ANDORRA | BASQUE COUNTRY | CATALONIA
Seasonal potatoes, winter cabbage and smoked pork lard give this dish from Baix Cerdanya in the north of Catalonia at the Pyrénées border with France a resounding stamp of approval for the local food tradition. The trinxat festival at Puigcerdà [www.puigcerda.cat] celebrates that tradition every February and establishes the dish firmly in the province, but its fame is widespread, throughout Catalonia, in the Basque region and up in Andorra. In Baix Cerdanya, trinxat is made with the indigenous leafy green cabbage and this gives the dish its distinctive flavour. Trinxat made with the tight-packed cabbage found elsewhere is passable but the traditional dish is made with the local cabbage … and the local potatoes and local pork. Traditionally trinxat is finished in a large frying pan, but we are breaking with tradition by finishing it in the oven.
1.5 kg green cabbage, shredded 1.5 kg potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks 500 g smoked bacon, cubed 60 ml olive oil 60 g smoked pork lard 10 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped 5 g salt
Preheat oven to 220ºC. Boil four litres of water, with a large pinch of salt, in a large pot. Add the cabbage, cook for five minutes, then add the potatoes and remaining salt, cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, and mash. Heat the olive oil with the lard in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry garlic for two minutes, remove with a slotted spoon to a warm plate. Fry the bacon cubes until golden, transfer to plate. Grease a large baking tray with smoked pork lard. Spoon the mash into the tray, level with a spatula, bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the garlic and bacon evenly across the surface, heat for a further five minutes.
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