Pot roast lamb with beans and chorizo

We made this using black-eyed beans and a leg of lamb from a Hebridean sheep from Grimsay. It was delicious. I made it the night before, up to the point of putting it in the oven, but for various reasons, didn’t finish cooking it until tonight. The flavour is fantastic.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, or similar beans, or 300g dried beans, soaked overnight in cold water.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ tsp crushed hot dried chillies
  • 4-6 fresh bay leaves
  • 1.5kg of lamb or mutton. (The original recipe says this should be boned, but I don’t know how to do that. 
  • 250g cooking chorizo, skinned and cut into thick slices
  • 2 small sprigs rosemary, broken into small clusters of leaves, or 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • A pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of date syrup.

METHOD:

  • First of all, cook the beans as follows. The method is the same whether the beans are tinned or dried, but the tinned beans don’t need to be cooked as long. 
  • Drain the beans
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, and add one of the chopped onions, two of the cloves of garlic, crushed, as well as the crushed chillies and the bayleaves. Stir well and cook over a low heat for ten minutes. 
  • Add the beans and 1 can-ful of water. Bring to a simmer until heated through. If you are using dried beans, add 750ml water, and simmer for 45 minutes. 
  • While the beans are cooking, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole dish, big enough for the lamb. Fry the chorizo until lightly toasted on all sides and set aside. Brown the lamb on all sides and remove from the pan. 
  • Once the lamb is cool, poke holes in it with a knife and jam wedges of garlic into the holes. If you are using fresh rosemary, add sprigs to the holes as well. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. 
  • Add more oil to the casserole dish, if required, and fry the second onion, the last two cloves of garlic, crushed, and stir in the paprika and cumin. When the onion is nicely cooked, add the tomatoes, thyme, and dried rosemary, and bring the mixture to a simmer. I usually cook tinned tomatoes for around 20 minutes to make sure there is no tinny taste. 
  • Add the bean mixture and browned chorizo to the casserole dish, stir and check the flavour. Season with salt, pepper and possibly a pinch of sugar. 
  • Put the lamb on the top of the tomato and bean mixture, and cover the dish with a close-fitting lid. 
  • At this stage, we paused, and finished the cooking the next day, 
  • Put the lamb into a hot oven, 190C, and cook for 2 hours. Uncover for the last half an hour. 

To serve, I took the lamb out of the dish and sliced it. I also simmered the bean and tomato mixture on the hob to thicken it slightly 

We ate this with the slices of lamb on top of the tomato and bean stew, a glass of red wine, and some flat breads and a green salad.

Rabbit and chorizo stew

If you need a tasty dish for rabbit, look no further. I found it useful to have a mouli for the sauce. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • Approx 200g raw chorizo sausages
  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, or home grown tomatoes
  • 4 colves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 pointed red peppers, halved and grilled to char the skin
  • 200 ml light stock (chicken, vegetable or rabbit)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

  • In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the olive oil to a low/moderate heat. Fry the chorizo until the fat runs. Remove it from the pan, and set aside.
  • Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, and fry until browned on all sides, around 5 minutes
  • Put the tomatoes, garlic and paprika in a blender and blitz. Then put the mixture through a mouli to get rid of any seeds. 
  • Add the tomato sauce to the rabbit in the pan, bring to a simmer, and reduce the sauce over a low heat for around 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the charred skin from the peppers, chop them roughly, and add them to the pan, along with the chorizo and stock, and bring back to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and cook slowly for around an hour, until the rabbit is falling from the bone. Strip the meat from the bones, and put it back into the stew. 
  • Just before serving, mix the parsley, lemon and olive oil and drizzle over the stew. 

I’m not sure what you are meant to serve this with, we had potatoes. 

Chorizo, parsley, peas, rice

I’m working my way through a large supply of cooking chorizo. For some reason, I bought in bulk a while back and now I am trying to find good recipes. Tonight, something quick, with the celery sticks in the bottom of the fridge, plus the spring onions, mange tout peas and parsley from the garden, and a handful of paella rice. 

I took inspiration from Nigel Slater’s book, The Kitchen Diaries, but I had to work out the quantities myself. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 120g chorizo, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • Around 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Around 150g paella rice
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • around 50g chopped parsley
  • 2 portions of mange tout peas
  • Black pepper

METHOD:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and fry the onion, celery and chorizo until the onion and celery is beginning to brown, and the oil is orange with the spices from the chorizo
  • Add the paella rice, and stir and cook it into the fried mixture to pick up the flavours
  • Add the stock, bring to a simmer, stir and cook until the rice is tender, around 15 minutes. Add the peas and parsley around three minutes before the end. 
  • Season with black pepper, and serve. 

I came back and ate the leftovers. It was really tasty. 

Chestnut and chorizo soup

The weather is very dank at the moment, rain every day, overcast and cold, hardly like midsummer at all. I made this tonight, using vacuum-packed chestnuts, carrots and celery from the garden, and some cooking chorizo from the freezer.

The recipe is from the Moro cookbook, full of interesting recipes that are generally easy to cook and taste wonderful. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
  • 120g mild cooking chorizo, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 small dried red chillies, crushed
  • half a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • around 500g cooked peeled chestnuts
  • 20 saffron threads, infused in 4 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and fry the onion, carrot, celery and chorizo for around 20 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are caramelised. 
  • Add the garlic, thyme, cumin and chillies, and stir in well
  • Add the tomatoes, stir again and then a couple of minutes later, add the chestnuts, water and saffron water and simmer for around 10 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and mash the chestnuts. I used a soup wand, leaving the soup slightly rough and chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I think you could add a glass of dry sherry to this, I’ll try this tomorrow. It freezes well too. 

Pollack with chickpeas and chorizo

A friend of ours came to the back door with a couple of very fresh large pollack, just as I was contemplating what to have for tea. I was about to make a Norwegian dish from Davidson’s, involving cheese and macaroni, but then I turned to Google. 

When I search for recipes online, I type in the ingredients that I have, and then pick out interesting sites to check what they suggest. I sometimes pick up flavour suggestions, or some interesting methods. I don’t like sites with too many photographs, it makes it hard to find and follow the recipe. I also don’t like sites with poor formatting, or dodgy programming that don’t let you download the recipe so that it is readable.

The BBC food website is reliable, informative and full of good ideas, so when I spotted this recipe, I had to try it. I had to tweak it to fit my ingredients and timescale, though. I get all my spices and herbs from Seasoned Pioneers, if you wondered. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • coarse sea salt
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 large pollack, filleted, skinned and boned
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped, 
  • 4 cooking chorizos (about the size of a standard sausage, and soft) cut into 1 cm lengths
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chick peas (or 150g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until tender)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125g spinach (could be more, but that is all I had)

METHOD:

  • Cut the fillets of pollack in half to make four good-sized portions, In a close-fitting plastic container with a lid, sprinkle the pollack with coarse salt and a pinch of saffron, and ensure that the fish is well-coated. Cover, and put in the fridge.
  • After an hour and a half, start preparing the rest of the stew. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Put a casserole dish on a medium/high heat, add the olive oil, and fry the onions, garlic and chillies for 6 minutes or so. 
  • Add the chunks of chorizo, and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
  • Add the cumin, paprika, bay leaves and cinnamon, and continue to cook for another 4 minutes or so. 
  • Add the drained chickpeas, chicken stock and chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil and then put it in the oven for 45 minutes. 
  • Next, remove the stew from the oven, check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste. I also reduced the stew a bit on the stove top at this stage. 
  • Take the fish from the fridge, thoroughly rinse off the salt and pat dry, before adding to the top of the stew, and returning the casserole to the oven for a further 12 minutes. 
  • To serve, lift the fish onto warmed dishes, and then stir the spinach into the stew before ladling it onto and around the fish. 

We also had some fresh bread and olives at the table, and a Spanish white wine.