Cal Pep Restaurant: Butifarra with Duck Foie and Porto Reduction
This is something new that could be pretty fun. Whenever I find a dish that blows my clothes off, I'll document it here, break it down, and explain why I think it's so amazing. To anyone that reads my posts, if you find any dish that really makes your day, let me know what you ate, where you ate it, and I'll try to scout it out and try it for myself. If I really love it, I'll write about it in a post.
For this post, I'll be writing about the Butifarra (Pork Sausage) with Duck Foie and Porto Reduction from Cal Pep Restaurant, hereby referred to as "CPR", in Barcelona, Spain. CPR is an amazing restaurant with a really badass dining experience. As you walk through the entrance, you notice that it's a pretty small place. There is a bar/dining area to your left with a single row of seats that face part of the kitchen. Towards the back of the restaurant is a small room with a few more spots to sit. CPR takes reservations for parties 4 or more and if you don't have a reservation you have to stand in the back, watching everyone enjoy their meals. When you're in this situation, your life pretty much sucks. In front of you, you smell all the beautiful aromas, you see all the divine, mouthwatering dishes, and you feel an overall sense of euphoria among all the guests who are now enjoying their meals. You might wait 5 minutes or 50 minutes but when it's finally time, that's when the fun begins.
As stated on their website, "You also need to know we don't have menus fixed because we work every day with the fresh products of the day. For that reason, every day we have different products in the kitchen and makes us very difficult to develop a set menu". That's the real deal. They are too cool to have a menu. Menus are a thing of the past. The chefs in front of you ask what you feel like eating and they just surprise you with whatever's available. To me, all I hear is "BADASS. BADASS. BADASS". Even more badass, the owner, Cal Pep is right in front of you, taking your orders, talking to you, giving you high fives, and giving you fulfilling dining experience. This guy is a boss. He's like the Santa Clause of food because all his dishes are gifts. I wouldn't be surprised if he hired body guards because women probably can't get their hands off him. I got two high fives from him during our dinner. Two pints of beer later. I went back in to give him another high five because he's so awesome.
Okay. Time to talk about this heavenly dish. The Butifarra (Pork Sausage) with Duck Foie and Porto Reduction. It already SOUNDS delicious. That is one beautiful name. Maybe if my future wife lets me, I'm going to name my first born "Butifarra with Duck Foie and Porto Reduction". He's going to be the coolest kid at school. I'm not sure if it was all that beer but my friends and I swore that we did not see anyone cook our butifarra. We were convinced that it fell straight from heaven, right into Cal Pep's restaurant, onto a dish, ready for us to devour. That's how good it was.
The Butifarra is a type of sausage in Spain. The french also have this but the butifarra is one of the most beloved dishes in Catalan cuisine. This is not your regular, old sausage. The butifarra is a cooked pork flavor bomb with a somewhat nutty, rustic, peppery, and spicy taste, with a tiny hint of salt. The butifarra is often made fresh with a little bit of pork fat so that it really hits you in the face like a train of deliciousness. A lot of people like to play around with different spices so butifarra can differ from place to place.
Okay. Here is the crazy part. Cal Pep stuffs the butifarra with duck foie. If you've never had foie gras, it's an enlarged duck or goose liver. It has a rich, buttery and fatty taste that can really help turn a dish into a masterpiece. For the sauce, Cal Pep uses a porto reduction. Basically, it's just the process of boiling a liquid, in this case, the wine, to intensify the flavors of the wine through evaporation. I don't know if this is easy to do but imagine that salted, spiced pork taste coupled with the buttery, fatty goodness from the foie gras over all the tantalizing feels from the porto reduction along a river of sauteed white beans. Honestly, this a gift from the universe... like my abs. Just kidding. My abs are a gift from God.
I'm so hungry right now. Writing this was absolute torture but I hope you enjoyed it.