Lacon con Grelos is a traditional dish from Galicia, a region in the northwest of Spain. This mouthwatering recipe combines tender pork shoulder with leafy greens known as grelos, resulting in a flavorful and hearty meal. In this article, we will explore the history of Lacon con Grelos, its ingredients, the cooking process, and some variations of this beloved dish.

The History of Lacon con Grelos

Lacon con Grelos has its roots in Galician cuisine, which is known for its rich flavors and reliance on local ingredients. Galicia is a region with a strong agricultural tradition, and its cuisine reflects the abundance of fresh produce and high-quality meats available in the area.

The dish itself dates back centuries and has its origins in the rural communities of Galicia. It was traditionally prepared during the winter months when fresh greens were scarce, and pork was a staple in the region. Lacon con Grelos was a way to make use of the available ingredients and create a satisfying and nourishing meal.

The Ingredients

Lacon con Grelos requires a handful of simple yet flavorful ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at each component:

1. Lacon (Pork Shoulder)

The star of the dish is the lacon, which refers to the pork shoulder. This cut of meat is known for its tenderness and rich flavor. It is typically cured and smoked, adding an extra layer of depth to the dish.

2. Grelos (Leafy Greens)

Grelos are leafy greens that resemble turnip greens or collard greens. They have a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the savory flavors of the pork. Grelos are a seasonal ingredient, usually harvested in late winter or early spring.

3. Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple in Galician cuisine and provide a hearty base for the dish. They add texture and help balance the flavors of the pork and greens.

4. Chorizo

Chorizo is a type of Spanish sausage that adds a smoky and spicy kick to the dish. It complements the flavors of the pork and greens, enhancing the overall taste.

5. Garlic and Olive Oil

Garlic and olive oil are essential ingredients in many Spanish recipes, and Lacon con Grelos is no exception. They add depth and aroma to the dish, elevating its flavors.

The Cooking Process

Now that we know the key ingredients, let’s dive into the cooking process of Lacon con Grelos:

1. Soaking the Lacon

Before cooking, the lacon needs to be soaked overnight to remove excess salt. This step is crucial to ensure the dish is not overly salty.

2. Boiling the Lacon

Once soaked, the lacon is placed in a large pot and covered with water. It is then brought to a boil and simmered for several hours until tender. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop and the meat to become incredibly tender.

3. Preparing the Greens

While the lacon is simmering, the grelos are prepared. They are thoroughly washed and blanched in boiling water to remove any bitterness. After blanching, they are sautéed with garlic and olive oil until tender.

4. Cooking the Potatoes and Chorizo

The potatoes are peeled, diced, and boiled until soft. In a separate pan, the chorizo is cooked until it releases its flavorful oils.

5. Assembling the Dish

Once all the components are cooked, the dish is assembled. The lacon is sliced and placed on a platter, surrounded by the sautéed grelos, boiled potatoes, and sliced chorizo. The dish is then drizzled with olive oil and served hot.

Variations of Lacon con Grelos

While the traditional recipe is delicious on its own, there are a few variations of Lacon con Grelos that add unique twists to the dish. Here are a couple of examples:

1. Lacon con Grelos with Cachelos

Cachelos are Galician-style boiled potatoes that are peeled and cooked with the skin on. They add a rustic touch to the dish and enhance its texture.

2. Lacon con Grelos with Pimenton

Pimenton is a Spanish paprika that comes in both sweet and spicy varieties. Adding a sprinkle of pimenton to the dish gives it an extra smoky flavor and a vibrant red color.


1. Can I use a different cut of pork instead of lacon?

While lacon is the traditional choice for this dish, you can experiment with other cuts of pork, such as pork loin or pork belly. However, keep in mind that the cooking time and flavors may vary.

2. Can I substitute grelos with other leafy greens?

If you can’t find grelos, you can substitute them with turnip greens, collard greens, or kale. However, the taste and texture of the dish may differ slightly.

3. Is Lacon con Grelos a gluten-free dish?

Yes, Lacon con Grelos is naturally gluten-free as long as the ingredients used are gluten-free. However, it’s always important to check the labels of processed ingredients like chorizo to ensure they are gluten-free.

4. Can I make Lacon con Grelos in advance?

Yes, you can make Lacon con Grelos in advance and reheat it before serving. In fact, many people believe that the flavors intensify when the dish is reheated.

5. What is the best wine pairing for Lacon con Grelos?

As Lacon con Grelos is a rich and flavorful dish, it pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine, such as a Spanish Rioja or a Galician Mencia.


Lacon con Grelos is a traditional Galician dish that combines tender pork shoulder with leafy greens, potatoes, and chorizo. This hearty and flavorful recipe has been enjoyed for centuries in the rural communities of Galicia. The dish’s history, simple yet delicious ingredients, and cooking process make it a beloved staple in Galician cuisine. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or add your own twist, Lacon con Grelos is sure to satisfy your taste buds and transport you to


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