Just like paella, cataplana actually refers to the pot this dish is cooked in! If you don't have ready access to one, substitute by using a wide pot or sauté pan.
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 500 g pork belly, skin and bone removed, thinly sliced
- 100 g pancetta, cut into 1cm cubes
- 300 g linguica sausage (or chorizo), split in half lengthways and halved on an angle
- 2 capsicums, roasted, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 large raw lobster (about 1.2kg), dispatched and split in half lengthways
- 1 kg raw prawns, shells removed and reserved for Bisque stock
- 1 kg mussels
- 1 kg clams
- 1 squid, cleaned
- 500 g firm white fish fillets (e.g. cod, mulloway)
- ½ cup finely shredded parsley
- shells from 1kg prawns
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 L chicken stock
- 600 g tomato puree
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the bisque stock place all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for 25 minutes. Transfer everything to a blender (including the prawn shells) and blend for a few minutes to a smooth soup. You will need to use a strong blender, blend this in batches, and blend multiple times to fully break down the prawn shells. Pass the bisque stock through a fine sieve to remove any unblended pieces of shell. It should appear quite creamy.
Heat the cataplana over high heat and add the oil. Fry the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until lightly caramelised and add the pork belly, pancetta and sausage and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add the capsicum, paprika, chilli and saffron and fry for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to the boil then add the lobster, cover and cook for 8 minutes, then add the prawns, squid, fish, clams and mussels and cook for 5 minutes.
Scatter over fresh parsley and serve warm in the cataplana.
Photography by Lucy Alcorn.