spicy butter bean and tomato stew with turkish sujuk (garlic sausage)

spicy butterbean and tomato stew with
Turkish garlic sausage (sujuk)
I may have been a bit bleary-eyed with sleep at sparrow-fart this morning, but it was crystal clear how the temperature had fallen sharply overnight when I opened the back door and looked out across the garden, which was encrusted with a light dusting of frost, my breath visible in the cold air. I could also hear how cold it was when I caught a strange huffing, puffing sound. The neighbour's fat young tabby, Oscar, tiptoed over to say good morning. I could almost hear him saying "ooh, ah, sheesh, it's icy out here, oh my poor fat paws!" he huffed and puffed and shook his whiskers at me dolefully. 

Once I had stopped laughing, I immediately started thinking as I usually do from the moment I wake up, what am I going to cook today? It needs to be hearty, warming peasant fare. But today I don't much feel like getting down to my Irish and Scottish peasant roots. I'm going Mediterranean because there are some days when the bright colours on your plate can wrap you in a sense of sunshine and warmth, when all the evidence suggests snow is on the way.

Heathcliffe had been shopping at one of his local Turkish grocers in Dalston and had bought an enormous pack of sujuk (or sucuk) sausages and we split them between us.

I meant to use haricot or cannellini beans, but must have bought a job lot of butter beans at some point. They will do perfectly well. I had also intended to use a green pepper as I had remembered buying one in the dim and distant past and suspected it was still lurking in the kitchen somewhere. It was there indeed, but had now ripened to a pale orange-red. Lovely.

You should probably serve this with rice or a bulgar wheat pilaf, but I had mine with a baked potato and a big pile of buttered red chard. I would have added a little fresh parsley too, but my parsley plant had completely keeled over under the weight of the frost. The wild leeks are rampaging through the garden, so a few leaves, finely chopped added a little more colour and a gentle garlic flavour.

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
200g sujuk, sliced (Turkish lamb or beef cured sausage)

a knob of butter
1 x red onion, finely chopped
2 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 x red (or green) pepper, finely chopped
3-4 tomatoes, chopped
1 x tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed (410g)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp harissa paste
½ tsp ground cumin
1 x bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato paste
150ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
a splash of wine (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of sugar
fresh parsley, finely chopped (to serve)

directions:
  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan. Lightly fry the sliced sujuk on each side. (About 2 minutes on each side.) Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the rest of the olive oil and a knob of butter to the oil in the pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and gently fry for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, butter beans, oregano, harissa, cumin and bay leaf. Stir to make sure that all of the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Add the tomato paste, stock and a splash of wine. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer the stew for 10 minutes, before adding the sujuk. Continue to cook over a low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning. You may need to add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are particularly tart.
  7. Sprinkle over a little chopped fresh parsley before serving.

tip:

  • If you can't get hold of any sujuk then use chorizo or garlic sausage.

19 comments:

  1. Two issues here.
    1.What happened to Heathcliffe as guest writer,only 2 posts if I remember correctly.Both enjoyed,Please bring back Heathcliffe, who apparently has twenty years experiece-Hmmmm.
    Issue 2. Love the ripened green pepper that was now a delicate shade of orange and starting to sweeten.When out shopping I now always try and find green peppers with a tinge of orange-the best.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my perfect dinner! It sounds so filling and warming.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sadly Heathcliffe has a life that doesn't always revolve around food and he has been busy with work, but I am currently negotiating with him to make a return. (He just needs a little coaxing!) Watch this space!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't know you could ripen your own peppers at home - my green peppers normally go mouldy before they go red - I must have had a unique set of temperature conditions in the kitchen this month!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Caro - had the the leftovers for lunch - possibly even better :) At the moment I am really loving frugal storecupboard meals - they suit the weather and guaranteed no added horse!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous4:11 pm

    you sure about the no added horse in the sausage?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous6:05 am

    Rache when you say wild leeks which plant do you mean exactly ?

    not the pernicious white bluebell like plant with triangular stems Allium triquetrum. the hours I spent weeding the stuff in previous existence should have thought its edible lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. That sounds great, but I definitely couldn't source any of that sausage here in rural France. Might chorizo be a good alternative?

    ReplyDelete
  9. oooh, a gorgeous stew... that Turkish sausage looks like a revelation... I MUST get me some of that stuff!... today is also absolutely freezing cold... blanket all day methinks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't guarantee it's not horse! The label said lamb but frankly the sausage was full of spices and I couldn't tell! Delicious either way!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wild leeks - definitely the 3 cornered variety allium triquetrum. I know it is a right old pest (bloody plant invaders!) but in its defence, it grows in a part of my garden which doesn't get much of anything. Last year I went a bit wild and crazy for it, making pesto (a bit gummier than basil pesto) - wait until it has flowered and you get a lovely mild garlic flavour. I have made a savoury pudding and it was gorgeous chopped up and added to pasta. So if you are harvesting, don't compost but take to the kitchen immediately!

    http://marmadukescarlet.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/better-than-fairies-at-bottom-of-garden.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Margaret - chorizo definitely works. Any cured spicy sausage works well too (anything with lots of fat and spices that can leach out into the sauce)- I'm not really up on French charcuterie but it is fabulous experimenting!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dom - it's snowing in London (not heavily but enough to make me stay indoors with some cocoa and the rugby on telly!) I've been chewing on Fisherman's Friends all morning because of a damned cold - so soothing stew again tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Saw you are based in north london in your biog, and guess you may have got your sausage from a turkish butcher in the area - i recently moved to wood green and am still trying to work out what butchers are best - any recommendations? Stew sounds lovely, will definitely give it a try thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Knattster - nice to meet you and hope you enjoy your new home in Wood Green! I have to confess I haven't shopped in Wood Green that often. Green Lanes is the place to be for good Turkish food - such as Yasar Halim. There is also a fab Greek Cypriot shop on Green Lanes, which is about a 20 min bus trip away, if that is any good. The owner grows some of his own veg (which is even lovelier).

    Andreas Michli & Sons

    http://www.gourmetbritain.com/shops_entry.php?item=606

    My sausages actually came from the Turkish Food Centre in Ridley Rd market (Dalston), but that might be a bit too much of a hike for you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Butter beans... And I'm won over.

    One to add to the recipe inventory, definitely.

    Take care darling x

    ReplyDelete
  17. It looks so perfect and warming! I have noticed I have gone heavier on the carbs lately and put this down to the weather and the urge for comfort food. It looks delicious and the garlic sausage sounds fab, must try and pick some up if I come across it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi, saw your link on the Guardian comments. Made this tonight but embellished it by adding butternut, carrots and some bulgur wheat to thicken it up. Was delicious. Thanks, great recipe and one I am sure I will make again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, saw your link on the Guardian comments.

    Made this tonight but embellished it by adding butternut, carrots and some bulgur wheat to thicken it up. I also used Haricot beans. It was delicious.

    Thanks, great recipe and one I am sure I will make again.

    ReplyDelete

A message from you makes my day and gives me something to smile about!

To all you spammers out there, I do check each and every comment. If you are plugging a product or some less-than-savoury site, you will not be published!