Black Sausage And Cockles With Patatas Bravas

Butifarra Y Berberechos Con Patatas Bravasis is a Catalan feast, incorporating three of Catalunya's most loved food items - butifarra negra (black blood sausage), berberechos (cockle clams) and patatas bravas (fried potatoes in chilli and tomato sauce). I'm not at all sure that patatas bravas would ever be eaten with butifarra (or cockles for that matter) in a Catalan home, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and this dish is an excellent combination of flavours, textures, aromas and colours.


300g butifarra negra sausage
300g frying potatoes (Russets or similar variety)
300g live cockles
1 banana shallot
2 large tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
½ hot red chilli, de-seeded
½ tsp pimenton (sweet paprika)
Maldon salt
black pepper
sunflower oil
olive oil

Chop the potatoes into rough, small chunks and blanch for a couple of minutes. Heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan, remove and drain the chunks of potato and toss in the hot oil. Put the butifarra into a very hot second frying pan with no oil, to caramelise the skin of the sausage and get the fatty insides flowing out.

While the butifarra and the potatoes are cooking, prepared the spicy tomato sauce that will turn the otherwise ordinary fried spuds into the classic Spanish tapa patatas bravas. Finely chop the shallot, garlic and de-seeded red chilli and sweat them in a little olive oil. Add the pimenton and cook for a few minutes. Then chop the tomatoes and stir into the chilli onion. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato pieces are soft but retain some of their chunky shape.
Cooking the butifarra and potatoes

Butifarra Y Berberechos Con Patatas Bravas
Check that the cockles are still alive by tapping the shells of any that are open and making sure that they close quickly. Discard any that remain open.

By the time the sausages are just about ready and the potatoes have turned a golden colour, throw the cockles into the pan with the butifarra and toss them together briefly until the shells pop open and the fatty goodness from the pan combines with their salty sea-shore flavour. Discard any cockles that fail to open.

Tip the fried potatoes out onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil and add a sprinkling of Maldon salt. Plate the potatoes alongside the butifarra and cockles mixture and pour the hot sauce over the potatoes. Eat while piping hot.