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How to order the best meat in Spain

Here on the Costa Blanca, paella, fish and seafood often 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 meat dishes you’ll find in the carnes section of a Spanish menu.

I’ve included a separate section for steak here and also for the different cuts of meat you’ll find in Spain. There’s a checklist of the different meat cooking styles here.

In the UK, we tend to turn our noses up at offal. Not here, where even the humblest cut (think pig’s trotters, oxtail, beef cheeks) can be transformed into something delicious. Check out the section on casquería (offal).

Meat on your menu – translated!

Ways of cooking meat in Spain

Choosing your steak

How do you like your steak cooked? 

A guide to cuts of beef in Spain; more detailed than in the UK

Cuts of meat translated

A good cut of entraña with chimichurri sauce

Casquería (offal)

When I was a kid growing up in the UK, offal was a regular on the menu; liver (higado), kidneys (riñones) and heart (corazón) were everyday dishes. That tradition has slowly disappeared in Britain – but not in Spain, where every part of the animal features somewhere in someone’s recipe book.

Oxtail (rabo de toro), a Spanish favourite. It needs to be braised slowly until the meat is falling away from the bone.
Pigs trotters, usually braised in a stew. The Spanish can create a dish with every part of the pig and the trotters are no exception.

More great tastes of Spain!

For more posts on the best of Spanish food, take a look here:

© Guy Pelham

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