Friday 18 March 2011

Recipe: Arroz al Horno (Baked Rice)

by ferdie, in partnership with Unearthed for Action Against Hunger

I was asked to do an event for Unearthed, who have a lovely range of food and recipes using their products. So I had a look to see what recipes were on their page, to avoid being entirely unoriginal, and to offer something that Unearthed could add to their recipe list.

As you might imagine, paella is the first thing on their list, which kinda suits me because I've done it a million times, and so has everybody else. Since paella is already on the recipe page, I thought this might be great alternative, plus it uses more of Unearthed's bits and pieces.

I think the first time I came across this dish was when both Marta (a work colleague at the time) and I were trying to avoid the mind numbing pin checking exercise of swapping a microprocessor in one of our products. Instead of doing that, she regaled me with her version of this dish. I've adapted it a little to my tastes and then again for Unearthed.

One of the nice things about this dish is that it's simple to make, it's a lot harder to screw up than a paella, and when it comes out of the oven and hits the table, it smells great! A real crowd pleaser!

We served it with a tomato sauce, green beans and asparagus.

So here goes . . .  Arroz al Horno / Baked Rice (Serves 28 small/med or 12 large portions)

Fantastic ingredients! What a start : )
For the arroz al horno:
18 pork ribs
28 chipolatas
5 chillies (jalipeño)
14 cloves of garlic
4.5 tbsp cumin seeds
2.5 giant mushrooms
9 capsicum (long thin green peppers) chopped in rings
4.5 mug mixed rice (pudding Arborio 50/50)     - weight 500g
EVO (for frying off, base of pan and adding to rice)
750g potato (thinly sliced and baked w/ little olive oil) 200C/12mins turn once
48 tasty ripe cherry plum tomatoes (topping)   -  weight?
white wine
2 1/4 L chicken stock (2250ml + 7stock cubes)
salt and pepper

For the green beans & asparagus:
(par boil these then ice bath them so can be ready for service in seconds)
green beans (trimmed)
fine asparagus (trimmed and peeled at end) (if in season)

For the tomato sauce:
400g crushed chopped plum tomatoes
rock salt to taste
10g basil leaves
150ml white wine
50ml white wine vinegar (counter act the rice stojtastickness)
50ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Pre heat oven to 200C
2. Slice potato into thick crisp cuts & put them in an oiled baking tray and into the oven coated in olive oil salt and pepper.
3. Fry up the meat, garlic & cumin until starting to brown put to one side
4. Once the potatoes are golden brown (about 10 mins), remove them from the oven. Remove them from the dish and put to one side. Add a touch more oil to coat the dish and return it to the oven to keep the oil sizzling hot. Turn oven down to 190C
5. Fry up everything else except the tomatoes.
6. Mix meat & veg in pan, remove the dish from the oven and add the mixture to it, it should sizzle as it hits the oil.
7. Pour the rice evenly over the mix, add the stock, put potatoes on top and then the tomatoes on top of that!  Phwoar! : ) 
This bad boy is now ready for the oven!

Bake 15 min 190C
Then 10 more at 70C
The rice should be cooked - check it and return for and extra 5-10mins if necessary.

1. For the tomato sauce, pour the wine into a preheated pan so it starts to boil off the alcohol straight away, add the vinegar too and reduce by a third.
2. In a separate pan bring the EVO up to almost smoking and then add the the chopped tomatoes, TAKE CARE this spits, put a lid on straight away!
3. Once the tomatoes have stopped spitting, stir the oil that hasn't emulsified into the tomatoes and add the wine/vinegar mix, and basil. Season to taste. Take off the heat until required

I like my tomato sauce to be fairly chunky, giving you bursts of tomato flavour amongst the other flavours. If you like a smooth sauce with a consistent flavour profile you can blend it and sieve it at this stage.

Serve the rice with steamed green beans, asparagus, and the tomato sauce, The greens and the sauce provide a light acidic complement to the baked rice. (I think we actually served this with some fried off, sliced, giant flat mushrooms with the greens and tomato sauce)

For me two of the flavours that define this dish are the mingling of the pepper from the saucisson sec and the pave (which is sooo good on it's own BTW) and the flavour of the cumin seeds, hmmmmm!

This is a version we did in partnership with  Unearthed for Action Against Hunger
Criminal! Sooo tasty!
We used Unearthed pave for pepper flavour, saucisson sec w/ herbs, catalan sausage, organic pancetta, cumin seeds.
You can find the whole 8 course menu we served here.

TIP: Remember meat mix should go into sizzling oiled tray - just like you do with roast potatoes to get that browning and crusting going straight away!

This one's also for you Luiz I meant to get this up before Christmas but as you know it's been a bit hectic!


  1. Thanks Simon, this is one of my favourite F&L recipes. I have copied the recipe and will be making it very soon. Can't wait! Loving your series of recipes, the churros have also been saved!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  2. Hello Simon. This is Marta... I _do_ miss our chats about food! I still cook "arrós al form" for my family, it's one of my kids favourites. This version you have here is much more interesting, and I think I will try out some of the ideas from here, like serving with the green veg & tom sauce, not only makes it interesting but also probably easier on the stomach (the rice alone is kind of heavy, and I usually serve it with plenty of green salad).
    Nice you remembered me when writing this recipe here, specially after all these years. I am still trying to make my way from Finland to one of your banquets in London at some point, so keep at it, I hope to be there some day!

  3. Gutted I missed you on you last visit, things were so hectic . . . . . as always!


How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...