Recipes from Lanzarote: stew and meat dishes

For a touch of Spanish spice this spring, try some of these Lanzarote-style roast meat dishes, whether you’re on holiday in the Canary Islands or just fancy cooking up a storm at home.


1. Volcanic Barbeque


The first commercial volcanic barbeque appeared in America in the 1940s from the Chicago Combustion Corporation, but it’s thought that humans have been using volcanic rock to barbeque food for thousands of years before that! In the Canary Islands grilling seafood such as squid and prawns or traditional steaks on hot lava rocks not only makes the food taste great, but it’s much healthier than frying too due to the lack of oil.

Where to Try:
The famous El Diablo restaurant in Timanfaya National Park uses geothermal heat to grill its food over an actual volcano, all against a panoramic backdrop of the lunar-like Fire Mountains.

How to Serve:
This delectable dish is usually marinated with one of the Mojo Sauces and is often served with the popular Canarian side dish – Papas Arrugadas, or ‘wrinkly potatoes’, mentioned further on in this article. We suggest sipping a sparkling white wine while you wait for your barbeque to be served.

Choose from: squid, prawns, tuna or beefsteaks

1. Marinate your chosen seafood, fish or steak with a Red or Green Mojo Sauce for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer if you have time.
2. Grill the pieces on the lava rock until slightly browned on each side. Serve immediately.

2. Pata Asada (Roast Leg of Pork)


Pata Asada is a marinated and roasted leg of pork eaten at Christmas and other festive celebrations in the Canary Islands. It has become so popular, however, that it’s now offered in bars, restaurants and supermarkets too!

Where to Try:
You can try Pata Asada in most traditional Canarian bars where it is served as an appetizer as the perfect accompaniment to a cold beer.

How to Serve:
If you’re eating Pata Asada as a meal, it’s usually served with potato dishes like Papa Arrugadas and beer or a full bodied and fruity red wine like Red Zinfandel.

1 leg of pork
1 garlic bulb
1 lemon
1 small glass of red wine
Salt and pepper

1. Blend together the garlic, salt, paprika, oregano and black pepper in a pestle and mortar or blender.
2. Slowly add the wine, the juice from half a lemon and oil until it blends into a thick paste.
3. Cover the pork leg with the paste and leave it to stand overnight, ready to roast the next day.

3. Cochina con Millo (Pork Roast with Corn)


This comforting dish consists of roast pork and millo, Canarian for “corn”, which was brought in from the New World when Lanzarote was conquered in the 15th century – it’s survived ever since as a staple dish in Lanzarote.

Where to Try:
The rustic Sociedad El Porvenir in Haria is low key but serves the best traditional Lanzarote-style dishes in the area – you’ll have to visit more than once just to try them all!

How to Serve:
This dish is hearty enough as it is, though a side bowl of potatoes never hurt anyone! Choose a wine from New World countries like America or Australia to complement the corn.

1 (2-3 pound) bone-in pork loin or pork shoulder roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 ½ cups water
4 ears corn
1 glass dry white wine
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
3 basil sprigs
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Salt and pepper the pork then brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Brown the pork on all sides in a skillet over high heat. Put the browned pork into a roasting pan large enough to add vegetables later. Roast for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the onions in the remaining olive oil until lightly browned.
3. Boil the corn for 10 minutes in a large saucepan then drain, keeping the liquid. Once cooled, cut the corn into 2-inch-thick wheels.
4. After 45 minutes pour the wine and corn liquid into the pork dish along with the sautéed onions, corn, carrots, peppercorns, basil and nutmeg. Roast for another 45 minutes.
5. To serve: slice the meat and arrange on a serving platter with the cooked vegetables.

4. Papas Arrugadas (Wrinkly Potatoes)


Meaning ‘wrinkly potatoes’, Papas Arrugadas may be one of the Canary Islands’ favourite dishes and is often found as a side dish to accompany meat. Brought over from Latin America in the 16th century, these little shrivelled guys have been a staple all over Spain (where they’re called ‘Patatas’) since potato cultivation began in the 17th century!

Where to Try:
You’ll find Papas Arrugadas in most bars and restaurants all over Lanzarote but the stylish Verde Mar in La Santa, and the beachside Casa de la Playa in Arrieta do particularly tasty versions.

How to Serve:
This dish accompanies many meat main courses in Lanzarote and is traditionally served with Red or Green Mojo sauce. When it comes to wine, it all depends on the meat you’re eating, though a local wine always goes down a treat.

2 ½ lbs (1.25 kg) small potatoes
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1. Wash potatoes well and remove any “eyes”.
2. Add potatoes to a large pan and just cover with salted water. Boil for 15-20 minutes until softened.
3. Remove from heat and drain. Return pot with potatoes to the stove and let the steam evaporate until a layer of salt forms on the dry skins. Serve.

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Stews of the Canaries

You’ll find a wide variety of stews in the Canary Islands and just like any great recipe, they’ll vary depending on who the chef is! If you’re heading to Lanzarote any time soon, trying one of these hearty and filling stews is a must.

5. Ropa Vieja


This comforting dish is a Cuban delicacy brought back from South America by Canarian emigrants since the 17th century and literally means “old clothes”. It’s typically eaten on Good Friday but you’ll find it in plenty of places year round, it’s too good to eat only once a year!

Where to Try:
La Era in Yaiza is one of the oldest restaurants on Lanzarote and offers a menu as traditional as its surroundings. La Tegala in Mácher is another great option and offers diners traditional Canarian dishes with a modern twist.

How to Serve:
Ropa Vieja is usually served by itself but goes down a treat with a glass or three of local wine grown in the rich volcanic soil of Lanzarote.

½ kg chickpeas
½ kg beef
½ kg chicken
1 kg potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 pepper
1 onion
1 tomato
1 small glass of white wine
1 small cup of water or broth
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
2. The next day, wash the chickpeas and boil them in a pot along with the meat, salt and water for 20-30 minutes.
3. Once cooked, drain the chickpeas and shred the meat. Fry the meat and chickpeas until crispy (this can also be done on a volcanic slab).
4. Chop the onion, pepper, peeled tomato and garlic cloves. Fry with the oil, while adding the black pepper and cloves. Slowly add the paprika, wine, thyme, bay leaf and a small cup of water or broth.
6. Next add the meat and chickpeas and heat for a few minutes.
7. Fry the chopped potatoes and mix in all the ingredients. Extra optional vegetables like green beans or carrots can be added last.

6. Sancocho Canario


This flavoursome dish is a popular festive meal usually prepared on Good Friday and eaten at Easter. The dish dates back to times of economic strife when meat was in short supply and fish and beans made up a large part of the Canarian diet. Nowadays you can find it as a traditional delicacy in many restaurants.

Where to Try:
Monumento al Campesino in San Bartolome does a fantastic Sancocho Canario, which you can enjoy with a glass of local wine on the sun-drenched terrace.

How to Serve:
Serve with our zingy Mojo Sauce mentioned in Lanzarote Recipes Part 1 and a cool glass of White Zinfandel or locally grown white wine.

1 kg salted fish
1 kg sweet potatoes
1 kg potatoes
Olive oil
Sugar, Gofio and Mojo Sauce to taste

1. To remove the salt from the fish, first soak it in water overnight. Change the water every few hours and keep the final saltwater for the sweet potatoes.
2. Make a Papas Arrugadas recipe with the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and keep warm.
3. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into rough cubes. Cook in the salty water from earlier until they are just softening, then remove and keep warm.
4. Chop the fish and add it to the hot water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Serve the fish, Papas Arrugadas, Gofio and sweet potatoes with Mojo Sauce on the side.

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