Monday, 3 December 2012

Marmitako recipe (Spanish tuna casserole) in the Thermomix

As most of you lovely regular readers know, I grew up in Northern Spain, Marmitako is not typical of my region (Galicia) but, if you move your finger a little bit to the East along the Northern coast of Spain you will find Cantabria and the Basque Country, where Marmitako (Spanish tuna casserole) is the perfect homemade hearty food. It actually is more typical of the summer when the fish used (bonito) is in season. But it's a hot hearty dish so it will warm your cockles in the winter (I wonder what the tuna will think of me talking about cockles!).

My mother used to cook Marmitako quite a bit growing up. You see, unlike me, she had cookery lessons in school and outside (this was Franco time) and, as she was supposed to be a proper lady, I remember her attending courses and the multitude of notes and books she brought back with her. I have recently asked her for some, will she let me have them? We shall see.
I have been cooking Marmitako the conventional way for a few years, actually not that conventional as I started cooking it when I lived on my own and I just did quite a quick version. This is the Thermomix conversion.


Time: Approx. 45 minutes total

  • 150 g onion (in chunks)
  • 60 g red pepper (in chunks)
  • 60 g green pepper (in chunks)
  • 100 g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 45 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 760 g floury potatoes. Cut the potatoes with a knife but don't cut them fully with it, cut them about half way and the rest you snap with your hands, this helps them absorb better and the starch works for a better sauce. My potatoes weren't very big so I quartered them, made a deep cross with the knife on them and snapped the rest. This is called "chascar patatas" in Spanish.
  • 400 g water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300 g fresh tuna (in chunks, not too big not too small)
  • Pepper
  • a handful of chopped parsley, dried mixed herbs or dried herbes de provence 

Thermomix TM 31, chopping board for vegetables, chopping board for fish, a couple of knives. I also used a bowl full of fresh water for the potatoes, I like placing them in water for a bit as I peel them.

  1. Place the pepper, onion, tomato, garlic and oil in the bowl: 3 seconds, speed 5.
  2. Spatula in hand, make sure you slide down anything that has climbed to the sides: 7 minutes, Varoma, speed 1.
  3. Add the paprika: 3 seconds, speed 3.
  4. Put the butterfly in place and add the potatoes: 2 minutes, 100ºC, reverse, spoon speed.
  5. Add the water and salt: 24 minutes (adapt this to your potatoes, I started with 20 but needed a further 4 minutes), Varoma, reverse, spoon.
  6. Add the tuna and a couple of twists of the pepper mill: 3 minutes, Varoma, reverse, spoon speed. Lift the measuring cup to add the parsley a bit at a time during these 3 minutes.
  7. When the Thermomix finishes during its job, don't touch anything, just leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes (depending on how much patience you have).
TIP: Next time, I will add a bit of white wine about 3 minutes into step 2. I tend to cook it with white wine on the hob.

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