Spanish Sausage and Bean Stew with Fresh Mint

Spanish black sausage is similar to the French Boudin Noir but it has a coarser texture, it is worthwhile hunting down the Spanish variety if you can otherwise go for the French variety. This stew, while a great winter dish, also works well in warmer weather by making a lighter version using fresh broad beans. Also, it is a dish that is delicious served cold with lots of mint and a fresh slices of bread and salad leaves. The mint gives the dish a lift lightening and complementing the stew.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes plus 12 hours for soaking the dried beans

Cooking: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours

Ingredients

Stew

  • 500g large white beans, soaked in water over night. In the summer months you may be lucky enough to get hold of fresh broad beans that will make a light alternative. These do not soaking or precooking and you will need another 100g..
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon (1-1.5cm thick), 1 slices left whole and 3 diced
  • 2 Spanish black sausage, one sliced and one left whole
  • 2 chorizo sausages, one sliced and one left whole
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 100ml dry white sherry
  • 250-300ml water or vegetable stock

To Serve

  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, shredded
  • pinch paprika

Method

  1. Beans: Cook the dried beans that have been soaked over night in a saucepan with the 1-1.2 litres of water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce it to a steady simmer. Cook the beans for 50-60 minutes until they are almost tender. Drain the beans and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Stew: Heat the oil in a casserole pan over a moderate heat. Add the sliced sausages to the pan, cook them for a minute sealing them on both sides and remove them from the pan. Set them aside until ready to use.
  3. Add the onion to the casserole pan with the oil from cooking the sausages and sauté it over a moderate-high heat until it is slightly brown. Add the garlic and diced bacon and cook them for a further minute. Stir in the broad beans and sauté them for 2-3 minutes mixing them regularly.
  4. Add the bay leaves, mint, sugar, the whole Spanish black sausage, chorizo sausage and bacon slice to the pan. Pour over the sherry and enough water to just cover the beans. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a steady simmer. Leave it to cook for 30 minutes until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Add the cooked chorizo and black sausage to the casserole and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the whole bacon slice, chorizo sausage and black sausage from the stew. Slice them each into four even pieces.
  7. To Serve: Distribute the stew among 4 bowls, place a slice of piece of bacon, chorizo and black sausage in the centre if each serving. Scatter the mint leaves around the dish and sprinkle over a little paprika. Serve.