Flamenco, Friends…and a Bucket of Beer

Port of Malaga - Old Port Authority Building

Although we love our life Up the Mountain, sometimes it´s good to get out.  Last night a new friend organised tickets for a group of us to go the theatre in Malaga to see a show at the Instituto Andaluz de Flamenco.  As you´d expect from the name of the venue, it was an evening of dance – Flamenco fused at times with ballet.  Very lovely, and certainly nothing like some of the dreadful “shows” some venues put on to keep the tourists happy. I´m sorry I can´t show you any photos as some of the costumes were spectacular.

Málaga Cathedral known as "La Manquita" or One Armed Woman because of the unfinished tower on the left

After the show we were not quite ready to go home, you may recall that the Spaniards believe the night is for fun and partying, so we headed over to a the development, recently opened at Málaga port, where many of the large cruise ships stop.

It reminded me a little of Sydney Harbour with lots of shops, bars and restaurants and I hope that as the warmer weather comes and more people learn about it, it will be a huge success.

Would you care for a beer?

We went to a Cervecería, a beer “tavern” where they serve buckets of beer…

3€ for a bucket of beer - can´t be bad!

And tapas…

And then a final stroll back to the car, giving us the opportunity to enjoy views of the Cathedral and the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro – a Moorish fortification overlooking the city.

The lights of the Alcazaba (l) and Gibralfaro (r) behind my personal collection of yachts

Wearily we made our way home, only to find out this morning that an earth tremor had been felt at 4am in the next village.  Clearly the beers had done their work and we had slept through the whole thing!

Codillo de Cerdo con Fabas – Pork Shank with Giant Beans

Last year I posted a recipe for a similar dish, this is a variation.  Two pork shanks here serve four people in a very warming winter casserole.

We need more wine, the bottle is almost empty!

Ingredients

  • 500g of large white beans (large cannellini or butter beans would be good) soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • Two large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large leek, roughly chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery and some of the celery leaves if you have them
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • A dried chili (optional)
  • Approx two cups of water (enough to cover the pork and beans)
  • Four slices of smoked bacon, diced
  • Salt and pepper (don´t season until the beans are cooked)
  • 4 whole cloves or a ½ a level teaspoon of ground cloves

Put all the  ingredients into a large pot with a lid and cook very slowly for about 2 or 3 hours (or longer) in a low oven or on top of the stove.  If you have time, it´s best left overnight before eating to allow the flavours to really develop.

When the beans are soft, strain the liquid off (reserving it) and take as many of the vegetables out from the meat and beans as you can and put into a blender jug.  Blend the vegetables with a little of the cooking liquid then stir into the remaining liquid.  Add the beans and meat (which will have fallen off the bones) into the thick soup, check for seasoning, reheat and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.