Pork, chorizo and white bean casserole:
Right now it seems to be colder than it has been for the whole of winter. It’s March – the daffodils are in full bloom in the park and I’m itching to ditch my winter clothes. That seems to be unlikely, I’m sitting here with one of those big, thick, boyfriend cardigans to keep me warm and I keep pressing the ‘boost’ button on my central heating. My birthday falls during Easter this year, so I’m planning a bit of a get-together with friends and I’ve been thinking about what I can cook. I don’t really want to be slaving over a stove when my friends are here, so I’m planning something I can cook in advance and reheat.
The beautiful casserole that I was sent by The White Company last week was going to be used for a spring dish – chicken or lamb with a lot of green vegetables. But, it’s so cold, I’m craving comfort food (still). So, instead, I’ve made a Spanish-inspired pork, white bean and chorizo casserole.
With a spicy, smoked-paprika laced sauce and chunks of tender pork and chorizo, this is one of those dishes that is perfect for a chilly mid-week supper. You can freeze it, although it is so delicious you might not want to do so. Adding fennel seeds lifts this dish out the ordinary with an aniseedy note that cuts through the rich flavours. It’s quite an economical dish and you can use the cheapest chorizo because the long, slow cooking will break it down into the sauce.
The White Company Porto Stoneware Casserole was the perfect size and shape to make this dish – with plenty of space for 6 portions (I think you could make enough for 8 in there). Unlike my cast iron casseroles, it is light and easy to take in and out of the oven. It looks pretty and Spring-like, even if Spring seems to have sneaked out the back door this year! It’s the first time I’ve tried any of the White Company Homeware in my kitchen – although my bedroom and bathroom are already full of their accessories, bed linen and towels. I’m thrilled with my new casserole and I can see it becoming a firm favourite.
An easy comfort casserole that is freezable and can be prepared in advance,
- 500 g Pork I used tenderloin, but this dish would work with belly or leg of pork too. Cut the pork into 1-2 cm cubes.
- 1 Large Onion Peeled and finely chopped
- 6-8 Shallots Peeled
- 100 g Pancetta Cubes
- 300 g Chorizo Sliced into 1cm chunks
- 100 g Dried White Beans Dry weight - soaked if necessary.
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1-2 teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika Depending on the spiciness of your chorizo
- 1 can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Medium Carrot Diced
- 1 Medium Courgette Diced
- 1 handful Fresh Thyme To garnish
- 1 teaspoon Mixed dried herbs
- 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 33 ml Robust red wine
Soften the onion in the oil for 5-10 minutes till it is translucent and the edges are just starting to caramelise. Remove from the pan and add to the casserole
Brown the pancetta and chorizo in the same pan, then remove and add the pork in batches, browning it and adding it to the casserole. Then brown the carrot, courgette and shallots, adding everything into the casserole.
Meanwhile, cook the beans according to the packet instructions until they are soft.
Remove one half of the beans and a little liquid and either mash or use a food processor to get a rough puree
Add both the bean puree and the whole beans to the casserole, then add tinned tomatoes and around 33ml of red wine. Stir through the herbs, fennel seeds and paprika and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover.
Place in a preheated oven at 200c for 10 minutes, till the mixture is bubbling, then reduce the heat to 160c (150c fan oven) and leave to cook for at least an hour till the pork is meltingly tender. The time will depend on the cut of meat you use. If the casserole starts to look too dry add a cup of water.
Once the casserole is cooked, taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with sprigs of thyme and serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
Perfect. Now all I have to do is work out what is for dessert!
Thinking of making this? Why not pin the recipe for later