Wrapped in a deep red jacket of presunto and fried in bacon drippings, this is trout as they like it in the royal city of Bragança, seat of Portugal’s monarchs. The smoky richness of the ham and golden fat makes this one of the most delicious ways of preparing delicate river fish.–Elisabeth Luard
Portuguese Trout Wrapped in Smoked Ham
- 4 fine fat trout gutted, heads left on
- 4 thin slices of lean presunto (smoked salt-cured ham)
- 2 thick slices of bacon with plenty of fat, chopped small
- Waxy golden potatoes plain-boiled with or without their skins (optional)
- Wrap the trout carefully in their ruby-red jackets and set aside.
- Heat the diced bacon in a heavy pan and fry gently until it yields up all its fat. Remove and reserve the crisp little scraps of crackling.
- Fry the trout gently in the drippings: allow about 10 minutes, turning the fish over once to brown the other side. It’s done when the flesh feels firm to the finger.
- Serve, if desired, with plain-boiled potatoes dressed with the reserved bits of crackling and the pan drippings.
Portuguese Trout Wrapped in Smoked HamSmoked ham will do at a pinch if you can’t find Portuguese presunto; but you do need the smokiness for authenticity.
Originally published September 22, 2005