mix the water with a pinch of salt and a dash of milk. Moist the crumbs with the mixture using your hands. You may not need it all now so start by adding three tablespoons. The crumbs must be just moist, not soaked. Save the remaining mix for later.

3. Heat up some olive oil in a wok pan. Cut the garlic cloves half way and fry them at medium heat for one minute.

4. Cut both peppers in sticks, incorporate to the pan, and fry at medium heat until tender (10 minutes). Add the chorizo slices five minutes before finishing. Once done, remove and set aside. Also, empty the wok oil so you just leave a tiny bit for toasting the crumbs.

5. Tip all the crumbs in the wok and toast at the lowest possible heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon from bottom to top, but trying not to throw them out. When necessary, split those crumbs that look too big. Taste and check they are still moist. If they are drying, add one more tablespoon of the water and milk mixture and keep stirring. Do the same if you are running out of oil.

6. Once they are toasted, drop the chorizo, the garlic and the peppers. Stir and mix well everything for a couple of minutes to allow flavour absorption.

7. Re-use the previous oil and fry the pork belly and the eggs per separate. If everyone likes pork belly, add it straight to the wok and stir all together. If not, then put in a bowl apart for your guests choice. Finally, serve with the fried eggs on top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.