Thursday, 7 January 2016

Pork belly and chorizo stew

Seriously, what with all that Christmas cooking and New Year party preparations and mum coming over and having to make like you're Nigella or similar, and then friends coming to stay and you want to cook with the skill of Heston Blumenthal and entertain with the grace of Audrey Hepburn while drinking to the heights of Arthur Dunger, what you really need is a meal that you can literally throw together in one pot, isn't technical or complicated, and tastes the bomb. 

Meet this stew. 

OK, so a few of you whom I know and love - my darling Marc instantly comes to mind - will shudder at the concept of chopping off the pork belly rind but in order to make it super simple, there's no time to create crackling. And it didn't need it, honestly. The tenderness of all that pork belly belly-ness more than makes up. 

Here's the best bit. We are all aiming to not have so much grog in January. Well, I am. This number calls for a cup of red wine, which means you can finish off the rest of the bottle guilt-free because you don't want it to go to waste, and you can comfort yourself in the knowledge that it wasn't the whole bottle. 

And what's not to love about a bit of fried chorizo! Thanks to a centuries-old Women's Weekly cookbook for this recipe. 

Serves 4


2 chorizo
600g piece of pork belly
1 massive onion, finely chopped
2-3 gloves of garlic, crushed and all that
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet, like you)
1 large red capsicum, diced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup red wine (recipe said half this but recipes can be wrong)
150 ml water
1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
chopped parsley to serve, but if you've used it all on your cheese platters, don't worry


Slice the rind off your pork belly, have a weep then throw it out. You don't need it. Trust me here. Then cut the pork into 3cm pieces.

Slice the chorizo quite finely but don't stress about it, just do your best.

Now, to cook. So you want a fairly big pot. I've got an Analon one that is pretty huge which means I can swoosh the fry up items around without worry that they'll spill over the side. Or use your electric wok.

Pop it on the stove and heat it up. When it's hot, throw in the pork and chorizo in batches until browned. Set aside.

To the same pot, add the onion, garlic and capsicum, and just kind of swoosh them about a bit until they sweat it out. Then you pop the meat back in, along with the tomatoes, wine and water, bring to the boil then let it simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes. Add the beans, and simmer without the lid for another 20 or until it thickens a little.

If you've got the energy, chop up the parsley and sprinkle it over when you serve. However, if you're anything like me, just pour some of the left over red wine and eat it in front of Netflix.