This easy chorizo and potato stew is a perfect recipe for cold fall and winter nights. A spicy, hearty, and warming Spanish recipe that you’ll make again.
Who Is James Beard?
James Beard is THE man credited for starting the “Foodie” movement in the United States. He’s the original celebrity chef, having had a cooking show before most people had televisions with the show “I Love To Eat (1946)”. In 1954 New York Times dubbed him the “Dean of American Cookery”. He’s, also mentored hundreds of chefs and inspired countless others to find their love of food.
In 1986, one year after his death, the James Beard Foundation was formed to honor and carry on his legacy. The foundation has events all the time at his townhouse in Greenwich Village where invite an outstanding chef to come and prepare meals for New York’s upper crust. The meals vary based on the chef and day, but usually they consist of hors d’oeuvres with a sparkling wine or cocktail, appetizer, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. Each course has it’s own accompanying wine which is exquisitely paired with the food. I’ve been to a few of these events and every time I have left full, smiling, and pretty drunk, because there’s usually 5-6 glasses of wine to be had.
When they have these events they usually ask a the chef to leave a recipe that they put up on the foundation’s website. and while I was perusing their the other day for dinner ideas I came across this spicy, delectable, Rioja Style Potato and Chorizo Stew .
I’ve also had a cold so I needed something with enough kick to punt this cold right out of my face. Hooo boy this spicy potato stew do the trick.
Damn Man! You’ve Been To These Events?!
Yup, and I’ve never been let down. So, I should start with a little about this recipe. The author and creator is a Spanish chef named Teresa Barrenechea who hails from the Rioja region of Spain, which is known for some beautiful and affordable wines. If you see a Rioja wine at the store, do not hesitate. Buy yourself a bottle and you won’t regret it. The original recipe is near perfect and, honestly, who am I to adapt such a masterful dish? No one, I’m just some fool with a food blog. But, hey, here goes nothing right?
Wait. Wait. What’s Chorizo?
Ohhh good question. A chorizo is a pork sausage that comes from Spain and/or Portugal (chouriço). You can find it raw but the good stuff is the preserved chorizo, which is usually fermented or smoked. The difference is obvious in that the preserved stuff is really hard to the touch. Let’s start by dicing the chorizo.
Wait! One More Question! What is Dicing?
You know, that’s a really good question. Sometimes you just have to think about the word itself. In cooking, when you dice something you are cutting it into little cubes just like dice.
I’m Going To Need Some Glue To Put My Mind Back Together After Being Blown!
So, yeah, dice that sausage, man! Make them small (1/4 – 1/2 inch). Mince the onion and set it aside. Peel the potatoes and submerge them in a bowl of water to keep them from browning. Prep work is done! That was easy!
So easy. Next step is to put a large heavy bottomed over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Then, add the onions and cook until beginning to brown (about 10 minutes). Add the chorizo, stir, and cook for about 2 minutes. Now here comes the fun part, the original recipe shares a “peasant trick”. Cut the potato into inch-sized chunks right over the pot, but only cut half way through. Twist the knife to break off the rest, leaving a broken edge, which releases extra starch into the potato stew, resulting in a richer, thicker broth. Do this until you’ve gone through all the taters.
Add the hot paprika and the pimenton (aka smoked paprika). That’s my addition, and I feel It lends a bolder, smokier taste to the dish. Don’t forget the salt too! Cover the contents with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Your Chorizo and Potato Stew Is Now Ready!
That’s it. You’re done! Before serving give it a taste and if you want to thicken up the broth you can crush a potato chunk against the inside wall of the pot. Stir and serve hot!
This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need: