Paella recipe


Something of great pride among the Spanish is their paella recipes, Everybody has their own variations, personalisations and tastes.

Young (at heart) Yeyo in the El Bareto Kitchen is no exception, neither is brother Pablo.


Some people like it dry and crispy, others swimming in luxurious wine. If you ask the Valencians they will claim it as an identifying dish for their region, and include a variety of green vegetables and meats and, of course, land snails. We can almost hear your cries of joy that our hosts are from Vallavoliz!

Two paella’s have become synonymous with Spain over the years, and these are of course the Seafood Paella and the Mixed Paella (not a snail in sight). The seafood paella often contains only seafood, no vegetables, while the mixed contains a mix of meats, seafood and veg.

A Brief History

It was in 1840 that the word Paella was first used when describing a recipe, according to Wikipedia (and who are we to argue), the word Paella being taken from the pan it was used to cook the lovely meal.

To find a more detailed history the best place we can point you towards is of course the mighty Wikipedia, who tell you all you could wish to know. What we can tell you is how we cook ours…

Family recipe

5 Simple steps:

  1. Fry the ingredients for the base
  2. Add the rice
  3. Add the Seafood and/or meat if desired, and of course a bit of greenery
  4. Stir very well, but only once, we repeat, only once…
  5. A quick grill to make the top golden brown

Ensure you have plenty of friends to remind you how great you are and stuff your face with the delicious bounty.

Paella Base liqueur Ingredients

  • Spanish Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chilli (for flavour, although for those who like spice you can go crazy with the chilli!)
  • Red/yellow pepper
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Thyme

To Cook

  • Start by preparing all you will need.
  • Fry up the ingredients for the base, and ensure the stock is freshly prepared and bubbling away
  • Fresh is of course best!
  • Fry just enough to brown and get the flavours flowing and the aroma widening your eyes.
  • If you are using meat, now is the time to add it and ensure it is well cooked.
  • Then add the rice…
  • Add the Tumeric and spices
  • Now, just as Bob Marley said, “Stir it up…”

The Magic

  • Add your fresh stock, and maybe a splash of white wine (or sherry if your feeling crazy!). Give it a good stir for a good couple of minutes, and then leave it alone, unstirred for a bout 40mins.
  • The temptation to stir it can be great, but the rewards for patience are great. If the base has been well made a given a thorough stir with the rice, the flavours will appreciate being given time to gentle simmer.
  • Decorate with a few prawns on top and give it a quick blast under the grill for colour then decorate…
  • Then it is time for pride!!
  • Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, white wine, your best Spanish accent and friends.

Your Turn

Now dear friends of El Bareto, it’s your turn. Cook up a storm, take a photo and post it up, here or on Facebook and let us know how it goes.

For something different, try frying a bit of Chorizo when making the base (although not too much as the flavour can overpower), or experiment with different types of stocks. If you have your own magic tips, please feel free to share them, you never know you could find your ideas being incorporated into our Paella.

Hasta Pronto!

delicious-chorizoYou know I am talking about that most Spanish of sausage, Chorizo, and the way our resident chef Yeyo cooks it. He doesn’t use some in the dish and then enjoy the rest with other gentlemen of the street late at night on park benches. That is just a vicious rumour… which may have just been started here…

Why Cider and not wine?

Of course we cook one of Spain’s most famous exports slightly differently from most other Spanish places around, but it’s what you come to expect that from us don’t ya. It is traditional in Galicia in the North West of Spain to use Apple Cider rather than white wine, and it is a tradition we continue.

Taste wise, it is just a little sweeter when cooked, and helps give that slightly juicier liquid. Of course we would be happy to cook some in white wine if you wanted us to, but why go with the standard when you can have a little bit of something special.

So does Yeyo sit on park benches drinking cheap cider? Well maybe, but that has nothing to do with the way we cook our Chorizo!


There are two things on the specials board, one you may have seen but did not know what it was, the other is a new addition…

Pimientos de Padron

These are something we did not think we would be able to offer in our chosen home of England, Pimientos de Padron (Padron Peppers). But we have a supplier! As they come over from Spain and are seasonal, they won’t be around for long…

They are named after the village of Padron (pronounced by accenting the ‘o’) where they are traditionally cooked in Northern Spain,

although they are believed to have been brought over by Mexican monks in the 18thCentury.


Because of the variety in the heat of each pepper you can get from a single plant they are not widely used in cooking. While each one has the same delicious flavour occasionally one will have a fantastic warmth. Not a daft heat that makes your eyes water, cheeks flush and face melt, but a exciting warmth that accentuates their flavour.

Cooking the Tapas Pepper

Often referred to as the Tapas Pepper, they are picked while small and green (the larger and redder then the hotter they will be) and simply cooked with just sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, as the pepper itself does all the talking. These have been regularly eaten in the Villeages household, but as soon as we get a good supply they appear on the specials board.

Don’t be scared!

But don’t let the threat of a chilli twinge make you cower behind your Sangria, they are not like Indian chilli’s which can blow your head off. This is all about the taste sensation, an emphasis of flavour, once you have had one you will want more, regardless of whether you like your curries mild.


These are a delicacy in Spain but you will be lucky to find them anywhere in the UK. However, we have found an abattoir that saves these choice little cuts of meat form being… well… chucked in to be used for sausages… one person’s delicacy is in another persons  fry up!

When we get them they are on the specials board they are one of the first things to go. Clearly people have been listening to our Pablo raving about them.

And they are…?

Referred to as Sweetbreads in the English speaking world, they are a small part of a lambs throat (thymus gland to be precise), and are more often found in Turkish cooking or used in stuffing or pates. Latin American Countries often grill them but to fry them is unquestionably a true taste of Spain.

Again cooked simply, in just a little lemon, Garlic and Olive Oil, they are little flavour bombs, and easy way to make your impress friends with something delicious they will not have tried before.


What is it that makes the perfect Sangria? El Bareto has a secret ingredient, which has proved controversial, both with customers and when it was simply being discussed.

Brothers often argue, this is as fact, and chefs are famously hot tempered, so combine family relations and the moods generated by culinary passions and you have got a conversation that is best enjoyed from a distance. Suffice to say your hosts at El Bareto have different recipes for the famous Spanish drink, and they relished discussing the difference.

Historically there is no set recipe for Sangria, and it really comes done to personal taste (much like the often disputed Valencia Water, another much loved Spanish drink). If you like it fizzy then stick in a touch of lemonade, if you want it to have a kick increase the quantity of spirits.

The Secret Ingredient

So where did the loving brothers disagree, and what is El Bareto’s Secret ingredient? Well to begin with here are the ingredients they both agreed on.

  • Red Wine
  • Brown Sugar
  • Lemonade
  • Little bit of Orange Juice, but not too much
  • Fruit: Apples, orange pear peach, whatever is around (although Isa, one of your lovely waitresses would add banana, the brothers would not!)
  • And not forgetting some ice

The Secret ingredient? You will have guessed if you have tried El Bareto’s own Sangria: Cinnamon, just a pinch, enough to flavour but not to dominate.

And what caused the friction in the discussion? Well booze of course!

Yeyo says Martini Rosso, maybe says Pablo.

Pablo Says Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, Yeyo says no.

Gin and Brandy? Either was possible, it all depended on how it was tasting at the time, and at what point of the debate we were.

Now of course El Bareto is proud of everything that is served in the restaurant and bar, and for people to enjoy it is all we ask. But it is great to hear when people do anything different or when they have their own secret ingredient. Maybe soda water instead of lemonade, or may be even cola. Whether you only have Sangria on your cornflakes for breakfast, or will not have it called anything other than fruit punch (!) please leave a comment… x