The 22 best recipes of the cuisine of Castilla y León
Castilla y León is the largest of the Spanish autonomous communities, with nine provinces that share tastes and flavors, but retain their own personality.
The region forms, together with Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, the Spain of the barbecue. The preparation of suckling pigs and lambs is the best known aspect of the cuisine of Castilla y León. These are unique elaborations, not so much for the cooking method (always in a wood oven), but for the raw material: meats with a designation of origin that are not consumed anywhere else in the world.
But the cuisine of Castilla y León (regions that share community, but not always traditions) goes much further. When reviewing your kitchen, you have to take into account many other dishes that deserve to be known and enjoyed. Meats, whether lamb, pork and rabbit, among others, are prepared with the same care as trout, crumbs or pickles. And the same happens with pastries, very rich and varied.
The cuisine of Castilla y León is robust, simple and delicious. The most humble products become great pleasures for the palate. A good example of this are the potatoes to the importance. A very basic stew in which the potatoes are battered in flour and egg and fried before cooking in a broth enriched with a mince of garlic, saffron, parsley and white wine.
In a very similar line of humility and simplicity is the Castilian soup, known as "garlic soup" or "bread soup" in other regions. A full-fledged use recipe in which stale bread reaches another level when cooked in broth and seasoned with garlic and paprika.
Pastoral crumbs are also prepared with bread, of which there are countless variants. Our recipe is very simple and basic, but tasty to the fullest.
The tuber is also the protagonist of the revolconas potatoes, a wonderful snack in which the potato is flavored with paprika and served with torreznos. If you have never tried them, we will only say that you're already taking. It is the specialty of Salamanca, although the torreznos are more from Soria.
Bacalao al ajoarriero is a dish whose origin is linked by some to the gastronomy of the Basque Country and others to Castilla. With this ahead and without entering into disputes, what is worth sinking our teeth into this recipe in which garden products such as tomato, potato, pepper, chilli, garlic and onion, fit so well with the taste of cod.
For those who love spooning and legumes, a plate of beans from La Granja braised when the cold rages can be something like touching the sky. This variety of legumes is very grateful, their buttery texture makes them melt in your mouth. The mixture with the pork with which it is cooked is simply spectacular.
We continue with the dishes of something with meat with Zamorana rice, whose recipe we have not recreated (yet), but we have borrowed from a friend with Zamoran roots. It is a honeyed rice that is prepared in a wood oven and is characterized by its flavor and the forcefulness provided by the meats with which it is accompanied. Generally chorizo, rib and pork ear.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the entry, the dishes made with meat are the most emblematic of the cuisine of Castilla y León. Among them stands out the cutlet suckling pig, typical of Segovia. The name derives from the two techniques used to make it: cooking and then frying. From the name cooked and fried, it comes from cocifrito and from there, cachifrito or cochifrito.
Perhaps the most famous suckling pig in the region is that of Cándido, a restaurant located at the foot of the Segovia aqueduct, where they have been roasting it for years and surprising everyone who passes their tables. Its meat is so tender that it can be cut with a plate. Our suckling pig recipe can serve you to give yourself a homemade treat, in the absence of being able to visit Segovia, and it will not disappoint you.
From León, the maragato stew is traditional, very similar in preparation to the rest of the country's stews. Its peculiarity is that it is served in reverse, in three turns of meat, vegetables and soup. It seems that this tradition arose in times of war, when you had to eat meat proteins first in case there was an attack and there was no time to finish all the food. To spare, than on the soup.
Also from León, specifically from the El Bierzo area, is the botillo (also typical in Asturias and Galicia): a sausage made with pork ribs (minimum 65% and maximum 90%) and pork tail (minimum 10% and maximum 20%) to which you can also add other components such as tongue, cheek, shoulder and spine, in a maximum of 20% of the total ingredients. The invention is cooked and accompanied by potatoes and vegetables. We recently explained to you how you should prepare so that it reaches its full splendor.
Another traditional meat-based stew, this time with lamb, is chanfaina. In it, various cuts of this animal are mixed, with their legs, cooked blood, onion, garlic, bay leaf and chilli. The basic and common is offal, to which you can add: rice, bread, noodles, legumes, or potato. It is seasoned with paprika and hard-boiled egg. Quite a plate sir.
Although its fame has transcended borders and today it can be found in almost the entire country, the Salamanca province is the hornazo from Salamanca. It is the typical snack on Monday of waters, eight days after Easter, and commemorates the end of the time of recollection and abstinence that Holy Week means. For many, long ago, the time to return to the pleasures of the flesh. In every sense.
The sweet tradition is varied and among the most memorable desserts in the cuisine of Castilla y León is the San Marcos cake, famous throughout the Spanish geography. Layers of fine sponge cake interspersed with cream and chocolate cream and covered with toasted yolk. Is there anyone here who hasn't eaten it yet? Probably not.
The yolks are a recurring ingredient in sweet recipes and thus we find the very delicate yolks of Santa Teresa, which melt in the mouth and seem taken from another world, the tocinillo de cielo, pure lust, and the Segovian punch that, when Like the San Marcos cake, it is made with alternate layers of sponge cake, this time with pastry cream and covered with a layer of marzipan that is marked with its characteristic rhomboid pattern.
Finally, one of the most typical sweets of this community is the torrija con pan. With a somewhat redundant name, torrija is not exclusive to this geographical area, but it is one of its most representative and popular sweets, especially at Easter and Lent when the region's pastry shops sell thousands and thousands of them.
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