Charcoal-Grilled Elvers

Angulas a la Brasa
Cuoco: Bittor Arginzoniz
Nazionalita: Spain
Localita: 48291 Axpe-Marzana. Atxondo. (Vizcaya).
Indirizzo: Plaza San Juan, 1.

We don’t know exactly whether this was the first or one of the first great dishes invented by Bittor Arginzoniz. But what we do know is that this was the one that was most mentioned in the media and that made the chef famous, although it might be just as glorious –or not– as other proposals. It is also the most desired, because elvers are a real myth; a myth that has been anchored to Spanish history and that has become overestimated, like caviar or white truffle. A kind of dream that very few can make come true...
Here starts the series of triple somersaults of the father of the charcoal revolution. Making elvers on embers can be the top of difficulty ever. To execute this feat, Bittor had to create a new tool: a mesh pan that allows to maintain the elvers above the embers without falling and to sweat the wood perfumes in all their splendour. If this deserved a 10/10 by itself, what can we say about the fact of avoiding the traditional treatment consisting in boiling and then sautéing the animals. Here, the elvers are killed with tobacco, meticulously washed and immediately sent to the mesh pan, where they are heated over the embers for one or two minutes, according to the intensity of the fire. While they are being “grilled” and “impregnated” with wood, some chili oil is pulverized on the embers in order to give another touch to the wood and to lubricate the animals, which deliciously slip into the mouth.

La Ricetta