Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a main course
Farmers’ markets and local suppliers is what the British Larder’s ethos is all about, but it’s also about recognising that we do live in a multicultural society with people from all walks of life, and with them they have brought ideas, dishes, traditions, ingredients and recipes. There is one fresh food market in London that I absolutely adore and like to visit as often as I possibly can and that is Borough Market.
When I lived closer to London it used to be a Saturday ritual to go ‘foraging’ at the market and come home with all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Amongst all of the glory of Borough Market there is a fantastic Spanish restaurant and shop called ‘Brindisa’. They sell what I consider to be some of the best chorizo sausage and smoked paprika available in the UK.
Combining these two ingredients with fresh prawns and fresh produce straight from my summer garden, this wonderful dish emerged. This is my take on posh baked beans! If you do not have fresh borlotti beans, then simply use canned ones as they work just as well. I make this dish in small individual ovenproof dishes, but you can bake it in one large terracotta-style dish, if you like, as it’s perfect for sharing.
Ingredients & Method
- 4 red onions, peeled
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 300g chorizo, cut into 1cm dice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 300ml chicken stock
- 400g can plum tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 250g fresh borlotti beans (shelled weight) (see Cook’s Note)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 red peppers, halved lengthways and deseeded (I keep the green stalks on purely because they look pretty)
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 12 raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
- 2 slices ciabatta or white bread
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- a little extra chopped fresh thyme and oregano, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Dice 2 of the onions and then cut each of the remaining 2 onions into 8 wedges. Set aside.
Heat 80ml of the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat for a minute or two until hot. Add the diced red onions, the red chilli, chorizo, garlic and salt and pepper and sauté over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes or until the onions start to colour. Add the red wine vinegar, stock, canned tomatoes and sugar and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the borlotti beans, thyme and oregano, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the beans are cooked and tender and the sauce becomes rich and slightly thickened, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Meanwhile, start the peppers. If you would like to bake this recipe in 4 individual dishes like I do, then choose 4 suitable individual ovenproof dishes and put a pepper half, cut-side up, into each one, or use 1 large ovenproof terracotta dish and place the pepper halves, cut-sides up, in the dish. Lightly drizzle the remaining oil over the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until they start to colour and soften. Remove from the oven.
Ladle the borlotti bean and chorizo mixture into and around the part-baked peppers. Divide the cherry tomatoes and onion wedges between the peppers, then bake in the oven for a further 20 minutes for the individual dishes and for 30 minutes for one larger dish, until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
Arrange the prawns on top of the borlotti bean mixture and peppers, then rip the bread into pieces and scatter over the top. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10–12 minutes or until the prawns are cooked and the bread pieces are crisp and golden brown. Garnish with a little thyme and oregano and serve immediately on its own or with plain boiled white or brown rice.
Canned borlotti beans can be substituted for the fresh borlotti beans, if you like. Simply use 250g (rinsed and drained weight) canned borlotti beans, add them to the hot tomato and chorizo mixture (there is no need to cook the canned beans first) and heat through, then continue as the recipe directs.