So much more than a simple bean stew, this dish is heart-warming and full of flavour.
100 grams black beans
100 grams dried white beans (eg cannellini, but use whichever are available)
6 litres water
5 cloves garlic
2 ripe tomatoes
100 grams pancetta
salt and pepper
oil for cooking
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 fresh Spanish chorizo sausages
1 morcilla (black pudding)
1 kilogram skin-on chicken pieces (boneless or bone-in; breast, thighs or a combination)
fresh herbs (any herbs will do; it’s just to give a delicious aroma)
Equipment: Firewood (mānuka is best); a grill; 2 terracotta pots.
Light your fire and burn it down to the embers. Soak the beans in 2 litres water for about 30 minutes (this gets the gases out of the beans); drain.
Chop the onion, garlic, tomato and pancetta.
Using the grill and one of the pots, cook your beans over the fire with 2 litres of water and salt, for about half an hour.
Heat up the second terracotta pot with a splash of oil. Once it’s hot enough to start cooking you will hear it sizzle.
Add the onion, garlic, pancetta and paprika and cook until soft. Add the whole chorizo, morcilla and chicken, and cook until the skin turns golden. Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat, then add the last 2 litres of water. After half an hour of cooking the beans, when they are firm but not hard, discard the water and add the beans to your cooking pot. Add more water if needed.
Now it’s a matter of letting all those flavours get together over a slow fire (about 30 minutes). Before removing from the heat, add all the herbs you want for extra aroma.
Set the pot aside and let it cool a little. You'll just have time to check the bait – you might have got a fish on the line while you were busy cooking!
A nice loaf of freshly made bread and a glass of red wine (if you are of appropriate age) match perfectly.
Read the interview with Nico Mendez here.