Tuesday, 3 March 2015


When it comes to luxury ingredients, it doesn't get much more fancy dancy than saffron and having acquired a little pot of those delicious red strands I thought it was time to crack it open and create something that's perfect for when you really want to push the boat out for loved ones. This delicious dish simmers chorizo, peppers and an array of beans in an unctuous broth made from your saffron along with lemon and thyme to create a delicious silky and cirtusy stew that is totally to die for. Defiantly one for when you want to impress!

Chorizo is one of may favorite ingredients. I love popping it into oil at the start of recipes so that those beautiful paprika spices infuse into it. It is the only meat in this dish so if you want to make it veggie friendly simply leave it out but make sure you add in a tsp of smoked paprika instead to replace those lost spices.

You can mix up the veg in the stew as well if you wish. Always make sure you use onions to create the base of your stew. The natural sweetness of yellow and red peppers really work well with the richness of the broth but if your not a fan then use other veg that will cook nicely in a simmering broth.
As this is a special, go all out dish we have to add in a bit of booze and theatre. First of all this recipe uses rose wine. Unusual as this might seem I used it as I had ran out of white wine and it actually worked really well. Rose might get a bad rep in the UK but trust me when I say does taste scrummy. The rum is for a bit of flambe. Great for showing off in front of your friends and does give the stew a boozy edge. Please be careful when doing this. Make sure you do it in a clear, well ventilated area and have a damp tea towel on hand in case it gets out of hand so you can treat it like a chip pan fire. Don't be frightened and just go for it, it is well worth the effort.

Beans! They are the "meat" to this stew so use some that you really enjoy. I've used butter and haricot beans as I think they are yum but I know these aren't everyone's favorites so feel free to use something else like cannelloni beans, chickpeas or even kidney beans if you wish. I suppose you could try adding some meat if you really need your protein or aren't a bean lover. I think chicken would work best with the flavors of the broth and for veggies, Quorn chicken style pieces would be spot on.

As with most of my stew recipes this is a slow cooker friendly dish. Once you have added the stock you can transfer your stew to a slow cooker to simmer away for at least two hours but as always the longer you leave it and the more time you allow for all those flavors to infuse, the more scrummy your stew is going to be.

Here comes the recipe. It's super simple to make and can be whipped up in less than an hour if you don't have time to slow cook.

 Chorizo, Citrus and Saffron Stew

150g Diced Chorizo
1 Diced Large Red Onion
1 Diced Red Pepper
1 Diced Yellow Pepper
3 Grated Garlic Cloves
100ml Rose Wine
4 Tbsp Rum
Handfull Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Drained 400g Tin Butter Beans
1 Drained 400g Tin Haricot Beans
Zest Of 1 Lemon
Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
Handfull Of Fresh Thyme Leaves
Pinch Of Saffron
 500ml Vegetable Stock
Salt And Pepper To Season
  1. Place a lightly oiled pan on a medium heat and chuck in the chorizo until it begins to soften and the red paprika spices spill out into the oil.
  2. Throw in the onions and fry until they soften before chucking in the peppers and garlic and fry for a further three minutes.
  3. Pour in the rose and boil until it reduces away. Keep stirring whilst you do this to prevent anything from sticking to the pan.
  4. Flambe time! Pour in the rum and then carefully use a match or lighter to set the rum on fire. Remember to be very careful!The flame should die out once all the rum has burnt off.
  5. Next chuck in the tomatoes along with the puree, stir and heat through for around 3 minutes before chucking in all the beans, lemon zest and juice, thyme and saffron and giving everything another good stir through.
  6. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and then bring everything to a boil before covering and reducing to a simmer for around 15 minutes or transfer to a slow cooker for around 2 hours.
Serve a big bowl of stew with some thyme sprinkled over the top to garnish and the obligatory chunk of bread to mop up all that delicious sauce. If you like you could also serve a big spoonful on top of bed of rice and the lemony saffron sauce gives it a kind of Spanish paella vibe that is also super scrumptious. The sauce on the stew is rich, citrusy and silky smooth. 

Your going to fall in love with it, your friends are going to fall in love with it and it's going to make that special someone fall in love with you. That is the magic of saffron!

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