The elBulli1846 mackerel Romesco

This Romesco was prepared by Guillermo Fernández on August 29, 2020 in the historic kitchen of El Bulli (Roses, Girona), thanks to the kind opportunity offered by Ferran Adrià and the team of elBulli1846. Its elaboration was framed in a reflection on the concepts of process, method, methodology and technique, with an approach to the museology. It was cooked with the invaluable help by Marc Cuspinera and Fernando Martín.

Ingredients for 14 people:

• 5 fried dried ​​ancho peppers (see the section How to fry the dried ancho ​​peppers for the Romesco recipes).

• 14 garlic cloves, peeled.

• 6 thin slices of bread from a 250 g loaf.

• 25 almonds and 25 hazelnuts. Better if they are roasted, not raw, fried or salty. They must be peeled one by one from the fine dark skin that covers them (blanched).

• 3 small peri-peri chillies (expendable).

• 3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped (if you have it).

• 1 glass of white wine.

• 190 g of fresh grated tomato.

• 10 mackerels of 350 g which will have been cleaned from the head, guts and the tips of the tails.

• 2 kg of potatoes.

• 2 l of soft fish stock.

• 210 ml of extra virgin olive oil.


Preparation of the Romesco base mix:

• We start by frying the slices of bread on both sides until golden brown, taking care not to burn them and letting them cool on absorbent kitchen paper.

• We prepare the small chillies by cutting the upper part and emptying them of seeds.

• Put in the Thermomix the garlic cloves, the parsley, the fried bread slices, the nuts, the tomato, the wine and beat well. The wine serves mainly to dilute the mince so that the machine can work, so the right amount of wine is added to achieve the above. Since this recipe uses striped tomatoes, it could be that the necessary amount of wine to add in this case is minimal.

• Now add the fried dried ancho peppers and chillies and reduce everything to a fine paste.

Preparation of the dish:

• Cut the body of each clean mackerel into two pieces and season with salt and pepper.

• Peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise into two halves, cutting them into slices half a centimeter thick and about 3 or 4 cm on each side.

• Pour the oil into a large saucepan of about 50 cm in diameter. When it is quite hot without getting to smoke, add the minced Romesco base and fry it for about two minutes over medium heat and without stopping stirring with a wooden spoon, in order to prevent it from sticking (we enjoy this fantastic aroma).

• Add the potatoes and the broth to just cover the potatoes. We mix everything well.

• Bring it to a boil and count for approximately 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Season with salt and pepper.

• We now put the pieces of mackerel, arranging them one by one in the stew. If necessary we can add a little more broth, but always hot and in moderation.

• After four minutes of medium heat, carefully turn the mackerel pieces over and cook for another four minutes, again testing for salt.

• Let it rest off for another five minutes.

• We serve with care and patience, adding a sufficient amount of sauce to each dish.

Ferran Adrià, Marc Cuspinera and Guillermo Fernández, dressed in the apron of the Cofradía del Romesco de Tarragona on the historic terrace of El Bulli.
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