Perfect, last-week-of-work, pork, chorizo and black olive stew

It’s quite difficult, I have just discovered, to take an appetising picture of a stew. Mind you, ‘stew’ itself is not the most appetising of words or prospects. But please don’t let that header photo, or the name put you off this rather wonderful and simple dish. My friend Ingrid made this for me a few weeks ago and I immediately tagged it in my brain as a WTF recipe because it only has a few steps.

And, at this time of year, though I am happy with the prospect of turkey and pudding next week, I am also very happy to enjoy alternatives, like these spicy bright flavours which are ideal for lifting grey days. This is great on its own or with some sweet potato mash and it reheats beautifully, so make the full whack and save yourself a) cooking twice or b) having to buy lunch amongst the shopping madness. A perfect pick-you-up after a long last week of work or a weekend of Christmas prep.

José Pizarro’s pork, chorizo and black olive stew (adapted from here)

Makes enough for 4

Cupboard (or things you may already have)
2 onions
4 tbsp olive oil
150ml red wine (I’m working on the basis that you might have this in your cupboard around now…)
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g tinned whole or chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
4 bay leaves
2 tsp caster sugar
salt and pepper

Shopping list
1kg diced pork shoulder (or buy it in a piece/steaks and dice it yourself)
200g chorizo sausage (I do wish chefs/recipes would specify which sort; I used cured)
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
3 thyme sprigs
2 tbsp chopped oregano
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
100g pitted black olives

How to
1. Peel and chop the onions and dice the pork if necessary.

2. Season the pork with salt and pepper, then heat half the oil in a large, lidded casserole dish and sear it in batches, until browned. When each batch is done, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon (leaving most of the fat and juices behind) and put to one side in a bowl.

3. Once the meat is done, add the wine to the pan and heat it until it bubbles up. Scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the juices into the wine then pour it over the pork and set aside.

4. Put the rest of the oil in the same pan with the onions, cover and fry gently for 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until they are very soft. Whilst the onions are cooking, peel and chop the garlic and skin and chop the chorizo. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and chorizo then cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Next, stir in the sweet smoked paprika and cook for about a minute, then add the tomato purée, tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and, finally, the pork with all its juices. Season, cover and simmer for an hour.

6. Finally, boil the vinegar and sugar in a small pan and reduce until you have about one teaspoon of liquid left. Stir it into the casserole with the olives. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until the pork is tender (this may take less time, depending on the size of the pork pieces). Season and serve. I like it with sweet potatoes, either baked or mashed with some olive oil and black pepper.

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