In every Sevillian taberna, the blackboard will offer a tapa of pork fillet or loin coated in a pungent whiskey and garlic sauce, and served with potatoes. Most cooks will claim that their whiskey sauce is the best and EVERY cook will tell you theirs is a secret recipe. What’s better than eating it off a plate? Eating it inside a crusty roll.
A simple version of this full-flavoured sandwich was introduced to me by a food writer friend living in Spain, James Blick, who took us to a funny old taberna called El La Espero te Esquina on Calle Corral del Rey and ordered a round of them with tinto de verano to wash them down (a surprisingly refreshing Spanish summer drink of red wine and lemonade). The place was full of locals stopping for a quick post-market red wine or brandy and the man behind the bar even smiled occasionally.
Most cooks will claim that their whiskey sauce is the best and EVERY cook will tell you theirs is a secret recipe.
Apart from that incredible sandwich, the thing that really set Esquina apart was the number of Virgin Mary posters up on the wall; a reminder of how seriously they celebrate Semana Santa (Easter) down south. The bar owner is such a great supporter of the festival that every year local churches would donate a picture of the Virgin for him to display in the bar. To the trained eye they are amazing pieces of work, ornate and sobbing, all previously used in the epic parades that take place every Easter: regulars there will all point out their favourite Virgin when questioned. There was barely a patch of free wall in the whole place! We were told he has so many of them that his living room at home is full and he constantly rotates them all, each teary one watching over us as we ate our lunch.
...it’s such a good cut of meat; tender and flavoursome with still a touch of fat for juiciness.
I use a “minute pork loin steak” for this recipe and I think it’s such a good cut of meat; tender and flavoursome with still a touch of fat for juiciness. In Sevilla you can buy them pre-marinated and ready to go but I like to marinate them myself. Once you’ve made the sauce once you can adjust the amount of whisky to your liking (or depending on the day of the week.) Bring on the garlic breath and don’t forget the chips for crunch.
Scott is a Melbourne-born and now Sydney-based chef at acclaimed Spanish restaurant MoVida Sydney, where he's currently sous chef. When he's not perfecting tapas behind the pass, he's turning shoulders of lamb on a spit in the backyard, or cooking six different Indian curries for a feast with a... Read Full Bio