RECIPE: Chorizo and Bean Supper Soup (293/366)

I caught an episode of Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers and he made a Chorizo and Bean soup. I have a lot of time Nigel as he’s a home cook not a chef. Most of his recipes are easy and can easily be adapted to suit your own taste. The following recipe is based on his recipe, a lot of the ingredients are the same but I’ve adapted it for our family taste.

I left out celery as I’m not keen on it cooked so used a red pepper instead. I used tinned tomatoes rather than fresh. I also used mixed beans rather than cannelloni beans. The beans I used have been in the back of the cupboard for a while, mixed bean salad which I drained off. I would also have used mixed beans in chilli sauce that you can buy in any of the large supermarkets.

Oh and I cooked in the slow cooker!! You can cook it on the stove top for 1 to 2 hours.

For 4 big servings as a main course or supper.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions – peeled and diced
  • 150g  carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper – deseeded and diced
  • 1 tin mixed beans
  • 100g Chorizo cut into chunks
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 pint hot water
  • pepper to taste
  • few sprigs of fresh basil (optional)

Chorizo and Bean Supper Soup

Method

  • Really easy – sling everything except the basil into the slow cooker.
  • Turn onto high for about 4 hours or until the carrots are tender.
  • Adjust seasoning and add snipped up basil.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

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RECIPE: “About” stew – 269/366

I grew up in a household of 3 generations, Nan, Mum and her 3 brothers then Me, my 2 brothers and sister. Mum had to work to keep us. Nan did almost all the cooking and we were all expected to help out. Every Sunday it was my job to make a cake for tea which my uncle Arthur usually helped me with.

Over the years my Uncles all got married and left home so Nan, Mum, me and my siblings were left. Nan never used recipes,  everything she made came from her head and what she learned when she was a housekeeper for a posh family.

Everything she made was delicious and when asked how much of something to add to a pot she would always say “about” for the amounts.

So that’s pretty much how I cook too.  Today Hubby fancied stew, Nan would have cooked it in a big stew pot on the range and put lots of winter vegetables in with the meat and stock. I used to chuck it all in casserole dish and put in the oven for a couple of hours but now I chuck it all into my slow cooker.
I have made it my own over the years, I don’t put Swede or Parsnips in and because you put in “about” quantities it tastes different everytime. The only constant is the tin of tomato soup – it just isn’t the same using tomatoes or puree.

“About” Stew

Ingredients:

ABOUT = what ever quantities you want – think of how many you are feeding and go from there!

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Meat – Lamb or Beef
  • Stock – Vegetable, Chicken or Beef
  • Worcester Sauce
  • tin of cream of tomato soup – I ALWAYS use Heinz!
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Brown the meat and toss into the pot.
  • Peel and chop vegetables – leave nice and chunky and toss into the pot – no place for Mirepoix here!!
  • Pour over hot stock, soup and worcester sauce.
  • Season with pepper – add salt at the end of cooking…
  • Cook for a couple of hours in a medium oven
  • OR
  • Cook for 5 to 6 hours in a slow cooker
  • Adjust seasoning at end of cooking time.

Serve with boiled potatoes and crusty bread.

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RECIPE: Slow cooked pulled Pork (236/366)

When we went shopping this week I couldn’t resist a reduced boned and rolled shoulder of pork.  I was going to roast it but I’ve always fancied cooking a joint in my slow cooker as the meat is almost guaranteed to be soft and tender.

So this is how I did it: WARNING- remember what size your slow cooker is.. don’t buy a piece of meat too big to go in there!! If the rind is still on the pork you will have to remove it. CAREFULLY remove any string holding the pork together, remove the rind (you can roast it for crackling if you like!) then roll the pork back up and tie with the string.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 onions – peeled and roughly chopped
1 apple – peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 boned and rolled shoulder of pork – rind removed.
1 tsp of chopped sage
half pint of cider
half pint chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper

Before Shredding

Method

  • Put the onions, apple and sage into the slow cooker.
  • In a frying pan, brown the pork on all sides. Place in slow cooker on top of the onions and apples.
  • Pour cider and stock into the frying pan and bring to the boil add pepper to taste. Pour over into the slow cooker.
  • Place lid on slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours. You can turn the pork after 3 to 4 hours.
  • Carefully remove the pork and place in a large dish. Leave to stand for 15 to 20 mins.
  • To shred the pork use two forks or even quicker use your hands (wash them first of course!!). Just pull chunks off and pull apart.

The liquid in the slow cooker will make a good gravy. I used a hand blender to liquidise the onion and apple then thickened it with some chicken gravy granules. Adjusting seasoning to suit your palate.

Serve with vegetables.

After Shredding

What to do with the left overs

Pour over JUST ENOUGH gravy to moisten the meat.
Use for pulled pork rolls – place the amount you need into a hot frying pan with some BBQ or Peri Peri or Reggae Reggae Sauce. When heated through pile into a roll and enjoy!!
Stir fry with vegetables and noodles or rice. It was lovely with a Plum sauce!
Use in place of chicken for Fajitas.
Portion out into freezable boxes and pour over more gravy. Cool in the fridge then freeze. Use anyway you wish.

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RECIPE: Lamb Tagine (126/366)

I’ve made this many times and used to cook it for a couple of hours in a low oven. When I bought my slow cooker it was one of the first things I cooked in it.

I’ve no idea where I got the recipe from, the ingredients are written down on a scrap of paper and some of the amounts have been adjusted since first being written. So I have a dual reason for blogging about it – one – to keep a record of my recipe for my use and – two – to be able to share one of my favourite recipes with you.

There is quite a list of ingredients – don’t be put off it’s all needed for a lovely full flavour that is a mix of sweet, savoury and a little spicy. If you don’t have a slow cooker dump it all in a casserole in a low oven for a couple of hours.

I use an 800g bag of ‘Value’ lamb chops. I trim the meat off the bones. You can use this or chump chops, leg chops, scrag end, neck or stewing lamb.

I serve it with cous cous – I cook it with chicken stock and then add half an onion sweated off with a pinch of the spices added to it,  stirred in at the end.

For 4 very generous servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed (or half teaspoon of Lazy Garlic)
  • 100g ready to eat dried apricots
  • 750g lamb (see above)
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • half tsp Turmeric
  • half tsp ginger
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock (home made or made up with stock cube/powder)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 125ml red wine
  • 2 sweet peppers – sliced
  • 1 lemon quartered (remove before serving!)
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  • Trim lamb and fry quickly to seal and brown lightly. Transfer to the Slow cooker.
  • Fry the onions until transparent, add spices and garlic and fry for a minute.
  • Add the red wine and honey and bring to the boil. Tranfer to the slow cooker
  • Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Turn slow cooker to LOW put lid on and cook for 6 to 8 hours.
  • After 5 hours check seasoning and adjust if required.

Serve with Cous-Cous, bread and extra vegetables if you wish.

I served it with cous-cous and flatbread – it’s from a recipe in Gino d’Acampo’s baking book. Easy peasy – fantastico!!

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RECIPE – Pork, Chorizo and Apple casserole (67/366 #Project366)

Pork, Chorizo and Apple Casserole – Slow Cooker recipe

This is an all new made up recipe today. I usually cook pork and apple but had some chorizo in the fridge so decided to add that and make it a bit spicy. This recipe is for a slow cooker but you could just as easily put in the oven.

This will serve 4.
Serve with mashed potato, noodles, cous cous or rice along with any vegetables you like. You could try my Dauphinoise Potato.

Ingredients:

500g Pork leg or shoulder cubed
100g Chorizo
2 Onions
2 Apples
100g large mushrooms – sliced (optional)
1tsp  French Mustard
1tsp Paprika
1tsp dried sage
568ml (1 pint)Vegetable or Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper

Cooking time:

Slow cooker 6 hours
Conventional oven 2 – 2.5 hours GAS 3 / 325F / 170C

Method:

  1. Chop onions roughly.
  2. Cut the Chorizo length ways and remove the outer casing. Cut each half into thin slices.
  3. Pour a little oil into a frying pan and fry the pork until just beginning to brown. Transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Quarter and peel the apples. Slice each quarter thickly and toss into the slow cooker.
  5. Slice mushrooms (if using) and add to the slow cooker
  6. Place the onions and chorizo into the frying pan and cook over a medium heat until the onion is transparent.
  7. Add the paprika and cook for a further minute.
  8. Pour in the stock, stir to deglaze the pan and bring to the boil.
  9. Stir in the mustard and sage, season well with pepper. (I don’t add salt at this point, I wait until the last hour and adjust seasoning then)
  10. Pour carefully into the slow cooker and give it a good stir.
  11. Place lid on the slow cooker and turn to LOW setting.
  12. You can give it a stir every couple of hours.
  13. After 5 hours stir and taste, adjust seasoning to suit. If you want a thicker gravy you can add a teaspoon of cornflour slaked in a little cold water and stir in or stir in some gravy granules.
  14. Cook for another hour and serve.

I was really pleased with how this turned out. The spicyness of the chorizo and paprika mellowed by the end of cooking. The sage remained just a background flavour. The apple keeps it tasting light and fresh.

 Frying off the Pork:

Frying off the onion and chorizo:

The finished dish – served with a baked potato.

(This is also my official 67/366 #Project366 photo)

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