A flash-fried cut of Iberico pork, with padron peppers and cabernet sauvignon vinegar
“We toast the ciabatta roll and drizzle some olive oil on it, in typical Spanish style. Then we put the barbecued meat—the presa pork—on the base, add pan-fried padron peppers on top and drizzle over a dressing made with cabernet sauvignon vinegar, olive oil and chilli flakes. Put the top on—and listo!” says Steve at Brindisa of the presa pork roll. “It’s very straightforward”—except that, of course, it’s not.
The presa is a little-known cut of meat taken from the shoulder of the Iberico pig—a native breed celebrated for its exceptionally rich, complex-flavoured meat, a product of its acorn-heavy diet—where the loin meets the shoulder blade. The meat is lean, thickly cut with light marbling and, therefore, best flash fried as it is on the barbie at Brindisa; the padron peppers—those fresh, tangy green capsicums found on tapas menus across Spain—are brought in from a trusted supplier just outside Barcelona, selected for the quality of their produce.
The vinegar, meanwhile, is produced is Tarragona, Catalonia, using the oh-so-slow schutzenbach method, developed in the 19th century to encourage slow fermentation and allow the grape’s individual characteristics to shine through; the ciabatta is from Bread Ahead—made a mere stone’s throw from the sizzle of Brindisa’s grill, kneaded and nurtured in the small hours of each morning and baked to golden perfect for a crisp-on-the-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside loaf, riddled with airy craters.
“The meat is really juicy and tender,” Steve continues, “then you get that pleasing bite from the peppers and a delicious little kick from the dressing.” Don Quixote’s beloved Dulcinea was the best hand at salting pork in all of La Mancha; Brindisa is the best at grilling presa in all of London.