A Monday night dinner party? What was I thinking?! …. part one.
So I turned to the casserole pot and spent a lazy Sunday slow cooking up a storm, set the goodies aside to improve in flavour overnight and then simply reheated when my guests arrived the next evening.
Ingredients to make enough to serve 6 people who are very hungry:
- A 600g piece of pork shoulder. I buy it whole and then butcher it myself into large cubes.
- 300g chorizo – I like to use a spicy one
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- 1 dessertspoon of chili flakes
- 1 dessertspoon of crushed fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes – do not use the ones with added herbs in, they are revolting.
- 1/2 bottle of dry white wine (I drink the rest whilst cooking)
- 250 ml of very good chicken stock
- 2 x 400g cans of butter beans, drained
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish
Now put the apron on and start by …
- Preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Heat some oil in a 3 litre casserole dish. Add the cubes of pork and brown. You may need to do this in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan and end up steaming the pork. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Now fry the onions gently in some more olive oil, for around 5 minutes.
- Add the chorizo and garlic to the pan and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the chili flakes, smoked paprika and crushed fennel seeds.
- Now add the tomato paste – cook this out gently for 10 minutes. This is key to getting a deep rich sweet tomato flavour – cooking any tomatoes too quickly can make them taste bitter.
- Add the pork back to the dish and stir well.
- Now add in all of the remaining ingredients, except the parsley and bring to the boil, season well, and then transfer to the oven.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- When you remove the casserole from the oven, once again, check your seasoning. You can either serve immediately, or leave it overnight and pop the casserole dish back into the oven for another hour at 180 degrees Celsius, before your guests arrive. Make sure the casserole is piping hot and garnish with parsley.
- I don’t bother with potatoes with this stew, there’s a ton of delicious creamy butter beans in it, but I do serve it with home-made garlic bread and a dressed green salad.