It has been a good week for cooking. I love it when Winter saunters in and I have so many excuses to retreat to my kitchen and cook up my own storm to match the one outside. A mid week shopping trip provided excellent ingredients, particularly the Iberico pork belly I used in my last recipe, I used it again today.
I tend to cook old favourites right now, and it occured to me that I haven’t really blogged them. I always like to cook new things and experiment for recipes that wind up here, but I’ve decided to start blogging my old favourites, those soothing winter warmers, over the next little while.
The Iberico pork belly is a big fatty piece of salted pork belly from those finest of Spanish pigs. It’s like super fat pancetta that when rendered, releases smoky rich fat that adds a beautiful dimension to any dish, I am not sure I’ve ever had anything quite like it. The lovely Iberico pigs spend their lives happily wandering munching on acorns, and then they end up on plates everywhere, luxurious and expensive. This piece wound it’s way to me via Selfridge’s Food Hall.
In a previous post I said that it was 80% fat, really it seems to be more like 95%. It’s very, very, rich. I diced it into cubes, then sauteed it, watching it melt like ice cubes, the fat rendering and spitting, unhappy at being released but calming as it rendered further. When only small crisping cubes were left, I added the chorizo, letting it sparkle in the Iberico fat, releasing it’s own orange fragrant fat and joining the party.
This is not an everyday dish, as this amount of animal fat ,whilst delicious, would surely cripple if regular. But treat yourself occasionally, with a bold glass of rioja to accompany and I promise you a lovely evening.
Chorizo, Iberico Pork Belly & Chickpea Stew
100g Iberico pork belly or pancetta
200g hot fresh cooking chorizo (I use Brindisa)
500g cooked chickpeas (substitute 2 tins)
1 tin good tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
500ml good light stock like chicken
A handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Dice and sauté the iberico pork/pancetta for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and rendering most of the fat. Add the chorizo for anothyer 3/4 minutes, until seared and the fat is orange. Then add the finely chopped garlic cloves for 30 seconds or so.
Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock. Stir thoroughly, and cook for 30 minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in the parsley. Ladle into bowls and serve with good crusty bread or toast. With a compulsory glass of rioja.