Pimentón Pork bites are infused with garlic and Spanish smoked paprika and grilled on a skewer. Serve with a side of garlic, pepper sauce and it makes for a smokey, tasty tapa.
Pimentón is Spanish paprika. Spain is so serious about their paprika that they actually have 2 Denominations of Origin: Murcia and La Vera. La Vera is the one that we are most familiar with. It is a distant cousin of the Hungarian paprika that we are more familiar with. Paprika was apparently brought back to Spain from the Americas by Columbus. The Spanish have whole- heartedly adopted it and it is staple in things like chorizo, patatas bravas and many signature Spanish dishes.
Pimentón can be sweet, medium and hot. The peppers are hand harvested and set out to dry in drying houses. In La Vera they smoke dry the peppers with huge amounts of oak smoke. The peppers are turned once a day for about two weeks before being taken to a mill to be ground into the powder we buy. I used hot pimentón for the pork marinade and sweet for the side sauce .
The Mojo Picón is a staple in the Canary Islands. It can be used as a condiment to go with cheese and crackers, fried potatoes, meat and fish - anywhere you want a hit of garlic on the side!
I served this as part of a Rioja winetasting and Tapas evening, along with a simple but amazing Pan con Tomate, Marinated Olives, Spanish Tortilla, Manchego Cheese and Pimentón Pork Skewers. Check out the full spread here, along with the basics of Spanish Rioja wines and everthing you need to know to host a Rioja winetasting and Tapas evening.
Spanish Pimentón Pork Skewers with Mojo Picón
- 1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin fat removed and cut into 24 1" cubes
- 1 teaspoon hot pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 slice white bread
- 5 Tbsps olive oil plus more for frying
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tsps red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mix pork and spices except for salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well then add olive oil. Cover and refrigerate at least 60 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- When done marinating thread pork cubes onto 6 wooden skewers that have been soaked in water about 30 minutes. Leave a bit of space between pork cubes so they will cook evenly.
- Heat BBQ to medium high and grill pork for about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper just before serving.
- Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet and heat to medium high. Fry the bread on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel and tear into bite size pieces.
- Add bread and spices to blender and blend to a paste. Add olive oil in a slow drizzle with blender running.
- Transfer to serving dish and serve on the side of the Pimentón Pork Skewers.