Winter starches, yeah? But something a bit quicker than a stew? Cursory tapas influence? Yep, sweet – hop on.
Ok, it’s a terrible picture – I’m still finding my feet with flash and working without daylight. But I’ll assure you, it tastes way better than it looks, and you can bring it in at just under twenty minutes. That’s not bad given how much faffing I usually mandate.
It’s potatoes and chorizo and garlic and stock, and it does what it says on the tin.
It might not make the cut for the book, but I’ll definitely be making it again.
This serves two as a main with some salad or other veg, or 3-4 as an eyebrow-raisingly decadent potato side. If you’re doing it as a side, cut the chorizo little strips, and use a bit less – it serves better.
I just ate it on its own out of a big bowl after the gym. I’m classy like that.
- Potatoes (ideally floury), 400g
- Chorizo, 100g
- Garlic, 3-4 cloves
- Chicken stock, 200ml
- Sherry (something medium-nutty like Oloroso), 100ml
- Thyme (dried), a generous pinch
Slice the potatoes to about a half centimetre thickness, leaving the skins on, and boil them in salted water for 5 minutes or so. They want to be done, but not disintegrating. More done than usual parboiling, as we do want some partial disintegration later. Strain them, and leave them to dry off for a few minutes.
Thickly slice the garlic, and slice the chorizo however you like. Mix the thyme into the stock so it can infuse and soften a bit. Otherwise it’s a bit twiggy.
Fry the potatoes in light olive oil on a medium heat, turning now and then, for about 5 minutes or until they’re starting to colour a little. Raise the heat slightly, and add the garlic and chorizo.
Fry these for another 5 minutes or so, until the chorizo expresses the tasty rich oils, and the garlic is firm and crispy but not burnt. This is a key flavour – when the stock hits the toasty garlic, it’ll permeate through the dish and bring it all together, so don’t leave it too soft.
When we get to that point, add the liquids, and let it reduce, stirring a bit. This will take another 5 minutes or so at a higher heat to drive off most of the liquid, and leave us with a sticky rich pseudo-sauce. If it doesn’t quite come like that, add some more liquid (probably water or sherry) and reduce a bit more. Very waxy potatoes don’t give up the thickening starches so well, and even the floury ones can take some teasing, hence that slightly longer initial boil.
Once you’ve got a nice thick sticky mix, serve. You can get some flat leaf parsley up in there if you like, but I just use black pepper to serve. Wilted greens make a pleasant addition (add at the same time as the chorizo) if you want to make it more of a whole meal. Onions work, too, but I like the simplicity of just the potato.
It’s deep and tasty, and a bit of a carb-assault, but it’s just the thing for an autumn evening when you’re simmering with resentment at the end of summer. I’d strongly recommend buying some decent Oloroso to cook this with, and drinking the rest with it.
Nigel slater has a recipe in – I think – Kitchen Diaries that comes out similar. It’s thick slices of potato, roasted to tenderness with anchovies, finished with stock and lemon. It’s delicious, and you can make it faster by cribbing this method and subbing in the flavours – that’s how I got here.