Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bean and vegetable stew

One of the best things about Spanish food are the big, robust, peasanty stews. This one is mainly flavoured by the morcilla (Spanish black pudding), but if you want a vegetarian version then just omit it and add some extra paprika and some cumin. If you can't get hold of decent morcilla, then use some good quality coarse cut sausages instead, and add them at the same time as the vegetables.

1kg dried haricot beans
olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
3 well-cured morcillas
3 teaspoons of paprika
6 bay leaves
500g carrots
500g pumpkin
500g courgettes
250g green beans
2 large tomatoes

  1. Put the beans in a large put, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave, covered, for 1.5 hours. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid for use later.
  2. Peel the carrots and chop into large chunks, and cut the pumpkin, courgettes, beans and tomatoes into large pieces, too.
  3. Chop the onion finely, fry gently in plenty of olive oil, and add finely chopped
  4. garlic once the onion is nearly done.
  5. Add the beans, together with enough of the cooking liquid to cover (keep any remaining liquid in case you need it). Bring to a boil, reduce to minimum, add the morcilla, paprika, bay leaves and a couple of teaspoons of salt, and cover.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes, then add all the vegetables, and add enough extra water to cover.
  7. Continue to cook until the beans are completely cooked. (They should be tender, not powdery.)
  8. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

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