Beans and chorizo and it’s not a stew, soup or cassoulet. Tinned butter beans flavoured with scorched chorizo sausage, with crispy Parmesan topping, a little heat from a chilli and a little sea saltiness from anchovy.
Are you a soupy or a crispy person?
There are two categories of people: those who generally like saucy and soupy and the ones who go for crispy, crunchy and charred.
Those who, presented with an excellent dish of cacio e pepe, will ask where’s the sauce.
And the ones who say, ‘it’s a little soggy’ when they really mean ‘inedible’.
People whose roast dinner swims in gravy and the ones who don’t even put ketchup on their chips lest they go soggy.
Of course, extreme cases notwithstanding, the predilections are not mutually exclusive. There are lots of people who will have both, a soup for starters and crisps with a sandwich.
But a beans and sausage combo – or as in this case, posh beans and posh sausage – usually tends to belong with the runny foods posse.
Beans and chorizo stew or casserole is a classic, beans and chorizo soup too, though personally I shudder at the thought of sausage in a soup. A cassoulet from the Pyrenean border is very saucy too. And your breakfast dish of baked beans and sausage needs a chunk of bread to mop up the plate.
Both, says I
I swing both ways (hehe) but generally ‘dry’ is a critical word for me, unless referring to the contents of my wine glass.
On the other hand, The Weather Man’s middle name should be Crispy. He’s the type that will try to mop up steak juices on his plate with a napkin, and cooks his egg for 6 minutes still calling it ‘soft boiled’.
That’s what prompted me towards this (absolutely wonderful) un-soggy, crispy, sauceless bean and chorizo solution. After all the baked beans with bacon, cassoulets and chillies I generously decided to concoct a beans and chorizo dish that goes under the grill. No sauce!
The Weather Man loved it. As we were having our postprandial tea, he said wistfully: ‘I wonder if you could do this with tomato sauce?’
What type of beans are butter beans?
Butter beans are my choice in this recipe because they are just so great, fat and meaty. You might be puzzled if you come from North America, what exactly butter beans are – to you guys, they are known as lima beans.
However, any other kinds of beans, cannellini, pinto or haricots will work in this dish if that’s what you prefer or is available.
Tinned, for convenience, but I generally recommend organic which in the case of tinned foods makes a huge difference to the flavour.
Chorizo: cooked or uncooked?
Chorizo sausage comes in two basic versions in the UK and zillions of them in Spain, probably.
But the main difference here is whether to use cooking (raw, cured and smoked) chorizo or the ready-to-eat sausage. Cooking chorizo is obviously the best option.
Try to buy authentic Spanish cooking chorizo rather than its English approximation which is usually an ordinary mushy banger with added paprika.
Chorizo also comes as the mild or spicy option. It’s usually better to add your own heat, hence I recommend using mild, but if you can only buy spicy chorizo, adjust the amount of chilli in the dish.
How to cook butter beans with chorizo?
First thing is to chop all the ingredients: onion, garlic, chilli and herbs. Chorizo should be chunkily sliced, beans drained and tossed on a sieve so there isn’t too much moisture clinging to them.
And then in a large sauté pan or in a wok cook the onions and garlic with all the spices, next adding the chorizo and herbs.
Drained beans need to be merely folded in, with half the Parmesan. And then you can divide the lot between individual ones or one collective ovenproof dish and blast under hot grill for about five to ten minutes.
It is a surprisingly filling dish so I like to serve it just with a green salad. But if you’re very hungry, add a chunk of bread or some plain steamed rice.
More bean recipes
Baked beans with bacon are called b-b-beans in my house. Dried beans soaked overnight, slab bacon, molasses and mustard, five hours cooking – beat that, Mr Heinz!
Baked sweet potato halves loaded with spicy black beans and Cheddar cheese: vegetarian lunch, snack or dinner, blissfully comforting.
Butter beans with ham hock, a slow cooked stew of incredible flavours and richness, the ultimate comfort dish. Butter beans need soaking overnight, but what’s difficult about that?
More chorizo recipes
Crispy rice with chorizo and mushrooms blasted under the grill for super-crunchy breadcrumb and Parmesan topping. A dish based on the paella theme but ten times easier.
Hasselback chorizo stuffed with halloumi chunks is an upscale, deconstructed hot dog and completely irresistible. This is your guilty food pleasure turned into a proper meal!
Pan fried monkfish tail in spicy coating, with mushroom sauce and chorizo slices. Monkfish with paprika and chorizo complemented by spiced mushroom sauce makes a super tasty and healthy dish.