I first tried this dish about 25 years ago, when my Spanish girlfriend made it for me in a bedsit we shared in North London back in the mid-nineties. It was cooked on one of those old Baby Belling stoves that you would often see in bedsits back in those days (they might still have them for all I know), where you would have just 2 old-fashioned electric rings to cook on that took ages to both heat up and cool down again. They were usually placed on top of the small refrigerator that came with the room. If they still have them in bedsits, then I hope they’ve been greatly improved upon. The dish she made me was the traditional meat version, of course, but I have veganised it here with the hope of staying as faithful as possible to the original style of cooking.
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If you haven’t had it before, it is essentially a lentil and tomato stew, flavoured with chorizo sausage and black pudding. Thanks to the great vegan options available to us today, this dish is easy to veganise and keep authentic.
A vegan version of chorizo sausage is available in most large supermarkets these days, whereas the black pudding only seems to be available in Asda at present, or you can order it online straight from the company that makes it. I tend to order about 15-20 at a time and keep them in the freezer for when I want to use them. They keep frozen very well.
I fry the sausage and black pudding first, to brown and seal them, then set them aside to put back in the stew later. This helps the black pudding keep its shape while the stew simmers. It is also important to only stir the dish as much as is needed to stop it sticking to the bottom, and to do so gently. I remember, all that time ago, being yelled at for grabbing a spoon and giving it a good old stir after it had finished cooking. Let it simmer undisturbed as much as possible, and let it rest afterwards, or my ex will scream at you.
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Spanish Lentils with Vegan Chorizo and Black Pudding
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 vegan chorizo sausages sliced
- 1 vegan black pudding sliced
- 2 tbsp more olive oil
- 1 red onion sliced
- 200 g mushrooms sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
- 100 g tomato puree
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke optional
- 750 ml light vegetable stock
- 400 g drained weight cooked green lentils, drained and rinsed
- A large handful of fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by cooking the chorizo and the black pudding. Heat the first lot of olive oil in a frying pan or wok and cook both the sliced chorizo and the black pudding for about 8-10 minutes, turning from time to time, until they are browned all over. Once cooked, set aside until later.
- In a clean saucepan or wok, heat the 2nd lot of olive oil and fry the onions for about 4-5 minutes, until slightly soft. Now add the sliced mushrooms and cook on a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, until they are browned. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the paprika, tomato puree and liquid smoke, if using, then pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Now add the lentils, the chopped parsley and the cooked chorizo and black pudding. Bring back up to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring as little as possible, until the liquid has reduced and you have a thick stew. Allow to rest undisturbed to 10 minutes before serving.
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