Atún Con Oloroso (Tuna with Oloroso)
This is a version of ‘atún encebollado’ (tuna with sweet onions), a recipe given to us by Miguel Valdespino of the famous Valdespino sherry bodega in Jerez. The tuna caught off the Atlantic coast of southern Spain is among the best in the world and huge slabs of it, sometimes whole fish, appear in the local fish markets of Jerez and Cádiz during the season. Look out for deep red/purple shiny, firm flesh and do not compromise with the often grey, dull, flabby cuts that certain supermarkets dare to offer.
|4||thick tuna steaks, about 200-225g each|
|1||garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt|
|200ml||medium-dry oloroso sherry|
|3-4 tbsp||olive oil|
|3||large Spanish onions, thinly sliced|
|½||small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped|
|Sea salt and black pepper|
First marinate the tuna. Place the tuna in a dish and rub the garlic all over. Pour over a third of the sherry and leave to sit for an hour in the fridge before cooking.
Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. When the onions have wilted, turn down the heat and continue to cook for a good 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and sweet in smell and taste. Pour off any excess oil, add the remaining sherry, and simmer until the alcohol has evaporated and you have a nutty, rich sauce. Set aside.
When ready to cook the tuna, heat a clean frying pan until very hot. Add a drizzle of oil followed by the seasoned tuna, and fry briefly on both sides, depending on how rare you like it and the thickness of the cut. When almost cooked, add both the marinade and the onion sauce to the pan to warm through. You could use a griddle pan instead and warm the sauce separately. Serve immediately with the parsley sprinkled on top and the lemon.