Prep Time: 15 – 20mins
Cooking Time: 1hr – 1hr 15mins (just leave it alone in the oven to cook)
I love anything that comes in a gorgeous rich tomato sauce and this is one of my go-to dishes for an easy weeknight meal. This really is so quick and easy to prepare and some of the best bits about it for me are that you can tailor make the dish to your specific tastes (more chorizo anyone?), serve it with anything from pasta to potatoes and after the 15 minutes of preparation, you get to relax for an hour with a glass of red whilst this lovely meatball stew does its thing in the oven.
What you’ll need:
- 1 x heavy bottomed hob-safe and oven-safe casserole dish (use at least a 20cm diameter dish)
- 6 Pork meatballs - you can either buy the meatballs pre-made or make them yourself out of a pack of 250g mince (to be honest any meat works well for this dish so if you want a bit of a leaner meat, opt for turkey mince)
- If you're making your own meatballs, all you need to do is tip the mince into a bowl, add some salt, pepper and any other seasonings you fancy – I think that paprika and a bit of sage work really well with this dish - and shape the mince into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any colour), diced
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 1 courgette, sliced
- 1 x 215g tin butter beans (drain the beans before you add them to the stew)
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Vegetable stock from 1 stock cube - use the leftover chopped tomatoes can to mix the stock in to save on the washing up!
- About 1/5 of a 225g chorizo ring, roughly diced (remove chorizo casing before adding to stew!)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp sage (dried or fresh)
- 2 tsp basil (dried or fresh)
- Salt and pepper to season
How to cook it:
1. Spray a hob-safe and oven safe casserole with Fry-Light or an equivalent low-cal spray and add the chopped onion, garlic and chilli. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 mins until the onion starts to become translucent.
2. Next add the meatballs and the chorizo – these will take perhaps another couple of minutes just to brown a little bit.
3. Then add your vegetables; so that’s the courgette, pepper and celery, and also add the tin of butter beans. Give all that a stir.
4. Tip the chopped tomatoes in and then pop the vegetable stock cube into the empty tin. Add boiling water to the top and stir to dissolve the stock cube (this neat little tip saves on the washing up and also gets all the lovely tomato juice off the side of the can – CAREFUL; THE CAN WILL BE RED HOT! So handle with a tea towel to tip the stock in. Give all that another stir to combine everything.
5. Finally, add the tomato puree, paprika, sage, basil, salt and pepper – give it one final good stir and put the lid of the casserole on.
6. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, then take the casserole lid off and leave for another 30 minutes. This dish stays really hot in the oven for about 15-20 minutes after it has cooked so don’t worry about having to take it out and serve it as soon as an hour passes. It does the dish good to relax a little and allow the flavours to combine post-cooking time.
I like to serve this with a nice glass of red Australian Shiraz (I recently made this dish and enjoyed a glass of Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz 2012 with it – perfectly complimented the flavours of the paprika and tomatoes!)
There you have it! Please have a go at this recipe; it really couldn’t be easier. You can also add or take away the amount of chilli/garlic etc you use to make it suit your taste better.
Enjoy folks, and please comment to let me know what you think and subscribe to my blog www.aswarmastoast.com