`Return to Buenos Aires' paella rice

`Return to Buenos Aires' paella rice

A recipe from Paella

Preparation: 1 hour

Cooking: 17 minutes

Serves: 8 people


300g (2½ cups) peeled and seeded pumpkin, cut into 2cm (¾ inch) cubes

6 plum (roma) tomatoes

2 courgettes (zucchini), cut into 1cm (½ inch) rounds

3 baby artichokes, rinsed, trimmed and cut into quarters lengthwise

2 sweet corn cobs, cut into 3cm (1¼ inch) thick slices

2 morcilla sausages

2 smoked cooking chorizo (the larger, softer Galician variety)

1 set of calf’s sweetbreads, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces

1 kg (2¼lb) boned short ribs of beef

300 g (11oz) chinchulines (beef chitterlings), thoroughly cleaned and cut into 20cm (8 inch) lengths

200 ml (scant 1 cup) olive oil

6 cloves garlic

150g (5oz) green beans, trimmed

200g (scant 1 cup) fresh tomato purée or passata (puréed canned tomatoes)

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

2 tablespoons maté tea (in a teabag or infusing sachet)

600g (3 cups) bomba or other shortgrain rice

1 teaspoon saffron threads, toasted and pounded

1 small sprig of rosemary

salt and pepper


Vegetables and meats that have already been grilled on the barbecue or grill are called for here.

For a moist paella, use a 60cm (24 inch) paella pan.

Before you start cooking the paella, preheat the barbecue or grill, and grill the vegetables (pumpkin, tomatoes, courgettes (zucchini), artichokes and sweet corn) and various meats and sausages. The vegetables should be grilled only until they start to soften and colour; otherwise they over-cook once added to the paella. The meats are cooked to your liking; they are served alongside the paella. As you finish grilling the different ingredients, set them aside to keep warm, covered with aluminium foil. Cut up the meats and sausages to provide 6 portions.

Make sure that the paella pan is completely level to ensure that the paella cooks evenly. Heat the oil in the paella pan over very high heat (position the pan very close to the heat source or over the hottest part of the barbecue or grill). Add the garlic and sauté until just starting to colour. Add the artichokes and green beans to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until starting to brown, then add the tomato purée and other grilled vegetables. Stir well and cook until the tomato has thickened and reduced. Add the paprika and cook briefly for a few seconds more, taking care that it does not burn. Pour in 1.5 litres (6¼ cups) water immediately. Add the maté tea. Mark the level of the liquid at this point with a piece of aluminium foil folded over the rim of the pan. Pour 500 ml (2¼ cups) water into the pan and cook until the liquid has evaporated to the level indicated by the aluminium foil marker.

Sprinkle in all the rice and add the saffron, distributing the rice evenly all over the paella pan. Taste and season with salt if needed. Bring to a boil over very high heat (position the pan very close to the embers or over the hottest part of the barbecue). After 5 minutes, taste again and reduce the heat by removing some of the embers under the pan or adjusting the trivet or grill rack upwards (or by moving the pan to a cooler part of the barbecue or grill). Remove and discard the maté teabag or infusing sachet.

When the rice starts to rise to the surface of the liquid, position the paella pan as far away from the heat source as possible, but make sure that the liquid stays at a very gentle simmer. Finish cooking the rice, allowing all the liquid in the pan to evaporate. Taste to check whether the rice is cooked: it should be tender but still slightly firm to the bite. If it is a little too firm, cover the paella with a clean, damp dish towel for 2–3 minutes to finish cooking. If it is much too firm, sprinkle several tablespoons of hot water over the surface of the rice and cook until the rice is tender.