Paella con Cerdo y Acelga Arcoiris

… or Paella with Pork and Rainbow Chard, to you.

This is developed from a pork, chorizo and spinach recipe in Moro. What, chorizo in a Paella? Yes, just don’t claim it to be a Paella Valenciana or you’ll get lynched.

Much as I love spinach, I also love chard, particularly rainbow chard. The thing about chard is that the leafy greenery and the stems benefit from cooking separately and this recipe lends itself to doing just that. Another adaptation from the original is to treat the pork differently, cutting it very thinly and cooking it well to tenderize it as opposed to leaving it just barely cooked, which we found a bit resilient.


serves: 4
preparation time: 15 mins
cooking time: 40 mins


  • 500g rainbow chard
  • olive oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 120g chorizo
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g paella rice (bomba or Calasparra)
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper


First prepare the chard. Cut the leaves from the thicker leaf ribs, then cut the ribs into 4cm lengths. Now cut the leafy bits crosswise into 2-3cm slices. Wash it all but keep the leaves and stems separate.

Next prepare the meats. Cut the chorizo (you can use dulce or picante, whichever) into roughly 1cm cubes. Now split the tenderloin in half down its narrower length. Cut each half across the grain into fine slices, about 3mm thick.

Now we can cook. Using your chosen paella pan [yes, I know, a paella IS a pan], over moderate heat, quickly fry together the pork slices and chorizo in olive oil until the pork is beginning to brown on both sides. Rescue the pork and chorizo to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the flavoured oil for the next stage.

Over medium heat, sweat the onion and green pepper together until the onion is nicely softened. Toss in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Now sprinkle over the pimenton with about half a teaspoon of black pepper and a teaspoon of salt (assuming you are using unseasoned stock and NOT a stock cube – adjust if you are). Stir in the rice to coat with oil and cook gently for 2 or 3 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and stir. Add the rainbow chard rib pieces, together with the reserved pork and chorizo and stir again to mix well. Bring the whole to a moderate simmer and let it cook, uncovered, stirring maybe once or twice, for 20 minutes.

There should still be some liquid left, if not add a splash of water. Place the chard leaves on top of the paella and cover, either with a lid (if your pan has one) or foil if not. Keep the heat where it was and the steam generated will wilt the chard leaves.

Uncover the pan and drive off the remaining liquid. If you’re feeling adventurous, bump up the heat and toast the rice lightly on the bottom of the pan, which the Spanish love.

Get a pdf version of this recipe.

Posted in Starters

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