Little Piggies and Potato Cakes

Near our village in Spain is another village with a restarant run by a lovely lady called Belén. Belén means Bethlehem in English, so although a bit unusual for English speakers, her name is quite apt as we creep up towards the Christmas season. Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t mention the C word until well into December and it’s only the 2nd today.

Belén runs a good bar and restaurant with all the usual offerings plus a few slightly different ones. An item on her menu is called “Guarrito” which translated means “little wild boar”. I don’t know if this is a typical dish, we’ve certainly never seen it anywhere else, so of course had to order it. And once ordered, we loved it and often go back for a little tapas of this with a glass of wine. So, what is “guarrito”? It’s simply thick slices of jamón cooked in a little olive oil (and Belén serves them on fried bread which makes them extra naughty and extra nice).

Guarrito (2)

We always said that these little morsels would be fantastic with a fried egg and baked beans, in a Full English Breakfast style. Or as a supper dish. Or any time really. So of course, now we make guarrito at home in England until we can get back to visit Belén again.

To accompany the guarrito I was inspired by Frugal’s Gluten Free Potato Cakes. He uses gram (chick pea) flour instead of regular flour and I pretty much followed his recipe with the addition of some roasted red peppers.

Being the sort of Chica who always cooks army rations instead of regular sized portions, I still had a little mashed potato left the following day, so I made another potato cake to go with some grilled meat and salad.

Ingredients to serve 2

  • About a cup of mashed potato
  • One beaten egg
  • Half a roasted pepper
  • A tablespoon of crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and then blend with a hand blender or mash thoroughly – the mixture will be quite runny. Don’t panic!

Using a heavy based frying pan, pour in a little oil and get it quite hot. Now pour in the potato mix and turn the heat down. Cook slowly for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to get crispy. If you’re feeling brave slide it out onto a plate and then flip it back into the pan to cook the other side in the same way. For the fainter hearted, pop it under the grill until it starts to brown a little then flip and continue to fry.

Potato Cake (2)

Slide it out into a serving plate and enjoy your potato (pan) cake sliced into portions. Crispy on the outside, creamy soft in the middle. Now how economical and delicious is that?!


59 thoughts on “Little Piggies and Potato Cakes

  1. Well you did stand under the South bank Christmas tree on Saturday…
    That’s a fantastic looking potato cake and a fabulous brunch.
    My Spanish flat mate (back in the day) was very fond of saying, “Que guarro”, if someone messed up the apartment 😉

    1. You’re right, I was entering into the Christmas Spirit (the wine helped!). Yes, the expression que guarrro is used a lot – it’s quite a big insult to call someone this!

  2. This is my kind of meal! I love potato pancakes and if you add an egg to anything it makes it better. I’ve had actual wild boar before and it’s delicious. I was in Chile and they kept saying a word I didn’t know and I was like “no way that can’t actually be a wild boar” and they showed me the (not wild) wild boars they were raising to eat. So funny.

    1. Oh tell me about the wild boar – we have neighbours in Spain who captured a piglet (I was fuming that they had taken if from its mother) then they raised it in a small enclosure (again, I was not impressed) then killed it to have a (not so) “wild” boar fest 😦 I’ve eaten it too and when it’s properly wild it’s ok, a bit tough and gamey and needs long slow cooking.

  3. Quietly…just so’s I don’t alarm you…your blog is snowing! (;) )…love your version of potato pancakes. Steve is going to love it too :). MUCH easier to think of Christmas when it is slowing down, getting colder and all things are crisp and pointy and aiming at the 25th…her in Australia it’s just starting to get hot, the sky is blue, the beaches are beckoning and who has TIME to think about Christmas!!!I have to get out and make the most of that gardening time…pity we can’t just have a sarnie out in the garden, albeit a gourmet one 😉 (maybe I need to get me some of that blog snow to get in the spirit…)

    1. Hee hee – love that snow and I can’t imagine spending Christmas in the sun. Actually, that’s not quite true as a few years ago in Spain we had Christmas lunch in the garden. Being with loved ones and doing and eating exactly what you want – that’s the best 🙂 If you want a sarnie in the garden…go for it!

      1. Bugger it…I might have 2!!! Will have to wear a sunhat and sunscreen though ;). Most northerners have NO idea how crazy it is to have Christmas in the heat. They think it would be amazing but Steve is still shellshocked by it all…hot food when it is 30C outside (and that’s a COOL day on Christmas) is madness but we Aussies are stubborn in our traditions. We won’t be going the hot route aside from we might have a bbq lunch…a special one but still a bbq. How much more quintessentially “Aussie” do I want to be?!!! 😉

      2. I think Frank has suffered enough…I bet Adrian buys him some new high powered binoculars this year so that he can “bird watch” and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for him going completely blind and insane at the same time ;). I might be thinner (like a whipper) this year but I appear to have developed shar pei tendencies to accompany my whippet speed so I could probably set a land sail record should I choose to both learn to land sail, and use myself as a sail at the same time ;). I had the wonderful fortune to be able to experience a “real” Christmas in the U.K back in 2005 and it was wonderfully “right” hot food has a reason! Aside from warming the house and filling your belly it’s a reminder that its bloody cold out there and that we should all be grateful that the end of the year has a celebration that feeds us SO much we don’t have to eat for the rest of the year. I see Christmas in the north as a survival mechanism…over here it is a bit of a pain in the bum because we have to stop our mad gardening and making the most of that hot HOT sun to celebrate and eating HUGE amounts on hot days just isn’t the same…plus by the time we get back to the garden after the extended celebrations and ubiquitous playing of cricket on Boxing day (sports and Boxing day are synonymous with Aussies…) the weeds have taken over the garden all over again and it’s time to get the whipper snipper out and lay waste…it’s just not the same…

  4. Laughing along with narf77 – the snow was the first thing I noticed also: hmm, us Aussies, a wee bit jealous perhaps? Lovely potato cake: quite a few vegetables could ‘do the deed’ methinks!! And I do not flip [scaredy-cat], it always goes under the griller 🙂 !

  5. I remember my Mum making me potato cakes that were just grated potato, egg and a little flour, salt and pepper and fried in a little oil or butter till crisp. Yummy served with a little vinegar 😀

  6. I have just had breakfast and now I wan this. Really Tanya – I wish you made some things that I found less appealing!
    (Also laughing with narf77 about the snow. How did you do that!)

    1. I think last year I signed up for the snow during December – (perhaps via the appearance button?) and I guess they must have put it on automatically again this year! I rather like it 🙂

  7. Hi Tanya, Hope you’re both well, not working to hard on the decorating. Read your post just interested in the restaurant you mentioned what’s the name of it. Love Sue xx

      1. We made some last weekend and I ate the majority of them. You have to be quick when I’m around. The Better Half is such a slow eater and misses out a lot.

  8. I love both versions of these potato cakes and now I must make some next time I have leftover mashed potatoes. Heck, I’ll just make some mashed potatoes FOR potato cakes…that’s even better! 🙂

  9. Guarrito sounds really good, Tanya, and you’re right. That would be good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Since we both seem to be afflicted with the same inability to estimate portions, I always have plenty of mashed potatoes on-hand. Soon, very soon I imagine, I’ll be giving this dish a try. It sounds wonderful.

  10. Oh, I love potato cake – I never tried this meat though. Not something widely available over here I don’t think. Looks good, and I can see why you thought it would be good with a fried egg – looks yummy!

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