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Friday, 04 October 2013 22:16

Le Marmitako recipe

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Marmitako started out being a nutritional dish that tuna fisherman would eat on board, today it's a very popular dish thanks to the growing interest in Basque cuisine as well as being one of the best ways to prepare tuna. Marmita in Spanish or marmite in traditional French refers to a metal pot with a lid, marmitako (Basque language) means 'from the pot'. The quickest way to sum this dish up is to say it's a fish stew, but it's not as boring as it sounds – it's very warming and tasty.

 Time, difficulty and servings:

• 30 minutes
• Easy
• Serves 2


• 200g tuna fish
• 1 small onion
• 2 large potatoes
• 1-2 dried pepper (pimientos de choricero)
• 1 green pepper
• 1 clove of garlic
• Parsley
• Olive oil
• White Wine
• Water
• Salt
• Baguette, cut into pieces and toasted


• 1 small tomato
• 1 tablespoon of Brandy
• 1 carrot or leek (only the green part)
• Paprika to taste
• Red chilli flakes


1. Cut the vegetables into small pieces. When you come to the potatoes, peel them and roughly cut them until about half way down (about 1.5 inches into the potato), for the last part of each potato you need to break it. To do this, put your thumb between the knife and potato, press the potato away from the knife whilst twisting it at the same time. Carry on doing this will all the potatoes until they're in 1.5/2 inch cubes. Doing this releases more starch and gives you a thicker and more rustic stew.

2. Sauté the onion with a little olive oil in a large casserole pot until see-through, then add the green pepper and garlic (along with the carrot and leek if using), let them all cook for about 5 minutes until they are all soft.

3. Add potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes more and then add the wine, around a cup. If you're using Brandy instead of/along with the wine – add this now. Increase the heat to bring it back to a rolling boil.

4. Add the pimientos de choricero – either in paste form straight from a jar or if you are using real pimientos prepare them by soaking until expanded. Once this has happened, cut off everything but the rind of the pepper skin and use that.

5. Add water until all the vegetables are covered; now add the salt to taste. If you're using paprika and/or red chilli flakes in your recipe – add these now.

6. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and let it simmer, stir it occasionally. If the water level seems to drop, add a little bit at a time to bring the level back up. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

7. Add the tuna and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Check for seasoning and add if needed/desired.

8. Serve into individual bowls, topped with parsley and toasted baguette pieces floating on the top.

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