I love autumn, especially the kind of autumn we are having this year with lovely warm days and a rainbow of rich colours in the parks. I took my bike for a ride in the park while doing the shopping one day this week. I just couldn’t resist; it was such a nice day. The afternoon sun was warming my back while my eyes enjoyed beautiful scenery, the trees brightly painted in yellows and reds, all bathed in sunlight. I really regretted not having my camera with me. ..
But I like autumn not only for its looks; mainly I love it for the food. It’s the best season of the year if you are a fan of veggie stews and game, which I am. So I thought I would give you one of my few favourite autumn recipes – a light butter bean and white wine stew. It’s an easy and inexpensive dish which takes less than half an hour to make.
200g of chorizo or bacon diced
1 tin of butter beans
1 stick of celery chopped into 1cm pieces
1 onion chopped into large chunks
1 carrot sliced into coin thick circles
3-4 salad potatoes or one big one chopped into 1cm pieces (you can swap potatoes for tiny pasta if you like)
¼ of small Cavolo Nero or Savoy cabbage chopped into large chunks
50ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
1 tbs sunflower oil
2 cloves of garlic whole
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Fry the chorizo and onion in a flameproof casserole pot or deep pan for a couple of minutes than add the garlic, carrot, potatoes, celery and herbs and continue to fry until the onion is soft, then add the wine and continue to cook for another two minutes until the alcohol is cooked. Now add, the butter beans a whole can with the liquid and the stock, cover the pan and simmer for as long as it takes for all the vegetables to be nice and soft. About three minutes before serving add the cabbage and cook until it softens. Remember not to overcook it though. Taste the stew and add seasoning if required. Serve with a chunk of nice sourdough bread or fresh baguette and butter. Et voila!
If you fancy a glass of wine with your dish, serve it with a heavy and oaked Chardonnay, Marsagne or white Cote du Rhone or as I do sometimes with a Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc, which is slightly oaked and savoury.