Saturday, 1 August 2009
I fell in love with this dish whilst away in the Picos, and on my return I wanted to have a stab at creating my own. Here's my take on the dish, now if only I could make it trail friendly!
Small onion, roughly chopped
Six cloves of garlic, crushed
one carrot, quartered
one stick of celery quartered
four rashers of streaky bacon, quartered
150g diced chorizo
Six quality sausages
250g dried white kidney beans
One bay leaf
One tsp of smoked paprika
Half a tsp of turmeric (use saffron if you have it)
One litre of stock (low salt chicken or vegetable)
The diced chorizo is the hard cooking stuff, sliced wouldn't work with this dish. Low salt stock is essential as the chorizo will make the dish salty enough. I used Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Toulouse sausages for this dish, any quality sausages of this type will suffice. You will need patience preparation and cooking time is circa 30 hours (not all of it over a hot stove, though!) A heavy cast iron or heavy bottomed pan with lid is an ideal vessel for the cooking of this dish. This makes more than enough for two, to serve four use 500g beans and before serving quarter the sausages.
What to do
Soak the kidney beans in enough water to cover overnight, they will swell considerably so make sure they stay covered. Rinse and change the water once or twice.
Heat the olive oil in the pan on a medium heat and add the onion and garlic, stirring until softened and slightly coloured. Add the chorizo and continue stirring until the fat and colour starts to run. Add all the other ingredients, give it a stir to mix them together and bring to the boil. Turn down to the lowest heat and cover with lid.
Check the stew every half hour or so and give it a stir. The beans should remain covered whilst cooking, so you might need to top up the level a bit. After about an hour and a half the beans should be softening nicely. If preparing this dish in advance (a good idea to do this anyway) you can turn off the stew at this point.
There will be about 30 minutes more cooking time left. Pulses are notoriously difficult to estimate cooking times for; the age of the beans, how long they get soaked for affect cooking time. You may need up to two and a half hours to cook this. Only way of knowing is to check the beans. they should be smooth skinned, plump and have a bit of bite to them. If the texture is floury then they aren't cooked yet!
On the run up to serving simmer with the lid off to reduce the liquid, you want a nice thick consistency. Ladle into large bowls and eat with some rustic type bread.