Buenvino Chestnut Puree Recipe

I had lunch today with Sam and Jeannie Chesterton at the magical world of Buenvino, their unique property and hotel at the heart of the Sierra de Aracena, in Western Andalusia.

Buenvino has been for decades a place to write, to paint and to dream surrounded by chestnut trees and wild flowers, a place to eat good food, to drink good wine and to return to as often as possible, any time of the year. Jeannie is a talented cook and Sam the best host I know. 

Furthermore Charlie, their youngest son is also proving to be a wizard in the kitchen. 

The Chestertons live just a couple of valleys away from el Zauzal our enchanting little property in Aracena, which is situated in one of those secretive places that hopefully will remain that way forever. Around el Zauzal, the Ibérico, the majestic black pig of the Dehesa forest in South Western Spain roams free as it grows fat and happy in the winter months on sweet acorns.

chestnut puree recipe

A Delicious Chestnut Puree

As autumn is approaching, he thought that the potato and chestnut puree they serve with game at Buenvino would be just perfect. They grow good quality potatoes and for the chestnuts the only thing they need to do is to walk for a few meters to the closest trees. 

Sam also mentioned a number of desserts prepared with a simple puree made just with chestnuts cooked in a light sugar syrup and vanilla pod. 

They use this puree to make a very popular cake they serve at tea time. In Aracena the traditional custom of bottling Castañas en Almibar ( whole chestnuts in sugar syrup) in autumn, has remained very much in fashion. Peeling a chestnut needs care.

‘Chestnuts are satisfyingly starchy and, once cooked, have the sweetness of a sweet potato"
Sam and Jeanney Chesterton

How to prepare an amazing Chestnut Puree

They have outer and inner skins that can be removed using different methods . To prepare a purèe all you have to do is to make a deep cut across the chestnuts and cook them in water for about 40 minutes or until softened. 

For those recipes which are at their best when the original texture and shape of the chestnuts are kept, the hard skin should be removed first with a knife, then the second skin can be softened in warm water just for about ½ minute and then it can be easily removed with your hands.

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Buenvino Potato and Chestnut Puree

This recipe which takes time to prepare, looks great and tastes even better. This is a perfect dish to serve in a dinner or festive party.

  To serve 10 to 12 people (2 to 3 per person)

chestnut puree recipee


500 g peeled chestnuts

500 ml chicken stock, plus more if needed

500 g potatoes

60 g unsalted butter

milk, to thin the puree if needed

salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Simmer the chestnuts in stock until they are very tender and have absorbed most of the liquid. Puree in a blender adding enough of their cooking liquor to make s thin puree. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, boil and mash them. Combine with the chestnut puree and warm gently, stirring in the butter and more stock or milk; enough to keep it light. Season well.

Get the First Book in English to trace the History of the Food of Spain

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