Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Spanish Bean Stew

Or 'Spanish Bean Cassoulet', if you're trying to feed someone fussy (*COUGH* Shannon, *COUGH* Alex) who gets put off when they hear 'stew'. The recipe belongs to my Mum's friend Christine, so I'm hoping I've done it justice and that my alterations aren't frowned upon too much! It's super cheap to make and the flavours are like nothing else I've ever had, and oh lordy the smell.

- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 peppers (not red)
- 2 sticks celery
- 10 new potatoes, washed
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 400g tin green lentils
- 400g tin chickpeas
- 400g tin borlotti beans
- 2tbsp smoked paprika
- 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- water to cover
- 1 glass red wine
- 100g curly parsley

The celery is Mum's addition, and the wine is mine. Not just because I'm a student and that's what we do... I think it gives it an extra depth of flavour and helps everything else to come alive. Also, in terms of the beans, you can pretty much use what you like - this time I had cannelini beans instead of borlotti, and they were brill. ALL OF THE BEANS.

1. Roughly chop the shallots, garlic and celery into small-ish pieces (you're not going to blend it at the end like a soup, so however big you chop everything is pretty much the size they'll be at the end) and throw into a large pan with some olive oil.
2. Cook on a low heat while you chop the peppers, potatoes and tomatoes, and then add those too. Cook for a further 10 minutes or so, until everything's softened.

3. Stir in the beans and lentils, then add the smoked paprika and sweet chilli sauce. Pour in the wine and enough water to cover everything, then bring to a low boil. Cover (use tinfoil if you don't have a lid) and simmer for about an hour and a half, stirring every 20 minutes or so (I usually take the lid off for the last 20 minutes, too).
4. Once it's nicely reduced and you just can't stand the smell any longer, chop up the parsley and add to the pan along with some salt and pepper. Serve with lots of bread and butter.
NB: You can freeze any leftovers, though it does make it go slightly mushy. Still good though!

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