Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Kale, chorizo and butterbean stew

"Have you ever tried a wheatgrass shot? I wouldn't bother if I were you, it tastes crap and doesn't even prevent cancer..."

A quick post today, as befits this quick and easy recipe. You might have seen other recipes involving these ingredients, as kale is particularly in vogue at the moment. Ignore those other ones though, because this is a cracker.

Not only is Kale in season, it's also purported to be a 'superfood'. Superfood's a funny label isn't it. It seems to be applied to a bewildering array of foodstuffs: quinoa, goji berries, broccoli, acai berries, oily fish, spelt, blueberries, green tea. You name it, it's a superfood.

I want to know what the bloody hell is super about them in any case. I didn't rip off my shirt and start saving babies from runaway trains the first (and last) time I ate a Leon superfood salad for lunch. As with many things, it's all about a bit of branding I suppose.

Label something a superfood and the masses will flock to it in search of a panacea, no matter what it tastes like. Have you ever tried a wheatgrass shot? I wouldn't bother if I were you, it tastes crap and doesn't even prevent cancer!

What you do need to know is that kale tastes good, is cheap and makes a wonderful one pot dinner along side a chunk of chorizo, some butterbeans and a tin of tomatoes. You can add a couple of extras to this dish, but those four thrifty ingredients are all you need for a really delicious supper. This is another of those recipes that with a bit of culinary alchemy you create gold from a set of everyday ingredients.

Kale, butterbean and chorizo stew

225g cooking chorizo (the type you get in a ring at the supermarket or deli)
200g curly kale
1 tin butterbeans
1 tin plum tomatoes
1 bunch of parsley (optional)

  1. Slice the chorizo into bite-size chunks, add to a saute pan, or frying pan with a lid, and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes. You want to cook them until coloured and the fat and juices start to run into the pan.
  2. Now add the tinned tomatoes, using the back of a spoon to break them up, and bring to a simmer. Then add the drained butterbeans and cook slowly for another ten minutes. At this point you can also add a splash of water if it is looking a little dry.
  3. Now add the kale, give everything another stir, season with salt and pepper, part cover with a lid and leave to simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes. At the end of this time you should have a concentrated stew with a rich tomato sauce, spiky chorizo, soft beans and that lovely kale.
  4. I chopped up a load of parsley and shoved it into the stew just before serving, but you don't have to. 
Hard to believe perhaps, but that's it. Serve with salad or bread if you want. I didn't bother. A poached egg might be nice too?

By the way, there was stew some left over tonight, so I sliced up half a courgette and fried it in olive oil, before adding the stew to reheat. I also added some shredded little gem lettuce and allowed it to cook for a couple of minutes just before serving. Both of these were great additions, so please add whatever you have in your fridge (within reason!).  

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