Gastronomy Recipes: Dirty Rice Recipe or Arroz Brut

In Mallorca “Arròs Brut”, which translated literally means “Arroz Sucio” in Spanish and “Dirty Rice” in English, is a typical Mallorcan dish with a very easy preparation and low cost whose ingredients, out of rice, are meat and vegetables that we have in the fridge and we are not using during the preparation of other dishes such as chicken neck or liver, for example. It is a soupy rice and spicy, full plate, and of course, a Mediterranean dish. Due to its characteristics is cooked mostly when cold weather and once, even in current dates, used to be the starter in all kinds of celebrations. It is very typical in Mallorca the fact of meeting the whole family at grandparent´s house and find on the table “Arròs Brut”, especially in winter time.

Originally cooked with own grown products and bred animals, all kinds of meat is used for its preparation, rabbit, chicken, pork or hunting animals as hare, quail and other variants, but using the parts that could not be used for roasts or similar cooked, for example wingtips chicken, chunks of pork chop with very little meat plus typical sausages from Mallorca like sobrassada or butifarrón that helped flavor to be more tasty and, above all, many spices like black pepper, cloves, nutmeg.

The ingredients varied (and vary) according to seasonal products, being highly appreciated the use of mushrooms to prepare the “Arròs Brut”, especially the “Arròs Brut con Esclatassangs” (Lactarius sanguifluus), very appreciated on the Island for its high taste and they are like chanterelles, but redder, or “Arròs Brut de Matanzas” and believe me, this is an exquisite dish as is the only moment when you are able to use extremely fresh pork meat on the pig slaughter, still held in a lot of traditional families in Mallorca.

The name “Arròs Brut” comes from the murky and dark spices broth created broth during the cooking processing of rice, which, as the word says, leave the broth like if it was dirty, and chopped chicken or rabbit liver helps to get more dark color…but of course is not dirty…and has an exquisite flavor…really tasty.

Preparation time: 50 minutes + 20 minutes cooking.

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients for 4 people: 700 g of assorted meat (chicken, duck, pigeon, quail, pork rib, rabbit…a little taste), one rabbit liver and one chicken liver, medium onion, medium red pepper, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tomato, 100 g of green beans, a handful of peas, 1 artichoke, 150 g of mushrooms, a few sprigs of parsley, 5 tablespoons olive oil, 400 g of rice, some saffron , salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, 3 liters of water.

Preparation: The first thing you have to do is mix all the spice for “Arròs Brut” in a bowl with the cinnamon, cloves, saffron, nutmeg and black pepper and has to be well mixed.

Clean and chop in small pieces all the meats you would like to use. Put the olive oil in a pot and fry all meats together. Once meat is browned, add half chopped red pepper, tomatoes also chopped finely, finely chopped onion and a clove of minced garlic also.

Add salt to taste at this time to saut? all together and pour a little of the spice mixture we prepared earlier, but not all, to let everything absorbing the spices slowly and continue stirring to mix all well while you are sautéing and, before you finish sautéing, add the rest of mixture we did earlier with the spices and stir well to be sure that it is well blended. After about 5 minutes frying everything together, add the water and we let boil for about 20 minutes.

While all this is boiling make a minced with parsley and livers (chicken and rabbit) with the 2 cloves of garlic and a put some of the broth that is boiling, which will help us and will do easy to make the minced. Normally i do it until it looks like a paste.

When the pot has been approximately 20 minutes boiling add the chopped artichokes, beans, peas, mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes adding the rice letting everything cooking together another 5 minutes and add all minced we have prepared before.

That´s all, in this point we can only wait long enough until the rice is done, about 10 minutes or so, depends on the type of rice we use. Once the rice is cooked is always a good idea to wait about 3 or 4 minutes before serving, minutes that will help everything to get more taste, what is called confit.


The rice used to make a good “Arròs Brut” has to be round grain and never long grain rice or vaporized because it’s tasty and much better when absorbs the flavor of the spices and broth.

You can serve the rice putting on the table horseradish, radishes or green sweet pepper with a little olive oil and salt…tasty.

Of course, as “Arròs Brut” is more a typical winter and spicy dish, take it with a good mallorcan red wine…the older the better.

Bon Appetite

You can eonjoy more recipes from Mallorca here.

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1 Response

  1. Bernard says:

    :-)…this looks really delicious.
    Sure i will try on my next visit to Mallorca.

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