Papas de sarrabulho à moda do minho

Papas de Sarrabulho is a mandatory dish in Minho’s menus. This dish is perfect for winter days and reached its gastronomy peak in this area.

Its origin goes back to the Middle Ages when the production of food was practically null and drinking water didn’t exist. Therefore, the original recipe was based on slow cooked bread with animal’s blood.

Papas de Sarrabulho are traditionally linked to ‘Matança do Porco’, – literally translated as Pig’s Slaughter – a family festivity where relatives and some close neighbours are invited to join the celebration.

Matança do Porco’ is a cultural act that was, in former times, essential to the survival of the rural families and even today it’s a proof of family union.

This tradition typically takes place in the farmers house, where the entire ceremony occurs. The pig should be raised in the fields and fed with corn flour, pumpkin and vegetables.

According to the beliefs that last until today, for the ceremony to go well, the moon must be in its first quarter phase, the weather must be cold and no child can’t be present, because the pity that they may feel, can bring ‘bad luck’ and the animal might not die immediately, as desired.

In the first strike, the knife should rotate around 45 degrees allowing a perfect blood collection.

After its death, the pig must be ‘enqueimado’, in other words, people hit the animal’s body with burning straw without burning its skin. Then, the pig is washed with strong brushes, soap and water. In the past, was used roof tile to remove the skin, but later it was replaced by metal instruments.

‘Matança do porco’ become a moment of union between family and neighbors, involving several tasks – the killing, the collecting of the blood, the burning of the hairs, the cleaning, the dismantling, the division of the meat and the preparation of the first dishes, among them ‘Papas de Sarrabulho’.

To make this dish, the pork and the chicken are carefully shredded and, depending on the recipe, some cold meats can be added.

To shred the meat, it’s important to put it in a pan and cook it until it have softened enough. The seasonings differ according to the recipes, but usually pepper is a basic ingredient.

This dish may have pasty variations depending on the place where we eat it.

In regions like Braga, this dish gains prominence and is served as a soup, but in Amares it’s typically served accompanied by ‘rojões’.

This dish was originally eaten in the winter, because the pigs were usually killed in that season. Nowadays you can find it almost all year, except for the summer when good sense advises you not to eat such heavy dish.

In ‘Papas de Sarrabulho’ everything is taken to the extreme and is required a strong stomach to handle such exaggerations.