worldly wednesday’s : andorra a trinxat recipe (potato cakes)

 An Aandorra a trinxat recipe potato cakes

Andorra is an autonomous and semi-independent co principality under the joint suzerainty of France and Spain since 1278. Andorra shares closer ties with Spain with Catalan as its official language. Located high in the Pyrénées Mountains on the French-Spanish border Andorra’s climate is that of the high mountains; generally dry, cold in the winter and mild in the summer.

Naturally the food of Andorra reflects its geographical location so it isn’t surprising that one of the best known Andorran dishes, called “trinxat”, combines foods that are readily available in the Pyrenees. Potatoes and cabbage are common and could be grown locally since the climate permits. Pork is also easily available as cattle do not do well in a mountains region where grazing areas are limited.

Perhaps a fresh mountain breeze is also needed when preparing this dish. The aroma of boiling cabbage combined with frying bacon is definitely not in any danger of becoming the next best selling Yankee Candle. With windows wide open we prepared this Andorran version of “bubble and squeak”.

 An Aandorra a trinxat recipe

An Aandorra a trinxat recipe Potato Cake

Trinxat (“Chopped”)

Ingredients

salt
1 2-lb. Savoy cabbage, rinsed and outer leaves discarded
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled
12 thick slices of bacon
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 ½ oz. fatback, rind removed, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring two pots of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the cabbage in one and potatoes in the other; lower the heat in the cabbage pot and simmer until very tender. Boil the potatoes until they are tender.
Drain the potatoes, set aside. Drain the cabbage in a colander; allow cooling slightly and then pulling out and discarding the core. Pat the cabbage as dry as possible.

In small batches, add the cabbage to potatoes in a food processor. Finely chop. Do not over do it. The cabbage should not be pureed. Place the mixture into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Brown the bacon in a skillet. Set aside to drain. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the oil in the skillet and then add the garlic. Cook until soft. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and add it to the cabbage mixture.

In the same skillet, heat half the fatback until fat is rendered. Add half the cabbage mixture, and flatten into a 1/2″-thick pancake. Cook over high heat until a bottom crust has formed and the trinxat slides easily. Invert a large plate over skillet, and very carefully flip trinxat over. Slide it back into skillet, browned side up. Cook until bottom is browned. Transfer to a platter.

Repeat the process beginning with the other half of the fatback and with the remaining cabbage mixture. Serve directly afterwards with the bacon.

If you have issues using fatback (as we do) please use olive oil. Not happy about losing the flavor of the fatback then a happy compromise is to us a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan with the olive oil. It will help give that rich flavor to the trinxat without submerging it in fatback.

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14 comments

  • October 26, 2011 at 10:48 pm //

    We have a similar dish in my home area in Germany, but usually eat these with fresh made apple sauce. Absolutely delicious!

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:45 am //

      You do, that sounds so delish Kiri, we would love if you could share it with us sometime.

  • October 27, 2011 at 12:21 am //

    Mmmm…potato cakes are a staple at my house since I’m Indian. We usually make something called an aloo tikki that is made with lots of spices. This recipe looks like a great way for me to try something new!

    P.S. I LOVE the picture of the cabbage. Something about it makes it so unique.

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:47 am //

      Thank you so much Divya, doesn’t that cabbage photo make for a great topic piece? Aloo Tikki sounds amazing, please share it with us sometime, we’d love to feature you.

  • October 27, 2011 at 1:02 am //

    After reading this, my potato pancakes really seem to be lacking. I will need to try your flavorful recipe! The picture of those toasty cake is enticing.

  • October 27, 2011 at 3:39 am //

    These look amazing! Cabbage and bacon? I love it!

  • October 27, 2011 at 4:52 am //

    Ah, I haven’t had bubble and squeak for years and love your Andorra version with the bacon. I have to give this a try. Lovely photos – crisp and squeaky as a cabbage!

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:49 am //

      Please let us know if you try the recipe Jill, there’s nothing better than crisp and squeaky cabbage with potatoes and bacon!

  • October 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm //

    I grew up on potato pancakes. LOVE EM!!!!

  • October 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm //

    i love potato pancakes! the top image is stunning — that has to be some of the most beautiful looking bacon I’ve ever seen! YUM!

  • October 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm //

    I have to remember this when I receive several heads of cabbage this winter from my CSA! Love the mix of potatoes and cabbage in the cakes, and this makes me want to visit Andorra.

  • October 28, 2011 at 3:51 am //

    What a nice hearty dish, perfect for the cold days. I can already see it paired with a sausage or a big piece of meat.

  • October 28, 2011 at 5:43 am //

    The photo of the cabbage is visually stunning, and I love the recipe too!

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:47 am //

      It’s it a fun photo? Thank you so much for commenting!