A while back, I used to frequent the Spanish Deli 'Brindisa' located down the road from my office in Exmouth Market. Among other good things, at lunchtimes they sold a gorgeous chickpea and chorizo stew. I thought it was fantastic and used to eat it pretty often. I always meant to find out the recipe, but somehow never got round to it. Then one day, disaster struck....Brindisa's Exmouth Market branch closed - how would I ever find out what was in that lovely stew? (They have another, still open branch at Borough Market - but for the dramatic purpose of this story, lets blank that from our minds for now).
So, the recipe and the memory of its sheer tasty'ness consigned to history, I was round my parents house the other weekend and happened to end up idly looking at my Mothers Recipe books. I picked up one, 'How to feed your friends with Relish' by Joanna Weinberg.....I'm flicking through - and whats this I see? do my eyes deceive me? Chickpea and Chorizo stew! the actual recipe from Brindisa in Exmouth Market - its actually namechecked. Sweet Fate! Obviously it was meant to be.
So with no time to waste - I 'borrowed' the book promising to return it at some undecipherable date in the future (I mumbled that bit - a good trick). And rushed home to make it as fast as my manly legs could carry me.
Now the recipe in the book serves 25!!! So I scaled it down a bit by cunningly halving it, and then halving it again....errr.........so that serves 6 (and a bit). Enough for two nights of large portioned (oooer) stew goodness for me and the girlfriend.
The best thing is - it tasted exactly the same as I remember it, and my girlfriend scored it a very reputable 8 and a 1/2 out of 10. Which means no sulking on my part followed up by the traditional blazing row, instead it was all cheesy grins and much self satisfied back slapping.
Anyway, here's the scaled down adapted Recipe....
Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
250g Fresh Cooking Chorizo cut diagonally into 3cm chunks
150g Pancetta, chopped.
1 Medium Red Onion - chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper - deseeded and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves - chopped
1 and a 1/2 Teaspoons dried Oregano
2x 400g Cans Chickpeas, drained with 75ml of the water reserved.
100ml White Wine
500ml Chicken Stock or water.
Hand Full of fresh flatleaf parsley chopped.
Fry the Chorizo and pancetta in a large saucepan over a fairly high heat until it begins to colour and releases oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and fry the onion and bell pepper in the meats oils, adding extra olive oil if necessary, until golden.
Return the meat to the pan, turn the heat down, and add the garlic and oregano and fry for a few more minutes. Add the passata, chickpeas. chickpea water, wine, stock and some pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 Min's. Add the roughly chopped parsley to serve.
Like most stews, this is best made in advance and reheated and eaten the next day. I served it with a bit of rice and crusty bread.