Gachas manchegas, traditional recipe step by step

Gachas manchegas, sometimes called gachas de los tiempos difíciles, is a very typical and deeply rooted dish in the cuisine of Castile La Mancha. It is especially present in Ciudad Real, where mills for grinding grass peas flour, the main ingredient, are still preserved today. The mills of La Solana and Campo de Criptana, both in Ciudad Real, are the most famous.

Gachas is a simple and delicious dish that deserves to be appreciated, not only for its historical importance, but also because it brings the whole family together around a hot, tasty and hearty dish. The most difficult ingredient to obtain is undoubtedly grass peas flour. Even so, it is worth making this simple dish, at least once in your life!

Ingredients for Gachas manchegas (4 people):

  • 200 g grass peas flour
  • 1 L water
  • 4 thick strips of bacon
  • 2 fresh chorizo sausages
  • 2 spoonfuls of sweet paprika
  • A pinch of hot paprika
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and oil

How to make Gachas manchegas:

  1. To prepare the gachas manchegas, first place a large frying pan on the heat where all the steps will be carried out. Pour a good splash of oil in the bottom of the frying on a medium heat.
  2. Peel the garlic and add them whole to the oil and cook them slowly without overcooking them. When ready after 10-15 minutes, take them out and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the whole strips of bacon. It is best if they are thick so that they are more delicious to eat later. Fry the strips until crispy and cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. After taking out the bacon, add the whole chorizo sausages. Fry to taste and remove. Cut them into pieces.
  5. Now it is time to add the grass peas flour to the oil. It should toast for 10 minutes. Once the flour is toasted, add the paprika and fry lightly for a few seconds.
  6. To finish the gachas manchegas, add the water little by little while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Once all the water has been added, cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the gachas manchegas from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Finally, add a good amount of salt, always to taste.
  7. To serve, simply place the pan with your gachas manchegas in the centre of the table. Also place the plate with the meat and garlic near the table so that everyone can take what they want. Traditionally, everyone eats directly from the frying pan. They can also be served on individual plates, but it is important to serve them with plenty of bread!

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