Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lamb and chorizo casserole

Feel a bit guilty that I missed the 5 years since-the-Iraq-war started march yesterday. Respect to everyone who came out in the cold and rain.

Rainy Sundays are an excuse to chill out and stay in and curl up on the sofa J has a bad cold so he has seized the excuse not to do much, especially after working all day yesterday. It was easy to persuade me not to brave the lashing wind and to abandon gardening tasks, and instead have a day of slothful indulgence.

Yesterday I made a huge casserole. We ate some last night and there's still loads left ready to be reheated whenever we get hungry, which I don't think will be for several hours, since we had bacon and eggs for breakfast.

2 red onions
2 leeks
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
2 garlic cloves

all chopped up small and sweated in the casserole with a knob of butter and a splash of oil, on a low heat with the lid on for 15 minutes or so until it all softens in its own sweet steam and juices.

2 chorizo chopped up into pound-coin sized slices.
I chucked some pancetta I found in as well
Pieces of lamb,

( or you could use beef or pork or chicken) and this is the clever bit - put the meat in a plastic bag with some seasoned flour, tie up bag, shake it about. The pieces of raw meat come out looking like Turkish Delight, but it is a mess-free way to thicken the sauce).

Put the chorizo in a dry frying pan on medium heat and cook 'til it releases its red oil. Throw in pancetta or chopped bacon bits ( if using) and cook it all some more. Remove sausage and bacon with slatted spoon, carefully leaving the red oil in the pan, and add them to the veg. Add a drop more olive oil to the frying pan, if needed and brown the lamb in batches. (If using pork or chicken I cook it right through, if lamb or beef I just brown the outside.)

Add meat to casserole pan, stir it all together, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and some wine or stock until the meat and veg are just covered. Add seasoning and herbs - I used marjoram, rosemary and a bay leaf from the garden. I don't think you need to add salt if you are using chorizo and pancetta as they are both salty.

Query to readers> Can you use fresh bay leaves? Well, it seemed okay - we ate some last night and we're still alive. But if anyone knows please shout!)

Bring the liquid to a rolling bubble, then turn heat right down to very low, and forget about it for a few hours, stirring occasionally if you are wandering past. If you want a thick sauce, leave the lid off and it will reduce. Otherwise leave the lid on.

We didn't bother with rice or bread, there were enough carbs from the veg. We chucked chopped flat-leaf parsley on it though before eating, and J had grated cheese as well.

I made a similar beef casserole last week, without using flour, using pale ale for the liquid instead of stock, and loads of onions and red and yellow peppers, chopped up small. I didn't put mushrooms in as they make the sauce go a bit grey and I wanted to see the colours of the veg in the golden ale.

(Dad, if you're reading...go try it out in your new casserole dish and let me know how it goes!

I wrote down a load of casserole ideas for Dad last weekend but if anyone has any recommended casserole or stew recipes I, and Dad would be interested to hear them. Making stews and casseroles is my favourite kind of cooking: comforting, creative, meditative with all the chopping and slow-paced, everyone likes the results, you can make loads and freeze it, it's economical, and the longer you leave it the better it gets. )



Blogger Lizzie said...

That sounds so good! I'm looking forward to trying it. If you like Chorizo, you might want to try Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya which is a firm favourite in our household :)

March 16, 2008 5:37 pm  
Blogger Henry North London said...

of course you can use fresh bay leaves, I always do( best if ground up or smashed in a mortar) or older ones if you need the flavour slowly released

Just take them off the bush, a few days in advance and leave them somewhere dry in the kitchen

No difference to the stuff you buy
except less food miles !

March 17, 2008 5:50 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks for the recipe lizzier - I will definitely try that.

The bay leaf wasn;t dried at all, it just went straight in off the bush with rain still on it.

But the stew was ok, I'll pick some for drying today.

March 17, 2008 10:13 am  
Blogger Sage said...

I use fresh bay leaves off of my tree in the garden, I choose the younger one's and wash them before adding them to the stew/mix. To intensify the flavour crush them a bit to release the oils. As it has leaves on all year I tend to use them all year round for flavouring.

I love chicken casserole, with leeks, onions, mushrooms, turnips, swede and carrots... use a slow cooker and it does all the work for you and you get home from work with just some potatoes put in at the last moment to help thicken it up. Season to taste... I like it with some dried mustard powder but equally well whole grain mustard stirred through is good.

March 17, 2008 11:18 am  
Blogger Cookiemouse said...

Very nice recipe!

March 17, 2008 7:22 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Ooh sage, I'll be trying yours next as well!

March 17, 2008 8:36 pm  
Blogger dynamite said...

That's weird, I had an almost identical dish last Saturday. Oh Universe.

March 19, 2008 12:36 am  
Blogger Autolycus said...

I've just made your recipe. Fantastic - and perfect for today's miserable weather. Thank you so much

March 21, 2008 8:12 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oooh - glad you liked it.

March 21, 2008 8:16 pm  
Blogger Mark Herefordshire said...

Excellent inspiration....only had cold lamb & cooking chorizo in fridge.I just varied it slightly using sweet potato instead of peppers, carrots for leeks & plenty of garlic. The kids loved it & so did I , this is one of the definite plusses of the interweb.

April 18, 2012 7:33 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home