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Easy Spanish Arroz Brut (Mallorcan Soup)

Arroz Brut is a classic soup served on the island of Mallorca. It is a simple dish made with various meats, tomatoes, vegetables, broth, rice and a bit of cinnamon! It is easy to make, hearty and will warm you up on the coldest day.

Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine Mediterranean, spanish
Keyword easy dinner, french onion soup, fried rice, One dish, spanish cuisine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken or pork short ribs, or chorizo
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash ground cloves
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms sliced
  • Pinch of saffron threads optional
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 3/4 cup rice I used Spanish Bomba rice, but any type will work, except Minute Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh green beans whole with tough ends snapped off
  • Lemon slices red pepper slices and olive oil for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pan at least 4 inches deep, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place the meat in the pan and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Brown the meat on both sides.

  2. Add cinnamon, cloves, onion, red pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onion begins to get soft. Stir to incorporate seasonings with the meat.

  3. Add mushrooms and saffron (if using)* Stir ingredients in pan. If using chicken breast remove and set aside, to prevent over cooking. If using pork rib meat, see directions on recipe notes. Chicken thighs may be left in pan.

  4. Place the chopped tomatoes and pour broth into the pan and simmer on low for about 20 minutes without lid.

  5. Add the rice, turn up heat and bring to a boil again. Simmer without lid for about 20 minutes or until rice is done. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, throw in fresh green beans and return meat or seafood to pan.

  6. Drizzle the Arroz Brut with olive oil, a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Along with the soup, serve crusty bread, and red pepper slices.

Recipe Notes

  • Any vegetables may be used in this recipe. The tomatoes  and onion are essential for the broth, but the other vegetables may be substituted. The vegetables listed are classic in Arroz Brut.
  • Saffron is a bit on the expensive side and can be difficult to find in the US. I forgot to add the saffron in this dish one time, and it still tasted amazing. This is the brand I use in Spain. A pinch(or a few threads) is all you need. 
  • If you are using boneless skinless chicken breasts, cook and remove after it has been in the pan for 7-10 minutes. Set aside and chop. When the rice is done, add it back to the pan. I love white meat chicken breasts, but this dish is really best when made with thigh meat or pork short ribs!
  • If you are using short ribs (pork or beef) I recommend simmering the meat on low for at least one hour in the broth on low heat. This will help tenderize the meat. You may need more broth if using ribs and cooking on low. You can also place the short ribs in a slow cooker for about 6-8 hours on low seasoned, with about a cup of broth to tenderize the meat.
  • In Spain, this dish is also often made with rabbit. I have been told Arroz Brut was made with almost any type of meat or game available back in the day when it was first made in Mallorca!
  • To make this dish vegetarian, skip the meat and cube a package of firm tofu adding it to the pan instead of browning the meat. Cook the tofu just a bit to give it some color,  then remove and set aside.  Add it back to the pan when the rice is cooked, just before serving.