A Winter Warmer of Beans and ChorizoCredit: Daniel Long
For me winter is a fabulous time of the year. Not because of the weather but because it presents the opportunity to indulge in the consumption of all things comfort food with the justification that it is necessary for warding off the winter chill. My idea of comfort food is all about bowls of spicy chilli, fragrant curries and hearty stews.
There is something very special about these dishes. I take as much pleasure in the process of cooking them as I do in the eating. On a typical Saturday afternoon, normally accompanied by a bottle of very good Portuguese wine I will make one of the aforementioned dishes. It is a purely pleasurable experience. To define why I like it so much is difficult. Maybe because it's relaxing or offers a degree of escapism from the trials of the working week. Just yesterday I made a lovely creamy chicken stew. I adore the procedure of tying the bouquet garni , chopping the vegetables and watching it bubble away slowly for a couple of hours.
The dish that I am featuring here is an all time favourite of mine because for me it ticks all the boxes as to what comfort food should be; spicy, wholesome and filling. I love eating this with chunks of freshly made bread. There is something pleasing about ripping off hunks of a rustic loaf and dipping them into the fiery beans.
Not only is this recipe really easy to make but a little goes a long way. Because it is so substantial this will easily feed a family or one person for three or more days and it freezes well too.
Serves: 4|Prep: 15 minutes|Cooking time: 1h 30 mins|Total: 1h 45 mins
1 red onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 tin of chickpeas drained
1 tin of butter beans drained
1 tin of black eyed peas drained
1 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes drained
300g chorizo sausage cut into thin discs
175ml red wine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds lightly crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 dried chipotle chillies whole
1 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped to garnish
extra virgin olive oil for dressing
In a large pan over a low heat add the olive oil. When it is hot add the sliced chorizo and cook slowly for 5 minutes so all the lovely flavours are released.
Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon and chillies. Stir and cook gently until the onion and garlic are soft.
Add the red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the sticky goodness and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, butter beans and black eyed peas. Give everything a good stir and add the tinned tomatoes. Fill the empty tomato can with water and add this to the pan. Make sure there is enough liquid to just cover the beans (you may have to add more).
Bring the sauce to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly until the sauce has thickened. (See picture below)
When cooked add a few lugs of extra virgin olive oil and stir in the flat leaf parsley.
Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkling of cheese and some crusty bread.