I have had this ‘Sausage and Mash’ book by Fiona Beckett for ages. It contains one of my favourite go to recipes which is a Chorizo and Butter Bean stew. When I first bought the book and used the recipe chorizo was not as much in your face as it seems to be these days. At the moment a common complaint I hear from fellow diners is that everyone is just chucking Chorizo onto and into everything, from burger toppings to stews.
So on that basis you may well ask why am I adding another dump onto that big pile of Chorizo related reciperama? Fair question, the honest answer is that I do so unapologetically as this is such a lovely and simple one pot dish that we eat a lot and also to highlight the excellent book from Fiona from whence it came.
You start the recipe with just three ingredients
First you need a roughly chopped onion and some chopped pepper. The original recipe calls for green or red, I like to add red and orange.
The third of the set of three is some chorizo sausage. If you look around at a decent farms shop or butchers you will probably be able to get a pack of loose sausage meat,. I picked mine up at the Gonalston Farm shop in Nottinghamshire and I am sure that many local and regional farm shops will have the same. If you cant get it loose then you can buy a lot of good Spanish chorizo style sausages from a good butchers these days and just remove the meat from the skin.
I just get the Sausage and Onion frying gently up in a pan until the oil from the sausage meats starts to release and onion start to soften.
Then just chuck the peppers into the pan, and chuck is probably a fair method. Cook everything for 7-10 minutes until it starts to go a bit soft.
The last thing to do is add a tin of butter beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a couple of chopped cloves of garlic, and about 1/2 a teaspoon of paprika. Add in some liquid, I usually swill out the tomato tin or pack and add that. Then just leave to cook for 10 minutes or until the peppers and onions reach your chosen level of bite. Some like them crunchy, some like them soft. You are not in a restaurant so have them just the way you like them, there are no rules at home.
Twenty minutes of so later you will find yourself with a nice big pan of Butter bean and Chorizo stew. All you need to do at that point is to stir in a handful of chopped parsley, spoon into a bowl and then eat.
I find this to be a very comforting dish to eat, it is too easy to eat more than one bowlful, so you need to be careful (but not too careful). I like to eat this with some crusty bread and butter out of a bowl. It goes well with a small or not so small glass of red wine as well.
This book “Sausage and Mash” by Fiona Beckett was first published in 2004 and my copy has travelled across the globe as I have moved for work from India to Illinois, New Jersey and back to Nottingham. Wherever I have lain my wooden spoon down I think I have cooked this dish or a variant for friends, family and colleagues around me. They all liked it, and the sauce stains on page 96 of my copy tell a story in themselves of how often this recipe has been used.
If you don’t buy the book, you wont go far wrong if you just chuck onions, peppers, chorizo sausage, butter beans and tomatoes into a pot. Add seasoning as you see fit and to your taste. Whenever I have cooked it, most of the flavor comes from the sausage meat so get the best that you can.