A typical recipe for ‘Borreta Alcoyana’, a dish with spinach, desalted dry cod, potato and poached egg

A typical recipe for ‘Borreta Alcoyana’, a dish with spinach, desalted dry cod, potato and poached egg

With this dish we want to pay hommage to one of the most popular dishes in Alcoy, the town considered capital of the Mountains of Alicante where our Masía El Altet Estate is situated.

It’s a dish which is intrinsically connected to Alcoy’s industrial origins. ‘Borreta’ was cooked by the workers and also farmers of all types to fight against the cold and to obtain energy to face the long working days

In fact, the word ‘borra’ was used in the world of textiles to define the roughest or coarsest part of the wool or the flock from cotton.

Here, we’re speaking about a recipe which is more than two centuries old and which is still really appreciated in thousands of homes in this mountainous area.

The ‘ñora’ (‘nyora’ in Valencian), is a type of red pepper autoctonous to the Valencia area which can be used in this recipe and which is widely used for cooking all types of rice dishes. It can be replaced by normal red pepper although it’s much better to have the first one, ñora, to hand.

As you’re going to see, it’s a very easy dish to prepare, very nutritious and cheap too.  It’s ideal for combatting the cold which prevails in the inland areas of the province of Alicante in winter.

This is how to make it:

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 500 g spinach (you can also use chard)
  • 400 gr skinned desalted dry cod
  • 1l water
  • 1 ‘ñora’ (a type of red pepper – autoctonous to the Valencia area) or 1 dry seeded red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Preparation of ‘borreta alcoyana’

  1. Boil the spinach (or chard) in a high saucepan along with the potates, diced in big pieces, the peeled garlic, the cod and the onion cut in half. A bit of advice: it’s better to put the spinach on top.  It’ll start shrinking little by little. Add salt to taste but without overdoing it.
  2. When you see it coming to the boil, add a good dash of Masía El Altet extra virgin olive oil. For four people, it’s usual to add about four tablespoons.
  3. Without covering the saucepan so that the water starts to evaporate, turn down the heat to medium and leave to cook for about half an hour. Check that the potato is cooked.
  4. Before turning the gas off, dop in one egg per person (as if you were making a fried egg). When you see that the egg has set, all you have to do is turn off the gas and serve. Remember that this dish is meant to be served piping hot.

As you can see, it’s a really easy dish to prepare and as we said, it’s one which is cooked in thousands of homes and every family has its own version.  But you’ll also find it in the best restaurants in the area.

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