Back to chorizo again, although I have at least chosen to do something different with it this time round. One of my housemates spotted it in the fridge and exclaimed mock-horror “do you ever cook with anything except chorizo?” I see his point, although all things considered, it does make adding flavour to things a whole lot more simple.
I made this for dinner with friends a couple of weeks back and have been meaning to write it up ever since, as it’s one of the best things I’ve made in months; however, the past couple of weeks got kind of crazy and so you had to wait. Sadly pumpkin is out of season at the moment, so it’ll cost you to get hold of it, although you might have more luck at some of the bigger supermarkets (I went to Oxford’s covered market, and so a decent-sized pumpkin cost me £4)
This comes from a blog called The Runaway Spoon, and you can find their recipe for it here. I’ve adapted it slightly, adding some hard, cured chorizo and substituting mixed beans in because I couldn’t find black beans, but it was still delicious – spicy, sweet, and really satisfying, with the pumpkin adding substance to it.
We ate this with nachos and a hunk of bread, but you could go with rice if you fancy (I don’t think it’s worth it, as the chilli itself is sufficiently filling). It’s best cooked when the weather is cold, so if we do end up having another unscheduled cold snap, I’d highly recommend it.
So, here’s what you’ll need (serves 4):
1 packet of 6 soft Mexican chorizo sausages – go to M&S or a butcher for this, but you need at least some of the soft stuff rather than the hard stuff or this won’t work
A little bit of hard cured chorizo sausage (about 1/4 of a ring), chopped into little chunks
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cinnamon
A medium-sized pie pumpkin (get the green ones not the orange Halloween ones, as they have no flavour at all)
2 cans mixed beans, rinsed and drained (feel free to sub in black beans or kidney beans)
Salt and pepper to taste
It’s pretty simple, as you’d imagine. Here’s how to do it.
Before starting, peel your pumpkin – you might not need to use it all, but put a decent amount in – and scoop the seeds out, like you’d do with a butternut squash. Chop the remaining flesh up into bite-sized chunks, bearing in mind that you’re going to be eating this with a spoon…
Chop up your soft and hard chorizo into bite-sized bits and sauté them in a high-sided pan. Once it’s started cooking and some of the oil has started coming out, add the onion on a medium heat, stirring it until it’s soft but not browned. Add the chicken stock when the onions are soft, along with your tablespoon of cinnamon and as much chilli powder as you dare.
Add the pumpkin to the chorizo mixture, hopefully simmering by now, which should have come out of its skin now and be starting to look more like you’d expect chilli to. Cook for another ten or fifteen minutes, or until it’s starting to go soft, and then add the mixed beans. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the pumpkin is soft and then serve with an accompaniment of your choice, and some beer. And smile.
It’s a beautiful thing, and I highly recommend you try it; a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. I particularly appreciated the addition of little chunks of cured chorizo to change the texture, but you may not want to go to the effort. Let me know how you get on.