Sagardi Basque Country Chefs are representing Basque cuisine at Meatopía

 

 

This coming weekend a 3 day international festival (from 3-5 September) will be held at Tobacco Dock in East London, bringing together some of the world’s best live-fire chefs including our very own Mikel Lz from Viñaspre from our restaurant in Shoreditch.

 

Meatopia is undoubtedly one of the greatest festivals for meat lovers. A meeting point for different gastronomic cultures who share the same passion of celebrating sustainable, quality meat and fire.

We will be cutting and roasting more than 350kg of our well-known old cow txuleton, which is fast becoming a staple must-eat in the city’s capital.

 

The continued participation of Sagardi in the last few editions of the festival have been an amazing boost for the international projection of the concept of the Basque txuleton.

 

 

A fantastic opportunity to explain to the world why, although the trend is to roast young animals for most, the Basques give gastronomic value to the retired, fat, cattle. And publicize the social, cultural and gastronomic value of txuleton.

 


Clams in green sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde)

Let this recipe from Grandma teach you how to make a classic green sauce.

A front-runner of traditional Basque sauces to compliment your fish dishes this summer.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 150 grams of clams
  • 75ml of Txakoli (or a dry white wine)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 5 grams of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 20 grams of plain flour (can be adapted to suit thickness of sauce)
  • 300ml of fish stock
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

The green sauce is ideal to accompany white fish dishes, such as hake, shellfish and molluscs.

It is a primitive sauce, very authentic with a long history in Basque culinary tradition dating all the way back to 1723.

Therefore, it is recognised as a notable sauce of the gastronomy and still the tradition in many household kitchens since our ancient ancestors cooked it over hot coals and a slow fire.

Although there is no exact science on how it should be made and cooked (it can be adapted to each person’s liking), it is important to achieve a well-blended sauce.

METHOD:

  1. Layer a large, deep, frying pan with extra virgin olive oil and sauté the finely chopped garlic and chilli (optional but adds a touch of spice)
  1. Lightly fry until the garlic is cooked but with no colour (this is important - if the onion and garlic are brown; the green sauce will be brown)
  1. Add the flour closely followed by the Txakoli (or dry white wine), stirring occasionally and well so that the alcohol evaporates, leaving the flavour behind
  1. Add the 300ml fish stock and let it boil well, enabling the mixture of flour and Txakoli to dissolve (eliminating the taste of raw flour) and to thicken the sauce
  1. Add the clams and simmer until they are delved deeply into the sauce, once they have started opening, sprinkle the chopped parsley into the sauce to achieve a nice green colour
  1. Season with a pinch of salt, let it rest for a few minutes then “on egin” (enjoy)!

*we buy our fresh clams in the Galician Rias Baixas*


Summer is a time when you really get to appreciate Basque Cuisine in all its fine glory

Farmhouse tomatoes from our gardens, green Ibarra chilli peppers, marmitako (fisherman’s stew) with "bonito" fish from the port of Hondarribia … the new summer menu is here!

Summer is a time when you really get to appreciate Basque Cuisine in all its fine glory. At SAGARDI Group we take full advantage of this season during a time when the region's rugged coastlines and charming land provide some of the most wonderful produce. Some of the greatest and most iconic dishes include a variety of tomatoes at their peak, green chilli peppers from Ibarra and white “bonito” fish marmitako.

 

The green Ibarra chilli peppers are the true star in the Basque gardens, a wonder that the Basque people await every summer as a gastronomic treasure. These come from our own gardens and are collected before they reach 12 cm so they can retain all their tenderness.

Appreciated for their taste, our green Ibarra chilli peppers are pan fried for a mere 30 seconds and simply seasoned with salt; an uncomplicated and favourite summer starter.

The mild temperatures and abundant rainfall of the Basque Country are the ideal conditions for our own SAGARDI gardens to produce a variety of the best tomatoes. Handpicked at the peak of their ripeness and maturity so they can be presented at our tables packed with punches of intense, succulent and sweet flavours.

Marmitako with white “bonito” fish is another incredibly popular and typical Basque dish that is one of our favourites, quite simply; a fisherman’s hearty boat stew brimming with flavour. Renowned for its simplicity and richness, marmitako uses potatoes, vegetables and freshly caught white “bonito” fish from the ports of Hondarribia.

The white “Bonito” fish that is caught and served in our restaurants comes from our trusted fishermen in the Basque Country on their boat “Itsas Lagunak” (Friends of the Sea). Each season, they provide us with the best “Bonito del Norte” from the Basque Country.

Desserts stick to the Basque Country traditions too and we are in love with our new seasonal dessert; Roasted peaches from Tudela stuffed with vanilla cream and served with lemongrass ice cream. On egin!


The marmitako you deserve!

Marmitako is an incredibly popular and typical Basque dish that is one of our favourites, a fisherman’s boat stew, simple but brimming with flavour.

Originally beginning life on board the local fishing boats when out in high seas, it was the Basque fishermen - also known as “arrantzaleak” - who first came up with this recipe.

The Basque fishermen needed to prepare a hearty stew whilst out at high sea with minimal produce that could be loaded onto the boats and kept fresh. Renowned for its simplicity, richness and practicality, “marmitako” was born using potatoes, onions, peppers, tomato preserves that they carried on land and fresh “bonito” tuna that they caught.

Cooked in a large pot (marmitako means roughly “from the pot” in Basque) on the deck of the ship, it was also a moment to come together. What was caught side by side was enjoyed side by side.

There is no doubt that this “ritual” was a small oasis to warm up and regain strength, but above all, it was a moment to celebrate a strong, hard work ethic, friendship and life, as with a good bowl of marmitako, everything tasted better.

Marmitako has always been one of our signature dishes of the spring season. From those that you look forward to, after a whole winter remembering it, and with all summer ahead to enjoy it over and over again.

At Sagardi, this time of year, we like to serve this dish as a sincere tribute to the arrantzales or Basque fishermen. You too, with this marmitako recipe, can pay tribute from home. Of course, as you know, there is no magic formula, the secret lies in the produce, the sensitivity and experience.

So, if you want to eat good good good marmitako, which pays homage to those Basque fishermen of yesteryear who left their fishing rods for a moment to gather around a large pot - you have to visit your local Sagardi restaurant - where we will be waiting for you with the stew simmering.


A good cook is one who looks at the product a lot and touches it little

There is no middleman between the producers and the Sagardi Group, which means that our cuisine is directly linked to the land and its produce. It is with this great feeling of close proximity and nearness in space, time and relationship, that we are able to deliver such healthful, rooted cuisine.

Here we cook with respect and favour exceptional quality over complicated flourishes to ensure that the produce is the true champion of any table.

Like the nape of hake a la Donostiarra, one of the great dishes of traditional Basque cuisine.

Foto de instagram.com/quesecueceenbcn

 

We have resurfaced this video of Iñaki cooking one in the brotherhood of the fisherman’s guild of La Barceloneta to learn more about the origin and history of this classic dish and to understand why the produce is always the primary flag bearer at Sagardi.

 

 

Make your reservation and pay tribute to the produce by enjoying a good feast