Heart-warming stew full of vegetables and rich in flavour. Chorizo takes traditional lentil recipes to another level, and this is by far my favourite way of enjoying this week-night meal that is ready in less than 30 min.
Last Christmas I got a pressure cooker with a long story. Apparently, my mum bought it for her sister about 10 years ago but apparently she barely used it, so after all that long she wanted to get rid of it and gave it back to my mum, who does use pressure cooking. But my mother already had one and it was bigger, so this one was still parked in a corner at my parents house. At some point I mentioned I was thinking to buy a slow cooker to make yummy stews and super tender meat, and my mum asked me why not a pressure cooker instead, if the result would be the same and the time would be ridiculously faster.
I must say it took a while for me to change my mind (I’m pretty stubborn myself), but when she told me she had that small old pressure cooker lying around the house, I just couldn’t say no. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to keep things just for the sake of having them, and I regularly try to find a home for the things I don’t use. This time it was my home the one that could “host” a little new member, so after hearing all the story about this pressure cooker I ended up accepting to take it with me. I thought I could give it a good use before buying a slow cooker. And oh man, so glad I “adopted” it! I used it so many times last winter than the bottom is already starting to be a bit sticky, but I will keep using it until it breaks down cause it’s amazing!
I grew up seeing my family using a pressure cooker to make mainly lentils and other pulses, stews and soups, so I have never been scared of it, although I heard of many people who are. A few weeks ago one of my friends mentioned she was thinking to buy a slow cooker. She is vegan and makes lots of beans and chickpeas, and thought that it would help her eat yummy food more often. Of course, at that point I had to tell her about the pressure cooker and how happy I was with it! She struggled to believe that I could have lentils on the table in less than 30 min and she was also a bit afraid of using it. So I eventually invited her to come over and see me cooking. We made a vegan lentil stew that day but my favourite way of cooking lentils has always been with chorizo (shocking?).
Italians, with a bit more herby version, Germans with added sausages and Bulgarians with a bit of cabbage, all make a very similar lentil stew, but my Spanish background pushes me to lean towards the chorizo version (and who doesn’t love chorizo anyway!)
So now I just have to share with you my love for pressure cooking and this heart-warming stew from my childhood in Galicia, where chorizo is a staple as we have plenty of pastures for pigs and other animals to grow.
By the way, if you are worried about the lectin and phytic acid contained in lentils, chickpeas, beans and other legumes, pressure cooking it’s actually a great way of getting rid of most of it. I don’t eat pulses every week, but I do enjoy lentils and chickpeas relatively often (cause hummus!). If they are properly prepared I know there’s nothing to worry about and my body feels good after eating them. I do try to stay away from soy though, as it’s harder on my digestive system. My suggestion is that you should try what works for you.
About the recipe, I know the list of ingredients is long, but most of them are very simple things you probably already have at home (like carrots and onions!). It’s naturally gluten and dairy free, relatively low in fat (not that I care too much about that), not very carb heavy, and high in protein with the addition of a bit of beef.
Give it a go, and let me know what you think.
*Note: you can also make this recipe in a regular pot, if you don’t own a pressure cooker or don’t want to use it. Just increase the cooking time to 40 min in total.
Lentil stew with chorizo
Servings: 4 | Preparation time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min
- 250 g – raw green or brown lentils
- 1 – chorizo, uncured or cooking variety
- 200 g – beef stir fry strips or preferred cut
- 2 – medium carrots – chopped or cubed
- 2 – celery stalks – chopped
- 1 – large courgette – chopped
- 1 – brown onion – chopped
- 4 – garlic cloves – chopped
- 2 – bay leaves
- 1 tbsp – coconut oil
- 1 tsp – ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp – Ground turmeric
- 1 tsp – Cayenne or smoked chili powder
- 1/2 tsp + 1 pinch – Salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tsp – extra virgin olive oil
- freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Start by washing and chopping the vegetables, and slicing the onion and garlic.
- Add the coconut oil to the bottom of your pressure cooker and let it heat up. When ready, sauté the onion until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min.
- Then add the beef strips and pinch of salt. Sauté slightly until the meat is no longer red.
- Add in the rest of the vegetables (courgette, carrot and celery), the chorizo and the lentils. Fill up with boiling/hot water to cover twice as much as the content of the pot.
- Finally, add the rest of the salt, ground pepper, bay leaves, turmeric and cumin. Stir.
- Close the pressure cooker, set heat on high and let it come to high pressure. Then turn down the fire to medium/medium-low and set the timer for 8 min.
- Remove the pressure cooker from the stove and let it rest for 5 min. Some of the pressure will come out. After those 5 min release the rest of the pressure by opening the pressure valve and open the pot.
- Add in the smoked paprika and stir. Taste for salt, you can correct and add more at this stage if you like it more salty.
- Take the chorizo out and slice it. Then put it back in a mix well.
- Serve on individual bowls and top with a tsp of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley if you like it.