A meat-eaters guide to a Spanish menu

Here on the Costa Blanca, paella, fish and seafood get top billing in most seafront restaurants. But meat eaters, worry not; there’s plenty of variety on offer, especially as you travel further inland.

Here’s a handy translation of most of the dishes you’ll find in the CARNES (meat) section of the menu.

I’ve included separate section for steak and also for the different cuts of meat you’ll find in Spain. In the UK, we tend to turn our noses up at offal; not here, where even the humblest cut can be transformed into something delicious (see the section on casquería below).

CARNES (MEAT)

  • Buey: bull
  • Cabra/cabrito: goat/kid
  • Cerdo: pork. Almost every bit of the pig features somewhere in Spanish cuisine.
  • Cochinillo: suckling pig. Usually cooked whole in the oven. A speciality in Segovia. 
  • Conejo: rabbit. Great in stews. Try conejo en salmorejo (a vinegar/pimentón sauce typical of the Canary Islands)
  • Cordero: lamb. In the UK, lamb is defined as under one year old and anything older is mutton. Spain has more detailed definitions, but you don’t often see them on menus.
  • Cordero lechal, unweaned, up to 25 days old, 8 kg. See also lechazo.
  • Cordero recental or ternasco: up to 4 months old, less than 13kg.
  • Cordero pascual: slaughtered between 4-12 months.
  • Ovino mayor/carnero: sheep over one year old, mostly found in the north of Spain.
  • Cordoníz: quail
  • Faisán: pheasant
  • Jabalí: wild boar
  • Lechazo: lamb (unweaned, under 35 days old)
  • Pato: duck
  • Pavo: turkey
  • Pollo: chicken
  • Perdiz: partridge
  • Ternera: beef. Can also mean veal (e.g. escalope de ternera)
  • Vaca: cow
  • Venado: venison

WAYS OF COOKING

  • Ahumado: smoked
  • A la brasa: charcoal grilled
  • A la parrilla: grilled
  • A la plancha: cooked on a hot plate
  • Al horno: cooked in the oven 
  • Barbacoa/parillada: barbeque
  • Estofado: stewed
  • Guisado: stewed/casseroled
  • Horno de leña: wood oven
  • Relleno: stuffed

STEAKS

  • Bistec: rump steak
  • Chuletón: T-bone steak          
  • Entrecote: entrecote
  • Filete: fillet
  • Solomillo: sirloin
  • Poco hecho: rare
  • Al punto: rare
  • Medio hecho: medium
  • Bien hecho: well done

STYLES/CUTS OF MEAT 

  • Alas de (pollo):  wings (chicken)
  • Albondigas: meatballs
  • Carilladas de cerdo: pig cheeks (also known as mejillas, carrilleras)
  • Chuleta: chop
  • Chuletón: T-bone steak
  • Costillas: ribs/spare ribs
  • Escalope: escalope (of veal)
  • Filete: fillet steak (usually beef)
  • Higado: liver
  • Lengua: tongue
  • Lomo: loin, tenderloin pork
  • Manitas de cerdo: pig trotters
  • Mejillas de cerdo: pig cheeks
  • Molida: minced meat
  • Muslo de: (thigh) Muslo de pollo – chicken drumstick
  • Paleta: shoulder
  • Panceta de cerdo: belly of pork
  • Patas de cerdo: pigs’ trotters
  • Picada: minced meat
  • Pierna: leg (usually lamb)
  • Pinchos: pork kebab marinated in spicy sauce and served on skewers (pinchos morunos are a typical tapa)
  • Pechuga: breast
  • Pluma: (literally feather) a really tender cut of pork from the neck of an Iberico pig
  • Poco hecho – rare/Al punto – rare/medio hecho – medium/bien hecho – well done
  • Rabo de toro: ox tail
  • Riñones: kidneys. Try riñones al jerez (in sherry sauce)
  • Secreto: a cut of pork with amazing flavour from the shoulder/loin area of an Ibérico pig

CASQUERIA (OFFAL)

Rabo de Toro
Oxtail (rabo de toro), a Spanish favourite. It needs to be braised slowly until the meat is falling away from the bone.
  • Carilladas de cerdo: pig cheeks (aka mejillas, carrilleras)
  • Higado: liver
  • Lengua: tongue
  • Mejillas de cerdo: pig cheeks
  • Manitas de cerdo: pigs trotters
  • Patas de cerdo: pigs trotters
  • Rabo de toro: ox tail (see pic)
  • Riñones: kidneys
  • Sesos: brains
  • Tripas: tripe

© Guy Pelham 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s