A Spanish-influenced Three Pork Casserole with Chorizo and Puy Lentils
Cooking with chorizo
I’m still in a Spanish frame of mind after my recent trips to Spain. I was there two weeks ago but what some of you might not know is that I actually had to go back again last week for a couple of days. This last trip was for a different work project (but thankfully not another conference) and my colleagues and I were able to see a different part of Barcelona in the evenings, which was fab!
Anyway, Spanish flavours are still very much on my mind so when I returned, I decided to make this casserole on Saturday night. Spring is finally arriving in the UK but on Saturday, it was still quite nippy so this casserole was both comforting and very satisfying. My husband’s not a huge fan of chorizo but he does like it in this dish. I’ve made it many times before but I’ve normally made this with chicken. This time, I decide to make a pork version, three kinds of pork actually – in addition to the chorizo, I’ve used belly pork (cheap and cheerful) and some pork sausages.
What I didn’t expect was that all 3 meats meant that I created a lovely myriad of flavours but, more surprisingly, it enabled me to create a dish that also offered three different types of textures within one dish. The pork sausages became meltingly soft, while the pork retained some of its texture, which again contrasted against the chopped chorizo, which had mellowed in flavour yet provided a more defined bite.
A word of warning though, this dish does require the use of a whole bottle of white wine. That might seem extravagant but trust me, it’s well worth it!
I love one pot cooking and this one is top of my favourite list because other than the 10 minutes it takes to prepare it, it’s the oven that does the rest of the work so I can sit back, relax and simply wait for the timer to ring.
We eat this like a hearty stew and we love it ladled over a bed of plainly boiled spring greens or kale. You could eat it with a hunk of country bread too but I think the puy lentils provide all the bulk one needs for a rich, filling and warming supper.
Lots of love
2-4 large pork sausages
500 grams pork belly, cut into chunks with skin off or on (your choice)
100 grams finely chopped chorizo
5-6 small anya/red skinned waxy new potatoes
2 sticks of chopped celery
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2 large carrots, chopped
2 small cloves of garlic, leave the skin on
1 bottle of white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc)
1 large red chilli
3-5 springs of thyme
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon of marmite (or Bovril)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 cups of water
1 cup puy lentils
Chopped chives and parsley to garnish
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Meantime, In a large, heavy-bottomed casserole dish set on the hob on high, heat your oil and start by browning off your sausages and pork belly. Once browned, set them aside.
In the same pan, fry the chopped chorizo for a couple of minutes – you’ll start seeing the chorizo release its oil. Add your chopped onions, celery, chilli and carrots and toss well. Add your browned pork back into the pan, and add your whole bottle of white wine, garlic, herbs, marmite, tomato puree and 2 cups of water to ensure all the meat is covered. Stir the bottom of the pan well to deglaze it.
Add your dry spices and season with some salt and pepper. Pop your lid onto the casserole dish and transfer this into your oven to bake for 30minutes.
Add your puy lentils, stir them in well and pop the casserole back into the oven for another 40-45 minutes, stirring once.
Before serving, taste and season with more salt/pepper as required.
Ladle over steamed/lightly boiled spring greens (like boiled for no more than 3 mins max!) and garnish with fresh chives and parsley.