In these uncertain times, with Covid-19 rampaging around the world, I am currently self-isolating as much as possible. I go out for a walk and go to the shops and do a little work in the garden and otherwise avoid the rest of humanity. To be honest this is no real hardship to me, it’s not that I am particularly anti-social, I am just perfectly happy with my own company.
And I have plenty of time to cook.
After the initial round of panic buying, the shops have pretty much returned to normal, the shelves are well stocked and the enforced social distancing, or physical distancing as we call it now, makes supermarket shopping a much more pleasant experience in my opinion. If this is the new normal for the next few months, I can live with it.
Chorizo has long been one of my favourite cured meats, it has a strong paprika drenched flavour that is delicious on its own but also has the benefit of passing on its flavour to whatever else you cook with it. Chicken loves chorizo for instance. Here, the chorizo passes on its flavour to otherwise bland ingredients like chickpeas. It’s hard to make something taste bad when chorizo is involved.
This little stew is very easy, very tasty, very quick, very adaptable, and very cheap. Perfect lockdown food.
You can scale the amounts up to feed a family and add pretty much anything you like to use up vegetables that are reaching their end of life. You can happily freeze it and keep it for another day. The ingredients listed are really just the base as it is truly very adaptable, so use whatever ingredients you have loitering around your kitchen. You can buy ready sliced chorizo but the full sausage is cheaper and probably fresher. I tend to buy bog standard supermarket chorizo but you could go all foody and seek out some of the fine artisinal ones that can be found knocking around upmarket fooderies and farmer’s markets and suchlike.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Half a chorizo sausage (about 100 grams sliced into approximately 5 millimeter thick coins)
- 1 large onion or a couple of smaller ones
- 2 cloves of garlic or use garlic salt if you must
- Some carrots
- A can of chopped tomatoes
- A tablespoon of tomato puree (optional)
- One can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 400 ish mls of chicken stock or veg stock made with a cube
- A large potato (optional)
- Spices or herbs to your own taste
- Whatever else you like yourself peppers, peas, courgette, aubergine, spinach, some pasta, anything.
- Salt and pepper
Fry the chorizo coins in some hot oil until they have crisped slightly and released all their paprika goodness. Turn the heat down a touch and add the chopped onion to soften it. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. I have tried various herbs and spices with this dish including fresh rosemary, parsley, cumin and turmeric but, to be honest, the chorizo is so overwhelming there seems to be little point in trying to nuance it with other flavours. I add the chopped carrots at this stage to make sure they get coated in the spicy oil.
Next in are the liquidy things, the can of chopped tomatoes, the stock and the puree.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, give it a good stir and add the cubed potato or whatever veg you are using according to how long they will take to cook. Don’t forget the drained chickpeas, throw them in and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes or until it has reduced to a consistency you are happy with.
And you’re done.
Serve with crusty bread or rice or whatever extra carbs you like.
Stay safe people. More from me soon.