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Portuguese Pork And Chickpea Stew

INGREDIENTS

  • 350g chorizo
  • 250g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 pork fillet, diced
  • 500g belly pork, diced
  • 2-3 tins of chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • 200g diced stock veg (celery, carrots etc)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato purée
  • Sugar
  • Chilli powder
  • Sunflower oil
  • White wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh herbs
  • Good quality ham stock
Portuguese Pork And Chickpea Stew

METHOD

This is a warm, vibrant, full flavoured alternative to our own humble stew! This dish is vibrant, colourful and packs so much flavour! This dish is as traditional as our own Irish Stew, but couldn't be any different! In fact, if you search the internet you'll find a thousand variations of the same theme. This is my version based on the ingredients I can get readily. It freezes really well,  so it's worth making the huge quantity above and keeping the rest for a dreary winters day!

Method:

  • First, brown off all the pork meats in batches in your largest, heaviest pot in a little oil.
  • Start off with the belly pork and the chorizo as they will release fat, minimising the amount of oil you have to add and will flavour the other ingredients.
  • Brown the fillet last.
  • Place the meat into a large bowl.
  • The chorizo is the main flavouring in this dish.
  • Roughly chop your onions and add to the same pan with the lovely pork fat and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  • Add the crushed or chopped garlic and your chopped stock veg, peppers and if you like some button mushrooms. fry off for another 5 minutes.
  • It's important to do this sweating off as gently as possible to release the flavours from the veg.
  • Now add the smoked paprika, two bay leaves and a good handful of chopped rustic herbs such as thyme, marjoram, sage, oregano etc. (but not rosemary)
  • Stir. Now add the browned meats along with all the accumulated juices, stir again.
  • Now add in your chickpeas (the more the better, just try and get a good balance between the meat and chickpeas), glass of white wine, salt (not if you use ham stock though) and pepper, 1/2-1 tsp chilli powder, tinned tomato, couple table spoons of tomato puree, couple teaspoons of sugar.
  • Mix the lot together and top up with a bit of ham stock.
  • The ham stock is very, very important and adds a good flavour.
  • If you don't have ham stock a strong chicken stock will do, veg just doesn't cut it for this dish!
  • Stir again, taste and season.
  • If you've used ham stock you probably won't need any salt.
  • Remember this dish is meant to be strong and full of flavour, don't be afraid to add more pepper or paprika.
  • It should also have a good chilli kick to it.
  • Cook very gently for an hour or so, until the belly pork is nice and tender.
  • Enjoy in a large, deep plate with some warm ciabatta.
  • Soaking up the wonderful chorizo flavoured stock with the bread is heaven!