Vacation = food trip

When planning where to go on our vacations, one of the most important criteria is the quality of the local cuisine. Therefore it may not come as a surprise that our last three vacations were spent in Italy. As food lovers we’ve rented apartments so that we have the possibility to try out the local ingredients ourselves. We just love visiting the local markets, the butcher, the cheese store, etc. Take our ingredients home, cook and pretend that we are locals.

We realize of course when booking that not everyone have the same interests as us and sometimes the kitchen utilities are quite disappointing; like last year in Sicily where you could have won the downhill gold medal in the frying pan. This year though we got lucky and had a kitchen full with knives, pots and pans, gas stove and an oven. The only thing missing was the grill – actually the reason why we choose the apartment in the first place, but that’s life… At least we had a griddle pan.

We have a newborn and therefore decided to do our own cooking in the evenings and only have our lunches at restaurants. We were very delighted with what was served, but were quite surprised that the Sardinians didn’t eat a lot of fish. Instead meat and shellfish seem to be the main ingredients. The prime dish is the porchetto – roasted suckling pig – that often needs to be ordered 24 h in advance due to the slow preparation. The whole pig is grilled over open fire which give a wonderful crust and an extremely juicy meat.

Porchetto

Another delicacy you should not miss is pecorino. With age the character changes much more than parmesan so you should at least try 5 different ages. Sardinia is really strong on wines. One of the biggest and best wineries is Sella & Mosca. We tried 5 of their wines and were very satisfied.

The most peculiar thing we had, was pasta with sea-urchins. It smelled like ammoniac but fortunately it tasted better (probably due to large amount of garlic). Interesting but not a dish we will order again.

To sum up our cooking. We did fairly well also without a char-coal grill. Every night we had at least two courses inspired by the italian kitchen. The local butcher delivered wonderful bisteccas, bresaola and tasty veal. The local pecorino producer provided us with 7 different aged pecorino and the supply of fresh sun-tanned vegetables were immense.

A selection of what we cooked

We can not only recommend Sardinia for the food, but also for the wonderful scenery, the beaches and the friendly people.

Something for the weekend!?


Prime rib with parsnip and lemon marinated red onions

Prime rib (högrev/Hochrippe)

  • 1 kg Prime rib
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4-5 dl Red wine
  • 1 l Beef stock
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • fresh Estragon
  • Salt
  • White pepper

Peel and cut carrot, onion and garlic into small pieces/ cubes. Put a large pot on the stove and fry the veggies together with the meat until everything has got a bit of colour. Add the tomato paste, the red wine and the beef stock. Bring it all to a boil and skim. Let it simmer for about 4 hours.

Take out the meat and let it cool off, keep the fluid boiling and reduce it to 4-5 decilitre. Add 1-2 tbsp butter and possibly Maizena in case it needs a thickener.

Cut the meat in 4 pieces and heat them up in the sauce.

Lemon marinated red onion

  • 1 Red onion
  • 1 Lemon, the juice

Peel and slice the red onion in thin slices. Put the slices in a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over them. Stir and leave for 20-30 minutes.

Parsnip

Peel the parsnips, 1-2 per person depending on the parsnips size, and cut them lengthwise. Fry them in a pan in olive oil until they have a bit of colour, it is best when they still are “al dente”. Add salt and white pepper.

Serve together with kalamata olives and fresh estragon.

Tafelspitz with seasonal veggies


Tafelspitz

  • 1 kg Tafelspitz (beef from ox) or roast beef
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 clove Celeriac
  • 1 Leek
  • 8-10 Parsley stalks
  • fresh Thyme
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 8-10 White peppercorns
  • Salt

Cover the meat with water in a saucepan. Bring it to boil for a few minutes. Take the meat out and rinse it with water. Put the meat back in the saucepan with new water, make it boil again.

In the meantime prepare the vegetables and spices. Cut the onion, the leek, the celeriac and the carrot in smaller pieces. Add it all into the water and simmer together with the meat for 1,5 – 2 hours.

After 2 hours take out the meat and let it cool, strain the stock and save it for another time. Put the meat back in the saucepan and put a weight on it, for example a mortar. Leave it for a couple of hours.

Sauce

  • 2 hardboiled Eggs
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 tbsp Capers
  • 1 dl Parsley
  • 1 small Pickled gherkin
  • 2 tbsp Horse radish

We served our Tafelspitz with potatoes, carrots, leek and radishes that we boiled in the stock.

Music: Salem al Fakir’s singel – Keep on Walking