Let me tell you something about pimentón. It's smoked Spanish paprika, and I put it on EVERYTHING. Chicken, fish, eggs, salad, steak, roasted vegetables -- I even ate a spoonful of it once. If it were a politician I'd vote for it. If it were a church I'd tithe. Yes, it's weird. But Mark Bittman is a pimentón freak as well, so in that regard I consider myself in good company.
When it came time to make paella during March Spanish, I figured I'd just start with pimentón and build around it. When I came across this good, meaty recipe for Catalán-style paella, I was sold, and not just because it lent itself to excessive pimentón-ing. It also called for a meat that I had not had a whole lot of experience with: rabbit.
Finding rabbit is no small task. There are quite a few specialty markets and butchers in the area, but call after call proved fruitless until finally I ringed up Wagshal's in Spring Valley, which had two rabbits left. After some confused head scratching and some quick online research, I managed to butcher the wee beastie reasonably well.
To accompany the rabbit, more meat. Pork ribs, chorizo, cured ham -- there are a few veggies in there too, but this dish is all about stacking meat on meat. The key ingredient, however, is the rice. You can't make proper paella without right kind of rice: arroz bomba. This short-grain rice absorbs significantly more liquid than its longer-grain cousins. It can be difficult to track down, but be sure to make that effort. It will definitely be worth it.
Photos and recipe (via Penelope Casas' The Food & Wines Of Spain) after the jump.