I don't know if it's because he's a Northerner, or simply a man, but Mr A&N holds a special fondness for a sausage hot pot. I've learned to appreciate to dish as well, and to come up with variations on the theme so we can enjoy a hot pot (of sorts) in several different ways. Finding some organic chorizo at the Spanish food shop, Brindisia, presented the chance to cook a Spanish-style hot pot.
The pictures don't do the dish justice; or rather, the dish isn't going to be a beauty but still waters run deep. The strength of the flavor depends a lot on the quality of the meat, but it should be a rich, warming, dish, verging on comfort food. I like to have it with a big hunk of bread (Turkish bread being my favorite). I find it hard not to go back for a second helping, even if I am a bit full.
Chorizo Hot Pot
- 5 tomatoes
- 2 springs rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 2 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 450 g good quality chorizo sausage
- 40 g cured sausage (such as tolouse), sliced thinly, or 100 g bacon, cut small
- 1 bulb fennel, chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 250 g puy lentils
- 1/2 C water
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 C red wine
- 1/2 C sherry
- 1 Tbs sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- bread to serve
- Start by roasting the tomatoes. Slice them so that you get about 4-5 slices per tomato, depending on their size. Put them on a roasting tray along with 2 of the garlic cloves (sliced), the rosemary sprigs with most of the leaves picked off, and a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Mix well, then roast for about 20 minutes at 180 C, or until the skin of the tomatoes begins to color and pull back from the flesh.
- Meanwhile, in a large and sturdy pot, sautee the onions, fennel and the other 2 cloves of garlic with some olive oil over a medium heat, until the onions are softened.
- Add the chorizo and cured sausage (or bacon), and brown slightly.
- Add the tin of tomatoes, lentils and water, and turn the heat low.
- The roasted tomatoes should be added at this point, though they'll needed to be well pureed in a blender first. Puree everything from the roasting tray, including garlic and juices, but taking care to remove any woody rosemary twigs there may be. Mix until it's very smooth and there's little sign of tomato skin.
- Add to the chorizo mix and stir well.
- Add in bay leaves, and then the wine, sherry, and sherry vinegar.
- Cook over a low heat partially covered so that it's just about bubbling. It is ready when the lentils are soft, about 45 minutes of cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with bread.