Chorizo Meatballs & Black Bean Stew

This is definitely something that is going to become a staple in my house. It is wonderful when the weather is cold and one of those recipes that is very easy to put together after a long day.

I have used proper chorizo in the past and this works well although I find fresh sausages flavoured with smoked paprika and chili makes for a lovely chorizo-y flavour, and I find the meat much more tender than normal chorizo. If you can find them some supermarkets and good butchers sell chorizo style spiced fresh sausages which save you a bit of time.

I have recently discovered the merits of black beans too, I much prefer them to the floury old kidney bean that is normally used. I used canned beans, very easy to find something to do with them in a fix. They are lovely spiced & stuffed into tortillas for enchiladas and added to chili or any kind of stew that needs bulking up.

Chorizo Meatball & Black Bean Stew – Serves 2

4 fresh pork sausages
smoked paprika – 2 tsp

clove of garlic – finely chopped or minced
1/2 onion – finely sliced
generous glass of red wine
about half can of chopped or plum tomatoes
tomato puree
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
dash of cayenne
dash of chili flakes or chili powder – to your own taste
1/2 tbsp worcester sauce
fresh thyme
fresh coriander
1 can of black beans, drained

First of all you need to make your sausage meatballs.
Meatballs made from sausage meat are great when you are in a hurry, you can use fresh mince and add seasoning, breadcrumbs, eggs etc but I find fresh sausages are great because they are already well seasoned, with a good amount of fat for tenderness and hold their shape very well.

Remove your sausages from the casings into a bowl. Add in your smoked paprika, don’t be afraid to add it all, you want your sausages to have that deep chorizo flavour from the paprika. If you have found fresh chorizo style sausages then you don’t need to do this.
Shape into meatballs and set aside.

Heat up a large saucepan and add olive oil. Fry the onion in olive oil until soft, add the garlic after a few minutes and fry for a minute or so before adding your sausage meatballs. Brown your meatballs for a few minutes. Make sure the heat is up high and everything is sizzling away nicely – add in your wine- be generous, the red wine makes for a beautiful rich sauce.

Simmer away the alcohol for about 3-5 minutes, then add in a squirt of tomato puree, your spices, herbs and worcester sauce. Blitz up your chopped or plum tomatoes until they are smooth and add to the pan.

Simmer slowly for about 15-20minutes, making sure the sauce doesn’t get too thick – if it does before the meatballs are cooked through then add a little bit of water to keep it going until it is done.

Serve with a little grated mature cheddar or soured cream on top and with a nice chunk of fresh bread.

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