Thursday, 28 May 2009

Fate has delivered - Chickpea and Chorizo stew.

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
Serves 4-6

250g Fresh Cooking Chorizo cut diagonally into 3cm chunks
150g Pancetta, chopped.
1 Medium Red Onion - chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper - deseeded and chopped
Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves - chopped
1 and a 1/2 Teaspoons dried Oregano
250g Passata
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.
Black Pepper

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.

15 comments:

gastrogeek said...

Sweet Jesus! This looks so yummy - and mums always have the best cookery books don't they?

Nora said...

Wow, that looks delicious. Two of my very favourite things in one bowl - fab!
And excellent recipe book swiping. I might have to adopt the mumbling tactic myself.

Food Urchin said...

It was a shame that Brindsa closed on Exmouth Market, strange as it always seemed busy.

Will defo give this recipe a go but scale up, I'm a growing lad see.

Dan said...

Gastrogeek - Thanks. Correction 'Mums always 'had' the best cookery books'.....muhahahaha

Nora - Thanks - the mumbling tehcnique, its for winners.

FoodUrchin - Yeah was a shame Brindisa in Exmouth Market closed, was very handy indeed.

goodshoeday said...

Mmmmm this looks lovely - chorizo and chickpeas are such a divine combination. I'll be making this and handily I picked up some cooking chorizo at Ashlyns farm shop yesterday - so perhaps erm tomorrow maybe. Any other good recipes in the book i.e. is it a must add to Amazon wish list??

The Ample Cook said...

God, that looks so good. As you quite rightly say, this sort of dish always improves with keeping. Really yum Dan.

Dan said...

Goodshoeday - its a cracking book, with some great recipes, perhaps a little on the girly side for a bloke, but I'd say yeah definate add to your Amazon Wish list.

Jan - thanks. BTW - you were right about the flatbread - I popped in that Indian supermarket in Westcliff today - and this time they had Khobez flatbread (they never stocked them before) result! saves me having to bring them home from London.

Gourmet Chick said...

I don't understand why the recipe originally served 25 is it made for catering purposes or are you supposed to make the stew and then eat it non stop for a couple of weeks?! Looks good though.

Dan said...

Gourmet Chick, the recipe is from the book 'Feeding your friends with Relish' hence the recipe for 25 people (Only a couple of the recips in the book are for so many people).

Got to say - if I did need to cook for 25 - this would be the recipe I'd choose. Was a bit of a wierd one on the scaling down though - as the only thing I didn't scale down was the Stock. - Seemed too dry with less, and it worked.

Jamie said...

I cannot believe that you found the recipe for the dish you loved so well! It sounds just delicious!

Niamh said...

How I miss Brindisa! They used to have the recipe in the shop so I took a photo of it but I have yet to use it. I do have my own version that I make though. Perfect comfort food. Your version looks delicious!

Melanie said...

I've just happened upon your blog - love it! Does anyone know where I can get cooking chorizo from easily. Do any supermarkets such as Waitrose stock it? I've only ever used dried chorizo before. I live in the home counties and sometimes go to london so I could get some from london if none is available somewhere in beds, herts or bucks

Dan said...

Melanie - Thanks! Cooking Chorizo, Tesco's sell it - but their's isn't that great to be honest. Waitrose do sell it, it's in the unearthed range - and is mini sized sausages, but as you're chopping it up for this recipe anyway. Doesn't matter. Here's a link:-

http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Unearthed-Cooking-Mini-Chorizo-Sausages/44685011?parentContainer=|20001|20002|20135|20136

I should also point out - I've made the stew with the harder 'dried' chorizo and it hasn't tasted that different.

Dan said...

Oh - just remembered, I think Marks and Spencers may sell cooking chorizo as well.

Deb said...

Sainsburys Brentwood sell it and I've just bought a catering pack in Costco Lakeside so I'll be making this stew for week's to come - it's delicious. Perfect winter comfort food.