Migas is a classic, traditional peasant food that transforms an old leftover loaf of bread into a rich, flavorful, all-in-one meal. Variations on migas appear all over the country, and every family in every different town seems to do them a little bit differently. My recipe is inspired by Rosa’s mother’s usual version, and follows her process, cooking each ingredient separately in the same oil, then using that very flavorful oil to cook the bread.
Migas means crumbs in Spanish, and many versions of migas use bread crumbs instead of pieces of bread. I much prefer the chewier, bigger pieces of bread, the way it’s done in Rosa’s family. Soaking the bread first helps insure that the inside stays pleasantly chewy when the outside is toasted up in the pan.
Besides using up old bread, migas are a great way to use up old scraps of flavorful cured meats. Make a version to clean out the fridge. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand. All kinds of sausages and cured meats can be added, as long as they play nicely with each other. The important part is to get the bread toasted and browned in the pan before you mix back in all the flavorful ingredients you prepped. I like using the pimentón for the extra color and bit of smoke, but you there´s a debate in the family over whether that is necessary.
Migas are rich and heavy peasant food best suited for cold weather. They´re delicious and satisfying, but I strongly suggest serving them alongside a nice green salad to cut through and balance out the meal.
1 loaf stale, crusty bread
2 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
Sunflower or canola oil to cook
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 link chorizo, peeled and cut in ¼” thick slices
1 link morcilla, peeled and cut in ½” thick slices
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut in ¼” wide strips
Oil as needed for cooking
Salt and Pepper TT
1 tsp pimentón dulce (optional)
1. The night before, tear the bread into roughly 1” cubes, and leave uncovered overnight. At least 30 minutes before beginning to cook, cover the bread in cold water and leave it to soak. When ready to begin cooking, drain the bread and discard the water. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible in your hands, and leave the bread to drain in a colander or strainer while you begin to cook.
2. Get a heavy-bottomed, large sauté pan hot on a medium low flame. Add the bacon and a small drizzle of oil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the bacon is rendered out and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
3. Add the garlic cloves and sauté until lightly browned. Remove from the pan, mince and set aside with the bacon.
4. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the chorizo, sauté stirring regularly until they are browned, then set aside with the bacon. Repeat with the morcilla. Finally add the bell peppers and cook til just barely cooked through. Set aside with the other ingredients.
5. Add a bit more oil, then the bread (and pimentón, if using). Sauté the bread, stirring very often, until it is golden brown and a little crispy on the outside. The inside should still be soft, and the outside should be toasted, not burned. This will take at least 10-15 minutes of cooking, and you may need to add more oil, as the bread will soak up a lot.
6. When the bread is done, add the rest of the ingredients back to the pan, sauté long enough to make sure everything is hot and well mixed. Serve immediately.