Elena's paella – part two

This is Elena’s recipe – written with love – the photos are actually of a 12-person paella, but the quantities below are for 4.  It did not take too long because all ingredients were prepared beforehand

First of all you need a flat-bottomed pan.  It has to be flat, and preferably a real paella pan. The size of the pan will depend on how many people you are cooking for.   Place it on a trestle outside with either a wood fire underneath or, much easier, but not for purists, on a gas ring.

Heat up the pan, pour in olive oil (Elena says oil, but I assume it is olive oil.  I don’t know any Spanish person around here that would consider anything else) and brown on low heat until cooked through:

¼ chicken with bone, roughly hacked

¼ of a large pork cutlet, on bone, roughly hacked


Now add and  stir:

a red pepper, coarsely chopped

8 artichokes – cleaned, tough bits removed and quartered (although Elena’s looked liked they were smaller!)

250 grs of large green beans, cut in 2 inch lengths

When you think they look about like the photo above, add:

2 garlic cloves, chopped

stir first, then add:

1 large creamed tomato

This is THE moment – the moment to add HALF the water, and watch out because you are using genuine paella rice – too much water and your paella will be mush, too little and it will be like eating bits of, well, raw rice!  I have had both experiences. 

So add and let boil for 20 to 30 minutes:

1.5 litres water (for the 500 gr rice which is coming later)

Wen it has reduced, add:

Another 1.5 litres water

Let this reduce once more to a lovely thickened sauce and add:

50 grs of large beans like in the photo below -they are not the same as the first lot of beans and if anyone can give me exact names I would be more than pleased!

 Now, yes, it is true, there is yet another kind of bean:

8 tirabeques  – look at photo below again because I have no idea what the English name is!

Next you add:

colour for paella – you can find it in absolutely EVERY  supermarket. 

A note on this.  I always thought it was saffron, but aparently no, not any more.  A good colourant will have a bit of saffron in it however.  The main point of the colourant is to add visual appeal

Finally, and most importantly, let the remaining water evaporate (note this is Elena’s instructions, but I felt she left quite a bit of liquid still) and then add:

500 gr bomba rice – this is small and round – no other rice will do

Cook as follows:

Highest heat – 5 minutes

Medium heat – 5 minutes

And finally low heat – 8 minutes

It should now be done and soft, but with a little bit of bite. Elena’s was!   Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.


You can get find out more about Restaurante Portoles  here