Whilst doing the weekly meal plan (yes, I know) I came across a recipe for a chorizo casserole in a Nigella Lawson book How To Eat I think). It sounded good, but I remembered I had some blackpudding in the freezer that needed using up, and that made me think of hotpot. The thing I like most about hotpot are the thin crispy potatoes on the top. I’m not a big fan of potatoes, but the meat juice soaked crunchyness makes them tremendous. In the end I made a sort of bastardised hotpot, with chorizo and other Spanish flavours, and added dumplings to the top because, frankly, I love them.

You will need

All ingredients were by eye so don’t use these numbers too seriously.

for the casserole

  • 200g of chorizo
  • An equal amount of black pudding
  • 2 medium onions rouhly chopped
  • A couple of cloves of garlic
  • Enough potatoes to cover the top of your casserole dish
  • About a pint of stock (I used a veg stock cube)
  • A good squeeze of tomato puree
  • A cup of dry sherry (100ml or so)
  • 200g of self raising flour (unmeasured)

for the dumplings

  • Plain yogurt (I was using up, milk would have been just as good)
  • A large pinch (3 finger pinch) of dried herbs
  • A bob of margarine or butter (about a heaped tablespoonful)

for baked carrots

  • carrots
  • a blob of butter
  • a quarter of a lemon, sliced.

Do

  1. Sweat onions and garlic in the oil on the hob top until glassy (10/15 mins on a low heat)
  2. Chop chorizo into pound think slices
  3. Chop black pudding into thicker slices. I removed the skin too (optional)
  4. Put the oven on 180 oC
  5. Bring the stock almost to the boil and add tomato and sherry.
  6. Dump chorizo, pudding, onions, garlic and stock into your casserole dish (I’d had mine in the oven so everything wnent in hot)
  7. Slice potatoes about coin thickness and layer across the top of the dish. Remember you’re adding dumplings later so not too tight.
  8. Stick dish in the over
  9. Meantime make the dumplings. Mix flour, herbs, yogurt and fat to a wet dough. I probably added a pinch of salt.
  10. Slice carrots and stick them in a roasting dish with a few slices of lemon and a knob of butter.
  11. After about half an hour until everything is bubbling and the potatoes all have crispy tops, lift the dish out
  12. Push potatoes to one side in a few places and tuck blobs of dough about the size of golf balls into the gaps. They should have their bottoms in the hot liquid.
  13. Return to the oven for about 30 minutes and add the carrots too.
  14. Ready when the dumplings a risen and golden and the carrots are sticky and still a little crunchy.

Result

The whey gives you crispy crust and the ricotta being smooth and delicious. A splash of roasted garlic oil would go well too I imagine (I didn’t have any in).

All ready in the dish With the potato topping Fresh from the oven Hitting the plate