Spanish Pork, Morcilla & Navy Bean Stew

I had no idea what I was going to cook tonight. It was one of those “what’s in your fridge?” moments, well more “what’s in your freezer?” – on pulling out some pork steaks I inadvertently pulled out two ‘mystery sausages’ – on closer inspection I deduced they were the two Spanish morcilla (black pudding) sausages I’d bought quite some time earlier. This discovery shaped the theme of the dish. And so it was born – a delicious Spanish stew – rich, hearty and extremely tasty stew. Give this a try – you’ll be glad you did.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion (finely chopped)
1 medium red capsicum pepper (diced)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
600g pork shoulder (large cubes)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup fino sherry
1 cup dry white wine
500ml chicken stock
2 medium morcilla sausages (Spanish black pudding) (cut into slices)
1 x 400g can navy beans (drained)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)

Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a large saucepan until hot. Add the onion, capsicum, garlic and bay leaves and fry gently for 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn up the heat to high and add the thyme and pork and stir fry for a further 5 minutes before adding the paprika. Stir briefly to coat everything then add the sherry and wine – let this sizzle for 1 minute to burn off the alcohol before adding the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to very low and simmer with the lid on very gently for 1 1/2 hours (stirring occasionally). Add the morcilla sausage slices and simmer for a further 30 minutes with the lid off to reduce the sauce slightly.

Add the navy beans and stir in – let this come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes before removing from the heat. Stir in the salt & pepper and parsley and serve immediately.

I served mine with lots of creamy mashed potato and steamed vegetables. This dish would also work well being served simply with crusty bread.

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