Salt Beef & Chorizo Hash Recipe

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Sometimes there’s nothing more appealing than a recipe which gives you an excuse to waltz around the market squeezing seasonal produce and talking to butchers about the provenance of their locally-reared pork, before getting all of the ingredients home and spending hours crafting them into a delicate meal – if you’re lucky, some songbirds might fly through the kitchen window, tie your apron strings with their beaks and provide musical accompaniment.
Other times you just want to quarantine yourself at home and follow a recipe that requires you to chuck anything edible into a pan and then bung it in the oven – including but not limited to potatoes, fresh/frozen veg, chilled/cured meats, and any songbirds foolish enough to step to you on a day like this.
For the headliners I used Salt Beef and Chorizo because that’s what I had lying around, but in a pinch you can use Corned Beef, Spam, Bacon, Black Pudding – anything you’d expect to find in a nuclear bunker.  See it as a vehicle to use up whatever vegetables you’ve got in your fridge as well, and then supplement them with some frozen peas and peppers to brighten things up a bit.
Recipe and Photos:

Ingredients
  • 200g Salt Beef, cubed or shredded
  • 200g Chorizo, in pound coin-sized slices
  • 4 Baking Potatoes (Or equivalent), diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Celery sticks, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Red Pepper, sliced
  • 100ml Stock
  • Handful of Frozen Peas

Method
  1. Pour a glug of Olive Oil in a big pan and soften the onion and celery in there for a few minutes, add the chorizo until it begins to swell, the oil it releases should start to give the onion and celery a pale golden tint.
  2. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt, saute on a high heat until they start to go brown on the edges and soften on the corners
  3. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.  Take off the heat and add the salt beef and red pepper.
  4. Cover the pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C
  5. A few minutes before serving stir a handful of frozen peas through so they defrost and cook slightly, but stay fresh.  Top with a poached egg, sprinkle with chives and serve with baked beans (it’s the law)
Here’s it is, topped with a chaste little eggy all intact:
And one for you yolk pervs:

Recipe: Sweet Potato & Chorizo Chilli

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Along with giving me an excuse to wear fur, making huge stews is one of the best things about Winter – nothing makes you feel like you’ve got your shit together quite like getting home from work and finding that the big vat of stock and flesh you left in the kitchen that morning has transformed into your tea.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world to use mince in chilli.

Forget the bastardised version of chilli you’ve had to get used to, the one that looks and tastes like bolognese with chilli powder; Chilli is a stew, it’s supposed to be lumpy with different flavours and textures, and viscous enough to stick to an upside-down spoon for a couple of seconds before it slides off.  And as a stew it requires a little bit of patience, but pretty much no effort.

Forget the beef mince – when you decide to cook something for up to 10 hours, you’re affording yourself the luxury of using cheaper, tastier meat which does more to the final dish than bob around like chewy breakfast cereal.  Mince sucks.  I used Beef Shin, and you can use that, or Cheek, Oxtail, Stewing Steak, whatever.  When the meat is cooked for this long it likes to cook down so much that the flavour is detectable in the meal, but texturally it’s non-existent.  There is an idea of whatever cut you decided to use, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real meat – only an entity, something illusory.  So I threw a whole Chorizo sausage in there as well.

If you don’t want to be chopping up celery and digging around the kitchen looking for cumin in the 10 minutes between being woken up by that song you thought would be a cute alarm tone but have since grown to DESPISE, and having to leave for work then the good news is you can make most of this the night before, leave it to rest, and then slow-cook the meat in it the next day and it will be even better.

Just as a pointer, you don’t want to cook the potato or beans for too long – once they reach peak cooked-ness they start to disintegrate, and you want to keep them distinguishable in the dish.  Finally, chilli is cowboy food, and the only thing cowboys love more than spitting into buckets and interrupting pianists in a saloon is getting drunk, so to stay true to the dishes cowboy roots I like to add some booze – either a good slug of tequila towards the end, or substituting the beef stock with a dark beer or porter.  Completely optional, but feel free to get creative.

Ingredients

2 Large Onions, diced.
2 Sticks of Celery, diced.
2 Carrots, diced.
6 Cloves of Garlic, minced or crushed.
Chilli – a couple of dried chipotle, half a dried ancho, or a couple of teaspoons of powder to taste.
1 tsp Cumin.
1 tsp White Pepper.
1 tsp Cinnamon.
2 tsp Smoked Paprika.
2 tsp Oregano.
Pinch of Salt.
1 litre of Beef stock, replace all some or none of it with dark beer or porter if you like.
3 tins of Plum Tomatoes, drained but with the juice saved for later.
2 tsp Cocoa powder or a couple of squares of good dark chocolate.
800g Beef – Shin, Cheek, Tail, Stewing Steak, Bone Marrow it’s your call.
200g Chorizo – a whole sausage, cut into chunky semi-circles.
3 Bell Peppers – Autumnal colours.
2 Sweet Potatoes, roughly 2cm dice.
2 or 3 tins of Beans – choose a combination of Red Kidney, Pinto, Haricot or Black.

Method

Fry the onion, celery and carrots in oil over a low heat until they turn slightly soft and translucent, then add the garlic afterwards making sure not to burn it, otherwise that shit will be BITTER.

Add the chilli, cumin, white pepper, paprika, oregano, cinnamon and salt.  Stir it in for a minute or so to toast the spices and (theoretically) release more flavour.  Add the beef stock/beer the drained Plum Tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer and break the tomatoes down with your spoon, add about half of the tomato juice.  Stir in the grated chocolate or the chocolate powder, then add the beef and chorizo.  Keep it going on the hob or transfer it to a slow-cooker on the lowest setting for as long as possible – at least 4 hours.

By the time you come back to the chilli, a decent layer of fat will have gathered on its surface from the beef and chorizo.  Skim as much of this off as you like – I chose to get rid of it all.  If it’s looking too thick, add some more of that tomato juice; there’s still a few hours cooking time left.

Char the bell peppers over a gas or electric hob until they are blacker than black.  Seriously, BLACK.  Run them under a cold tap and peel the skins off, then chop the flesh off the stalks and stir it into the chilli with the sweet potato.  Slow cook for another 2 hours, or if you’re pushed for time (why have you only just realised this?) simmer for about half an hour.

Add a squeeze of lime and an (optional) slug of Tequila, stir the beans through right towards the end of cooking, they’ll only need about 5 minutes for the residual heat to cook them through and let them keep their bite.  Dish it all out with sour cream, fresh onion, diced tomato and jalapenos on top, and serve with lime rice and tortillas.  This makes enough to easily serve 6-8 hungry people, or if you’re cooking for fewer people you’ll be thrilled to know that the leftovers just get better over time.

Recipe: Crab, Scallop and Black Pudding Jambalaya

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I thought I’d have come up with a recipe for Jambalaya a long time ago, just to give me an excuse to say such a brilliant name over and over again until the word lost all meaning.  The final motivation came after a particularly somber Monday which dragged on for three-quarters of an eternity; a Ned Stark of a day that incessantly reminds you that Winter is coming, but all of the fun bits of it are weeks away yet; a day that somebody had imported into VSCO Cam, slid the temperature setting down to -8 and given everything and everyone a greyish blue hue.
Being a New Orleans twist on Paella, Jambalaya seemed like perfect antidote – carbs and warm spices, scattered with oily indulgences and things from the sea.  Traditionally the recipe calls for chicken and prawns – I don’t think chicken really pulls its weight in a dish with such strong flavours though, so I went with the classic gastro-pub combination of black pudding and scallops which I flash-fried before adding to the Jambalaya pot.  This made it a couple of quid cheaper, as well as making it seem more indulgent.  The supermarket didn’t have any prawns that I liked the look of either, so I substituted them for crab meat, which along with the chorizo cooks down and assimilates itself with the rest of the dish perfectly – present but unassuming.

I happened to have a half-inch of Old Bay seasoning left in the tin which has served me well for almost two years, so I was able to stick faithfully to tradition in that sense, but if you can’t get your hands on any then you can make a pretty good imitation by combining 2 parts paprika with 1 part celery salt, and a pinch each of mustard powder, black pepper, bay, allspice, and chilli flakes.

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 Celery sticks, diced
1 Carrot, diced
Half a chorizo, cut into half pound-coins
2-3 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
2 Peppers
200g Brown Rice
1 tin of Plum Tomatoes
400ml stock
Half a black pudding
4 Scallops, sliced into 3 pieces and flash fried
100g Crab Meat
Chives, to top

Method:

  1. Fry the diced vegetables in oil slowly, until they turn translucent.  Add the peppers and the chorizo until it starts to swell and you noticed the speckles of fat begin to melt down.  Stir in the Old Bay seasoning and cook for a couple of minutes, giving everything chance to get a good coating.
  2. Stir in the rice and heat it for about a minute while you open the tin of tomatoes and drain the excess liquid off.  Add them to the pan, along with enough stock to cover everything.  Bring to a gentle simmer and cover.
  3. Flash-fry the black pudding and scallops in a pan, and add them to the pot when the rice is almost done, but there’s still a decent bit of liquid.  This should take about 12 minutes depending on the type of rice.  If you need to, add more stock at this point.
  4. Stir in the crab meat, and cook with the lid off for another couple of minutes, stirring regularly.
Sprinkle plenty of chives or spring onions on the top, a bit of green to cut through the richness will be very welcome.  Serve with grilled corn on the cob, or cut the kernels off and serve on top of the jambalaya.
As a side-note, I’m submitting this recipe for a competition Co-Op are holding, where the prize is getting filmed cooking my recipe just like a chef off the telly.  You can enter here, but don’t feel like you have to, because I really would like to win.