Chorizo and Butter Bean Hot Pot

Chorizo, Sausage and Butter Bean Hot Pot

This recipe would serve 6-8 bowls. We use Brindisa chorizo picante. Brindisa are a specialist importer of fabulous Spanish produce. The sausages are often sold in good delis, or you can buy these online at Brindisa.

  • 6 x Brindisa chorizo picante sausages (or if you can’t locate the Brindisa ones, then use some good quality cooking chorizo)
  • 6 x normal sausages
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons diced onions
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 celery stick, cut into small dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 2 x 390g cartons of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 carton water
  • 1 dessertspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2 x bayleaves
  • 1 x jar of large Judion butter beans, or two tins normal size butter beans
  • roughly chopped flat leafed parsley for garnish

Method:

  1. Put chorizo and sausages in separate roasting pans and cook at 180’C for about 20 minutes, until just cooked
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy based casserole pan and add the onions and garlic
  3. Stir for a few minutes then add the chopped celery and carrot
  4. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until softened, then deglaze the pan with the red wine
  5. Allow to bubble down and reduce a little before adding the chopped tomatoes, water, mustard and bay leaves.
  6. Remove the chorizo and sausages from the oven. Cut the chorizo into 2cm slices and the sausage into 1/2 inch chunks.
  7. Put the sausages and butter beans into the casserole with the onion and tomato mixture and cook for a further 30 minutes for flavours to mingle
  8. Check for seasoning – you probably do not need to add any extra salt or pepper.
  9. Serve steaming hot in bowls with flat parsley sprinkled over.

A job in a barn and heart warming stew

This weekend found us in one of the more bizarre venues – a woodcutting mill in Gloucestershire. Our clients wanted to celebrate the installation of the timber frame for their new house and had invited over 80 guests. Forecast was wet, wet, wet and the frame had no roof. Our style of catering is based on logistics for a very good reason; each job is totally different and each has a fresh set of challenges. However, Jane and I are always up for a challenge and devised a brilliantly simple and delicious solution to feeding a lot of people lovely food without access to a kitchen. Fortunately the saw mill workshop had a roof and some electricity so we set up a bar in one barn and a kitchen/servery in another. We handed out our famous mini bagels and parmesan shortbreads whilst guests clambered around the building site, and huddled around the bonfire. We then served up steaming bowls of warming chorizo and butter stew with huge hunks of fresh, locally made focaccia. Finger food pudding was squares of our popular chocolate fridge cake and orange and almond cake. As it turned out the people were lovely and the food went down really well. Everyone had a great time, loved the strangeness of the situation and best of all, it didn’t rain.

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Christmas Canapé – Beetroot Cured Salmon

How to impress your guests at Christmas, the easy way.

The recipe below is for a jolly nice starter at any time, and is especially good with some home made soda bread. However, adjust the quantities and reduce by about 25% and you can use the salmon as an exciting Christmas Canapé. We serve it in tiny basil tartlets, but that is way too much work at a busy time, so for the home cook you can use ready made oatcakes as suggested below. Other canapé bases could be crostini, little tartlets or blinis. The colour is a beautiful deep, deep pink and looks very glamorous.

SALMON MARINATED WITH BEETROOT, DILL AND ORANGE

Pick up a nice piece of salmon, with skin on and check for tiny bones. This quantity is to serve as a starter, but I also use small bits with a dill creme fraiche in tiny oatcake biscuits as a canape – especially good at Christmas.

Serves 8-10

  • a side of salmon boned, about 800g
m
  • demerara sugar 100g
  • 
coarse sea salt 175g
  • 
black peppercorns 10g
  • 
vodka 4 tbsp
  • 
dill a large bunch, about 30g
  • 
 lemons 2 
finely grated
  • orange zest 2 tbsp
  • 
raw beetroot 600g

Check the salmon for any remaining bones, keeping an eye open for the tiny, almost invisible pin bones. These can be removed with tweezers. Lay the salmon skin-side down on a stainless steel enamel tin or glass dish. If the fish is too long, cut it in half.

Put the demerara sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Roughly grind the peppercorns and add the sugar and the vodka. Roughly chop the dill and its stems, and add to the marinade. Finely grate the lemon zest and add to the sugar mixture with the grated orange zest. Peel and grate the beetroots, then stir into the other ingredients.

Spread the mixture over the fish and rub in well with your hands. Wrap a piece of clingfilm over the fish and place a heavy weight on top. (A small chopping board with a few cans on top will work.) Refrigerate for between 48 hours and four days.

Pour off and discard any liquid that has seeped from the marinade. Remove the cling film and scrape away the marinade.

Slice the fish thinly, as you would smoked salmon. Arrange on pretty plates with some lemon dressed rocket leaves.