pinchitos morunos

our pintxo crawl in san sebastian included one dish which reminded me of home – pinchitos morunos is an andalucian recipe in the first moro cook book and one that i have been making for years.

the recipe is very simple – cubes of pork fillet is marinated with a mix of cumin, coriander, fennel, smoked paprika, saffron, bay, oregano and red wine vinegar plus a little oil. the variation we had in san sebastian was that the pork was interspersed with pieces of green pepper, on its skewer.

the result was more interesting than the plain pork version so i decided to give it a try. i also added some pieces of pancetta, just because they needed using up, but they added a delicious extra layer of flavour so i’ll do it again.

pimped pinchitos morunos* (serves 4)

500g pork fillet, trimmed of fat and sinew (i tend to use pork tenderloin)

2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into 3cm squares

8-12 pancetta rashers, cut into squares


½ a heaped teaspoon of each cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds, all lightly toasted and then roughly ground

1 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika (dolce or picante is fine)

2 cloves of garlic, crushed to a paste with a little salt

1 generous pinch of saffron, infused with 2 tablespoons boiling water

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf, crumbled or finely chopped

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

cut the pork into 3cm cubes and place in a bowl. add the marinade ingredients, mix and leave to marinate for 2 hours.

alternate the pork, green pepper and pancetta on some skewers, arrange these on a grill tray** and pour any remaining marinade over them. grill the skewers under a high heat, turning every couple of minutes, so that the meat cooks through and the edges char – be careful that the meat doesn’t dry out. season before serving.

* based on a recipe from moro

** alternately, you can cook these in a griddle pan, over a high heat.