After our epic Colombian lunch the other day, Mister North and I did eventually manage to work up an appetite again and turned our attention to the stunning chorizo Colombiano we had already picked up from Carniceria butcher in Brixton Village.
Chorizo Colombiano is less like the cured Spanish product and more like the great British banger, featuring raw chopped pork, garlic and coriander in a casing. It varies from our sausage in size, looking big and plump enough to use as a draught excluder in a pinch! Slightly greedily we bought 4 of these meaty beauties for a mere £3.60 and decided to make a slow cooked stew with them.
Having been reading the extremely comprehensive The Art of South American Cooking by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi earlier in the week, we agreed that the stew needed long slow cooking, robust flavours and some heat behind it. We bought some black beans and scotch bonnet peppers at the market and decided to make the rest of it up as we went along!
This primarily involved sauteeing a red onion and some scallions over a high heat before adding two of the sausages chopped into chunks along with some chopped carrots and potatoes to brown slightly. Meanwhile we blitzed two scotch bonnets, 3 or 4 cloves or garlic and a good dollop of green seasoning in the hand blender to make a piquant paste which was then used to coat the meat and vegetables as they softened.
Once everything was gently softened, we added a tin of black beans and some liquid with a portion of my homemade home grown slow roasted tomato sauce and a glass or two of water before popping the Le Cresuet in the oven at 140˚C and going out to drink mojitos for an hour or two…
When we came back, the whole flat smelled amazing. On closer inspection the stew had thickened up beautifully as the sauce had reduced and the sausages had broken down to a texture similar to coarse mince rather than remained in chunks. We took the lid off the casserole pot and popped the stew back in for another hour or so to allow the flavours to mingle and mellow nicely.
Kicking ourselves that we hadn’t gone the whole hog and got some quinoa to go with the stew, we opted to serve the stew as it as was without a carb on the side to get the full flavours. And what flavours they were! The sausages were rich and toothsome with a good flavour of garlic throughout while the sauce had a sweet fruity undertone from the tomatoes and the scotch bonnet peppers coming together in a tantalisingly tingle of heat in the mouth. The whole dish was just packed with flavour and texture and was the perfect one pot dish.
We used two of the sausages and got two good portions of the stew each from it, albeit bulked out slightly with rice or couscous on the second night, making this one of the best value meals I’ve had in a while! Despite this frugality, this was a stew that you could serve to anyone for dinner with pride. Simple, hearty and flavoursome; when stew is this good it almost makes me glad the weather is still so miserable so I can indulge in a warming bowful for longer!