Despite La Boqueria being on my must-visit list every time we go to Barcelona, we’ve managed to eat at Bar Pinotxo twice and El Quim de la Boqueria zero times. (I need to visit when the latter stall isn’t on vacation, it seems.) On our last trip to the city in 2018, we wasted no time after we dropped our bags at our hotel and headed to the metro so we could make our way to La Boqueria and we got stools at Bar Pinotxo for some lunch.
While I always enjoy any meal we have at Bar Pinotxo, one that I really want to get there one of these days is their breakfast because I’ve heard it’s absolutely excellent. In the meantime, however, I now have their cookbook that provides a hint of what that breakfast service may include. While some of their dishes–including their signature chickpea recipe that calls for morcilla–requires hunting down some specialty ingredients, Jordi’s Saturday Egg is one of the most straightforward and simple dishes in the book and one that makes for a pretty satisfying and simple-to-make Sunday brunch.
In essence, it’s their take on the Catalan huevos estrellados in which pan-fried or deep-fried potatoes are served with ham or pancetta and with a fried egg on top. I’ve enjoyed this with a glass of cava or two at Tapas 24, and I would argue that a glass goes well with this iteration of this classic as well if the spirit moves you.
I should also note that the Jordi referenced here is the nephew of Juanito Bayén, with whom he works with in the world’s most famous chiringuito (for those outside of Spain, it’s their version of what’s usually a beachside snack shack but SO MUCH BETTER), and I am happy to say that Juanito is still puttering around the bar as of this writing! He’s famous for happily posing for photos, and his big old smile makes the prospect of finding an ATM for Euros to pay for lunch a little less annoying.
The key to making this dish sing is going with amazing ingredients. I like using Yukon Golds for this recipe, because that’s what you see in the cookbook photo and outside of making latkes with russet potatoes, they are the potato type that I enjoy eating the most. I spring for some good pancetta from an artisanal producer that I find at my favorite wine store, and I get the fancy eggs for the same reason because with so few ingredients at play, it means nothing can hide in this dish, and that’s OK.
Whether you make it for yourself for a quiet Saturday morning or part of a lovely, cava-fueled brunch, it’s a good one that’s easily multiplied to make for a crowd, though you’ll need a bigger pan to fry the potatoes in that case.
Jordi’s Saturday Egg from Bar Pinotxo
Adapted from Bar Pinotxo: The God is in the Garbanzos by Robin Willis
Serves two people
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz thin-sliced pancetta
- 1 Yukon Gold potato, thinly sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Pimenton de la Vera
- Flaky sea salt for garnish (optional)
In a medium, non-stick skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the pancetta to the pan and cook until done but not overly-crisp. Move to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the fat in the pan.
Heat the pan to medium, and add the potatoes and fry until done, i.e. brown on the outside but still warm on the inside, about 8-10 minutes. They should be fork-tender and not burnt on the outside. Strain from the pan into a separate towel-lined plate from the pancetta.
FInally, cook the eggs: heat the pan on medium heat, and break the eggs directly into the pan two at a time (cook two at a time–break them individually) until the whites set but the yolk is still runny, and evacuate them to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
To plate, divide the potatoes on two plates, and then the pancetta, and top with the fried eggs. Garnish with pimenton de la Vera and flaky sea salt, and serve immediately.