I am totally, utterly sick of this weather. On one hand, it gives me a really good excuse to not do any grueling yard-work but on the other, the house is all stuffy because I can't leave the windows open for two minutes without hearing "You're letting all the heat out!!!" This has been going on for too long now and I'm going a little stir-crazy but I do rather like curling up on the sofa for an afternoon doing something useless and crafty while dinner cooks slooooowly over a low heat, warming the house with tasty smells.
This dish actually isn't as time consuming as some winter stews, but it is absolutely packed with vibrant flavour from the chorizo and slow cooked squid. Squid has to be cooked either super quick or low and slow, anything in between leaves you with chewy rubbery yuck. Slow cooking breaks down the collagen that makes up the squid meat and releases it into the sauce of this stew, giving it a wonderfully luxurious texture.
Following the theme of the week, this dish is stupid-cheap, serving 4+ at less than £4.50. It's probably the best tasting £4.50 you can spend and is so incredibly good for you, not to mention a good way to introduce kids to squid because if the soft texture.
Squid, Chorizo and White Bean Stew
1 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin, its smoke point is too low)
250g/4oz Spanish or portuguese style chorizo, casing removed, cut in half then sliced.
1 stalk celery, finely chopped.
12 oz squid tubes and tentacles, (cleaned) cut into 1" rings, beak removed from tentacles
1 large yellow onion, sliced 1/4 thick
4-5 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups of dried cannelini beans (Soak over night, simmer in unsalted water for 2 hours) OR
1 1/2 cans of same, already soaked)
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato paste/puree
4 large, salted anchovy fillets, chopped*
1 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
grated zest of one lemon (keep the flesh for later)
small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 quart good (home made pref) **chicken stock
In a med- high sautee pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion slices and fry until golden/translucent.
Add the pieces of chorizo and stir in, cook for a couple of minutes until the sausage gives up some of its oil and colour. Then add the celery, chilli, smoked paprika and squid.
Sautee for 4-5 mins until the celery softens and the whole mixture is well coloured by the sausage and spices. Add the cooked or canned beans, stir.
Pour over the chicken stock, (and pulled chicken meat) Add the garlic, tomato paste, salt and lemon zest.
Bring to a bare simmer, lower the heat and cover for approx. 1 hour, checking once for moisture levels and to stir.
After an hour, uncover and turn the heat up slightly to reduce the liquid. Allow to cook for about another half hour at a loooow simmer. The starch form the beans will thicken the sauce some.
Best served in a bowl, scattered with the fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice with very crusty bread.
*Note: For all you anchovy haters, I PROMISE, you wont be able to tell they're in here. They just bring a gorgeous round richness to the sauce. It will do the same in tomato-y pasta sauces and braised meat dishes, but that's another blog post. If you don't believe me leave the anchovies out and it will still be a tasty, tasty dish.
**If you make your own stock and take the time to pull any remaining meat from the bones of the chicken, add this to the stew, it's a lovely additional texture.
Will warm your frostiest cockles.