I love nothing more than strong coffee, good Rioja and simple comfort food so Spain and its wares suit me down to the ground. I am a big fan of stews and Northern Spain have some of the tastiest yet simplest of recipes that leave your mouth watering.
One of my favourites is Patatas a La Riojana. This Rioja-Style Potato and Chorizo Sausage Stew when accompanied by a glass of Rioja wine is quite simply bliss, the two together are the happiest of marriages so I wanted to share this simple recipe with you, and if you think you can’t cook, it’s so simple and inexpensive yet exquisite to taste that you will be able to impress even if you could burn a pan of water.
Olive oil (I use extra virgin for a richer taste)
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 Spanish chorizo sausages (about 3 ounces each), cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 good variety potatoes that can hold their own in a stew, peeled and cut into coarse 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon hot paprika
A bay leaf
Ground Sea Salt
1. Heat the olive oil in the pan you will be making the stew in, this really is just a one pot recipe. Add the onion, stirring until translucent. Next add the chorizo and stir for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, paprika and season with the salt. Next add 4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the bay leaf, cover the pot partially and simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. The potatoes need to be fully cooked and the stew needs to have thickened.
2. Take off the lid and bring the pot back to the boil on a high heat, stirring occasionally. If the stew hasn’t thickened enough at this point crush some of the potatoes against the side of the pot and stir into the stew to thicken. Season with extra salt if needed and you are good to go. Serve immediately.
It really is as simple as that. And don’t forget to accompany it with a glass (or two!!) of your favourite Rioja and a few chunks of crusty bread and you have a dream supper…