My good friend and passionate cook Michael cooked this dish for me and I was taken aback by how good it was. A one pot treat that costs very little but imparts so much.
This wonderful rustic recipe was learned while visiting my dear friend Maria-Luisa in Miengo in the Asturias region on the North coast of Spain. The cooler climate means that soups and stews are very popular in the colder months are a staple of the region. I spent hours watching Maria cook in her kitchen and this is one of them….here’s what you need:
1 medium white onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 table spoons of spicy paprika
2 red peppers
3 strips of pork belly chopped into 1 ½ pieces
1 large Spanish or Portuguese spicy chorizo
½ Grated carrot
1 large vine tomato
3 medium potatoes
1 small potato
1 can of chick peas
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Fry pork bellies in olive oil for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently to allow even cooking. About halfway through add onion, shallot, red peppers and crushed garlic to the pork along with the paprika and, again, keep stirring frequently until all the red colour has gone from the meat. Liquidise the vine tomato and add to the mix stirring all the time.
Once all the redness has gone add enough water to cover and bring to the boil and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks, grate half a carrot for extra sweetness, chop the spicy chorizo add and cook for a further 10 minutes, after which add the chick peas, including the liquid, it’s as good as stock and adds more flavour. Cook on a high heat to reduce any excess liquid and, to thicken, shave in thin slivers of a small potato using a potato peeler. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the stew is reduced, and a nice thick texture, ladle into wide bowls and serve with a hunk of French bread.
Pork belly supplied by Harte’s Irish Butchers of Park Parade, Harlesden. My favourite butcher for miles around.