The region of Valencia is the main rice-producing region in Spain. Although the region is known for paella, there are so many other mouth-watering rice dishes to enjoy, like Arroz al Horno, which is also known as baked Spanish rice or Oven-Baked Spanish Rice.
This dish is traditionally baked in a ceramic dish and includes pieces of pork, morcilla blood sausage, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, and garbanzo beans. This traditional Spanish rice dish is so popular that Xàtiva, a city near the coast in Valencia, holds a festival in honor of Arroz al Horno.
Traditionally, this baked Spanish rice dish is prepared in a clay or ceramic dish. So, you’ll need a ceramic, enamel or stainless steel casserole dish that can be used on a stove-top or in the oven.
Baked Spanish Rice -- a Hallmark of Valencia
The Valencians are so proud of the high-quality rice they grow that there is a Denomination of Origin for rice -- a protected geographical indication that protect names of quality agricultural products.The rice-producing zone is around the “Parque Natural de la Albufera” in the province of Alicante, but other areas include Beniparrell, La Alcudia, Oliva, Pego, and Sagunto in Alicante. Paella is a famous rice dish from the region as well.
Valencia also has a number of dishes made of seafood and fowl, complete with sauces. All-i-fibre is a sauce made of a combination of garlic, oil, and paprika and is commonly served with eel. Pato a la Naranja is a duck with orange sauce, an original dish from this area. This recipe for Arroz al Horno, though, is a classic Valencia rice meal.
- lb. lean pork
- 1/2 lb. morcilla, blood sausage
- 1 head garlic
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 1/2 c. rice
- 4 c. beef broth
- 2 medium potatoes
- 4 oz. garbanzo beans (cooked)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (divided, more if needed)
- Cut the fresh pork into cubes approximately 3/4 inch. Cut the morcilla sausage into thick slices.
- Cut tomatoes into slices approximately 1/3-inch thick. Peel potatoes and cut into slices approximately 1/4-inch thick.
- Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the casserole dish and heat. When it is hot enough, fry the pork, sausage slices and whole head of garlic. Add slices of one tomato into the pan and stir.
- Add the rice into the pan and stir the contents of the frying pan. Add olive oil if necessary.
- Pour the broth and sprinkle the chickpeas around the dish. Simmer for 10 minutes while you fry the potatoes. Add more broth if necessary.
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- In a small frying pan, heat approximately half an inch of olive oil in a small frying pan. When hot enough, add the potato slices. Lightly fry them and remove the potatoes.
- Add the rest of the tomato, laying slices on top. Place potatoes slice on top of the rice. Cover and bake the meal in the oven until golden brown.