Recipe: Ugly Stew

23 Mar

It aint got no alibi.

Were this stew a person it might be the maths geek at the back of the class who you didn’t notice at first. The one with the too-big bag, wonky glasses and lopsided smile. It wouldn’t be the hipster or the sporty one, no. This stew doesn’t look very handsome but – like the geeky kid – it has all the answers.

It’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s super-filling and it’s easy like a Sunday morning. Hurrah for the geek!

To buy:

* 1 Pack of sausages (I used Giggly pig spring onion and ginger)   *1 x 200g pack of diced pancetta (or you can use bacon if that’s easier)   *a couple of sticks of celery   *200g Cannellini beans   *200g Borlotti beans   *Big swig of olive oil   *Big know of butter   *3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped   *1 x onion   *1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes   *500ml chicken stock   *About 4 big leaves of green cabbage (like savoy) finely sliced   *Salt and Pepper   *Few handfuls of thyme   *Bunch of fresh parsley if you have it . Serves well with cheese and bread and wine.

To make:

1. Warm the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add the pancetta. When starting to cook and bubble add the garlic and stir well.

2. Add a sliced onion and ensure the heat is on quite high.  Chop the sausages into about 5 or six chunks and throw in the pan. Cook for about ten minutes or so. Throw in celery, which you’ve roughly chopped.

3. Season well and then add the tomatoes and stock.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or so.

4. If using dry beans you will have had to drain them overnight and then cooked and rinsed the beans for about 40 minutes. If canned beans then wash and drain. Add to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.

5. Add the herbs and the cabbage and cook for just over five minutes (try and make sure the cabbage stays crisp and bright) and then pop into bowls.

Feeds between 3 and 4 people and is great with warm bread, good company and slightly aching muscles after a long walk in the rain!

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