Friday, February 09, 2007

Spicy sausage and chickpea stew

It's the weekend so here come some recipes. (And it bumps the gloom further down the page.)

This was cooked up last night to beat the snowy chill. All ingredients were picked up from local shops five minutes from where I live: I am very lucky to live in this part of London where you can buy Turkish, Algerian, Polish and West Indian delicacies and groceries cheaply and freshly, which makes for interesting suppers.
The dish was inspired by some dark red beef and lamb sausages I found in the halal butcher, when I went in to buy some neck of lamb for tonight's lamb stew.

6 slim beef and/or lamb sausages. The ones I got were quite spicy. You could use Spanish chorizo, Polish kielbasa, Italian salami or French Toulouse sausages, ( or any good quality British pork, beef, lamb or chicken bangers). If you are using salami or kielbasa, you should cut them into pound-coin-sized rings and cook a little in a dry frying pan on a very low heat so they release their fat and go succulent and golden round the edges.

4 red peppers, cut in half, de-stalked and de-seeded. These go under the hot grill with the sausages, skin side-up first, until the skin is slightly blackened. Then flip over them over and baste the insides a little with the fat from the sausages, or some olive oil.

4 red onions, rough-sliced.
Rough-chopped garlic
1 fat red chilli, chopped and de-seeded
( watch you don't wipe your hand across your chapped lips like I did - owch)
Tin of chickpeas, drained
Some chopped mushrooms, about 3 handfuls
Pinch of sweet paprika
Salt, pepper, bayleaf

Half a jar of passata ( Italian sieved tomato sauce - you could also use a tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree)
A glass or two of red wine.

Sweat the onions and garlic in a casserole dish or deep pan over a low heat. Add the chopped chilli and mushrooms, and paprika, mix well. Turn up the heat to medium. Add the chickpeas and mix it all again. When it is all frying gently and releasing a sweet steam, add half a jar of passata (or the tin of tomatoes and spoonful of puree) and a bayleaf and the salt and pepper. Add the chopped sausages. Give it a good stir.

Have a glass of red wine yourself. It's cold outside.

Peel off the skin from the grilled red peppers ( a quick way is to put the warm peppers in a plastic bag, tie a knot in it and let them sweat for a few minutes. Then slit open the bag and peel the peppers, slice them up, (licking your fingers as sweet sticky soft peppers will get all over your hands), and put them in the casserole or pan.
Top up the casserole/pan with red wine ( I used almost 2 glasses) until the liquid just covers the ingredients. Season to taste. Simmer for about half an hour. Or longer if you like, on a low-ish heat.

There's probably about half a bottle of wine left. Hmmmm.....

Serve with steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon. J put grated parmesan on his stew, as he is obsessed with cheese, but I don't think it needs it. If you are hungry you could serve it with steamed rice too, or fresh crusty bread, but all the chickpeas make it quite hearty enough without, in my opinion.

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Blogger Calamity Jane said...

Oooh yum. I might have to try that one.

February 10, 2007 5:47 pm  
Blogger TasteTV said...

"Sweat the onions"'s a term I always have to think twice about, being from across the pond

February 10, 2007 8:24 pm  
Blogger Sila said...

I was reading my blog, which I haven't read for months and months and I copied and pasted this bit here:
(translated to English below)

"Un chico gritó que nos sentáramos en el suelo porque el humo tóxico tendía a ir para arriba y desde el suelo se podía respirar mejor. Me senté en el suelo.
Una chica, Raquel, nos dijo que nos levantáramos del suelo, porque estaban intentando traer los heridos hacia nuestra zona del vagón y se tropezaban con nosotros.
Me levanté.
(bad English now coming, sorry)

"A guy shouted to us to sit down on the floor because the toxic smoke tended to rise and from the floor we could breath better. I sat down on the floor. A girl, Rachel, told us to get up from the floor because they were trying to bring the injured people towards our area and they were tripping over us. I got up."

Just this little note to say a BIG THANKS TO RACHEL to be such a brave gal on those horrific moments and a huge THANKS to her for being such a strong person when some of us could not even manage to speak a word due to shock.
You helped so many people and you were (and still are) a really fantastic support to me and to many others. After the bomb exploted, and the tube staff took us upstairs, we, the victims, were attended by lots of doctors and policemen. An average of five volunteera to each victim. You went to hospital.I just need to say that you, Rachel, were there at the very difficult moment showing a strength and altruism that I will never forget.
Thank you so much and I will try to be there when you say to J: I DO!.

PD: I will try to cook that recipe!!

February 10, 2007 10:46 pm  
Blogger Henry North London 2.0 said...

the lamb stew was delish! Is it the same one I tasted the other time?


February 11, 2007 5:36 am  

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