Recipe: Arroz al Horno
Arroz al Horno, which translates to baked rice, is a hearty dish from Spain that combines three types of pork – ribs, blood sausage (called morcilla), and bacon. Add in some chickpeas and this dish is sure to make our friends at Alberta Pulse Growers happy. If all ingredients are on hand, this dish is easy to prep before a quick bake in the oven.
In Spain, arroz al horno would be cooked and served in a terra cotta dish made from glazed clay that can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven. If not available, a large casserole dish will work just fine. While many in Canada might describe this dish as a paella, Spaniards are quite traditional and strict over what can be called a paella. Arroz al horno is not paella; arroz al horno is baked rice.
If you’ve never tried blood sausage don’t let the name scare you. We’ve made this dish for several friends and each time we’ve just used the Spanish word morcilla and said it was a pork sausage. Everyone has enjoyed it. You can find fresh blood sausage in local butcher shops and speciality delis. In Edmonton I buy from the Polish Sausage & Deli or direct from Irvings Farm Fresh. If you are in doubt of how tasty blood sausages are or you can’t find any, just substitute for your favourite pork sausage.
What you’ll need…
- 300g (1 1/2 cup) paella or aborio rice
- 600g (3 cup) soup stock (pork, chicken, or vegetable)
- 100g (3/4 cup) cooked chickpeas
- 125 grams of thick cut bacon, cut into chunks
- 1 blood sausage, cut into 2 or 4 pieces
- 1 – half rack of pork ribs, cut into individual ribs (approximately 8)
- 1 medium sized tomato, cut into thick slices
- 1 medium sized potato, cut into slices
- 1 small can of tomato paste (214 ml)
- 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
- a few strands of saffron (optional)
- 1 head of garlic
- salt – to taste
- Canola oil, as needed.
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. In a large pan over medium heat, sauce the bacon, ribs and blood sausage in batches until browned. Remove the meat to plate. Reserve any fat in the pan.
3. If fat in the pan is low, add canola oil as needed. Add the slices of potatoes and fry until brown. Set them aside with the meat.
4. Add the rice to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, saffron, paprika, chickpeas and mix until warm.
5. Add rice mixture to a large casserole dish. Arrange the ribs, bacon, sausage, potato and tomato slices as desired. Gently slice the top of the head of garlic off, and place the garlic head in the centre of the casserole, and gently press into rice mixture. Top with soup stock and put the casserole in the preheated oven.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is just evaporated. Let the casserole rest for 5 – 10 minutes.