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Eat the Seasons - January 2014

Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, Chestnuts, Pears (late – Concorde, Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Winter Nellis), Rhubarb (forced), Walnuts
Vegetables & Herbs
Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Swede, Turnips.
Meat & Game
Duck, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Venison
Fish & Shellfish
Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot

This year I have decided to revolt against the usual post Christmas dieting, healthy eating and generally “taking-all-the-fun-out-of-life” situation! 

December is crazy busy; we all deserve to treat ourselves after surviving Christmas / school holidays / visits from the in-laws / last minute shopping / and all the other crazy stuff!!  Plus, January can be so cold, so lacking in anything to be cheerful about ……. So lets make fabulous food and carry on with the whole eat, drink and be merry vibe, go on, I dare you!!! 

What we really need to warm us up and get us into the spirit of things is a really good stew….

Pork, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

Serves 6

Less than 30 minutes preparation time

30 minutes to 1 hour cooking time – if you like the meat really tender then slow down and extend the cooking time (adding liquid as necessary).


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 600g/1lb 5 1/2 oz pork shoulder, cut into serving pieces
  • 150g/5 ½ oz chorizo, cut into serving pieces
  • 250g crispy bacon lardons
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 75ml / 2 ¾ fl oz white wine
  • 400g / 14 oz tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes
  • 200g / 7 oz canned butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 200g / 7 oz canned black eyed beans
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme



  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the pork pieces and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until browned on the outside but not completely cooked through, then remove from the pan and set aside to rest on a warm plate.
  2. Add the chorizo to the pan the pork was fried in along with the bacon lardons and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside with the pork.
  3. Add the onion to the same pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the garlic and the wine and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by a quarter.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and the butter beans, then return the cooked pork and chorizo to the pan and stir well.  Then add the whole cherry tomatoes and the thyme.
  6. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over a low heat, add the tin of drained black eyed beans and cover the pan with a lid and cook for at least 45 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduce in volume.  Add a few tablespoons of water to the simmering mixture now and again, as necessary, when the sauce becomes too dry.
  7. Just before serving, sprinkle over the parsley and stir in the honey and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, as necessary.
  8. To serve, spoon some of the pork stew into the centre of each of six serving plates.  Place a portion of garlic bread alongside each serving.