This Christmas, we’d like to share with our followers a recipe that is very traditional for this time of year, Salsa de Nadal.
This is a pivotal recipe in Ibizan cooking, one that has been passed down through the generations, and which used to be prepared in large quantities and consumed during all the end-of-year festivities.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to try it, Salsa de Nadal is a liquid sauce, although its exact texture and thickness can vary slightly, depending on the recipe used.
The sauce is the result of an odd mixture of local ingredients and painstaking preparation.
The basic ingredients are almonds (formed into a dough with eggs) and lamb and chicken stock.
Catalina Riera, a renowned cook and the owner of the well-known Ca n'Alfredo restaurant, has done us the honour of showing us, step by step, how to prepare an authentic Salsa de Nadal.
First of all, we need to heat the chicken stock and the lamb stock in two separate saucepans over a low flame.
Meanwhile, we add the ground almonds into a large bowl, and then we add the eggs, one at time, kneading until the almonds have released all their oil.
This process requires patience, as the almonds will only release the oil gradually.
Once we have obtained an oily dough, we slowly add the chicken stock and lamb stock (in equal quantities). It is important that the stock is not boiling, or it will cook the egg — it must be just warm. Reserve a small amount of the chicken and lamb stock, and add cinnamon sticks to blend the flavours.
Continue kneading with both hands, until the almonds start breaking up and we obtain a fairly liquid mixture. Now we strain it through a sieve that we previously placed over a saucepan.
We will need to repeat this operation as many times as necessary until the almond mixture has stopped breaking up.
Now, put the saucepan over a low heat and stir continuously. It’s important to remember to keep stirring in the same direction.
After the mixture has been heating for around 45 minutes, we slowly add the sugar, and a hint of saffron (to taste) previously toasted in the oven. We also add the stock infused with cinnamon. Slowly, the sauce will thicken and give off an increasingly strong aroma.
Now, put the saucepan over a low heat for around 45 minutes, still stirring continuously.
Here are the ingredients required to make 15 l of Salsa de Nadal.