Frit is a nutritious and filling regional dish from Mallorca. Some versions are based on pork but most authorities declare the lamb version to be the better. I give the lamb version which uses heart, lungs and liver which, in Mallorca, are sold as one piece specifically for this dish.
Frit means fried (Frito in Spanish). Frit Mallorquí is usually ludicrously translated on restaurant menus as “Fried Mallorcan” – Poor guy! I think Mallorcan fry-up is about it, though the preparation is a good deal more painstaking than this term would imply.
As with all local dishes there is little consensus as to how one goes about producing a genuine, classic Frit. Generally speaking, smallish chunks of offal and a variety of vegetables are deep fried in olive oil. Each ingredient is fried separately and combined at the end. The essential vegetables are potatoes, red peppers, garlic and spring onions. Peas are common and one often sees cauliflower. Hot pepper is highly desirable though not mandatory, however one must never forgo the fragrant fennel tops – the naturally abundant herb that gives the dish so much of its identity.
There is much debate as to which restaurant on the island serves the best Frit. For the ultimate Frit experience one should seek out local restaurants, well away from the tourists, the type that specialises in hearty Mallorcan fare: those known as “cellers’ as they occupy old wine cellars. Can Amer in Inca is a fine example as well as Son Toreo in Sineu.
Ingredients for 4 people
the liver, heart and lungs of a lamb
a slice of cooked blood preparation (200 g)
a large glass of olive oil
2 or 3 large potatoes
a large red pepper
a head of garlic
5 bay leaves
half a smallish cauliflower
a couple of handfuls of small, tender peas
a hot pepper (locally known as guindilla)
a bunch of spring onions
a bunch of fennel fronds
salt and pepper
Cut the lambs offal and the cooked blood into 1 cm dice. (A very sharp knife is required.) Cut the peppers and onions into a similar sized pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 4 – 5 cm lengths, resembling short fries. Separate the cloves of garlic and crush lightly by hand or with the side of a knife. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, slicing each piece thinly to help them cook. Coarsely chop up the fennel fronds and chop up the hot pepper.
Heat the oil in frying pan and drop in half of the garlic cloves. Add the potatoes and, as with all the ingredients, sprinkling with salt as they go in and gently fry until soft but not quite golden. Remove to the serving pot with a spoon-sieve, draining off as much oil as possible. Repeat the process with the red peppers, adding the rest of the garlic and a few bay leaves. Now repeat the process with the heart and lungs, seasoning and adding the remaining bay leaves. Let the meats brown a little, remove all this and now fry the liver in the same way, dropping in the hot pepper. Repeat with the cauliflower and remove. Finally, the peas are added to the oil and shortly after the onions join the peas in the pan and finally the blood and the fennel join the mixture and are stirred around briefly.
Mix all the ingredients together in the serving pot, correct the seasoning with salt and pepper and heat the pot through over a low heat.