This key to stew recipe is cooking the vegetables in the oven so that they steam gently while absorbing the delicate flavours. The jalapeño salsa gives a nice kick but if you are short of ingredients and/or time then you could use a tablespoon or two of chilli oil.
This recipe is based on one by Simon Hopkinson in his excellent (and at a tenner, frankly bargain) book ‘The Vegetarian Option’.
The jalapeño salsa quantities below are more than you will need for the stew however it keeps in the fridge for a week, or you can freeze it down in an ice cube tray and add a block to any recipe that needs livening up!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
700g Desiree potatoes, chopped into large chunks
5 – 6 red peppers (approx 700g in weight), deseeded and cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
6 strips of lemon rind
500ml veg stock
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
150g soft goats cheese (optional but recommended!)
For the jalapeno salsa:
50g whole almonds
150g green jalapeño chillis, stalks removed (don’t remove the seeds though!)
1 small red onion
1 tsp salt
75 – 100ml olive oil
pinch of sugar
2) For the stew, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a large oven proof pan gently fry the onion until soft, then add the potatoes, peppers and garlic. Cook for another minute or so, then add the bay leaves, stock and lemon.
3) Place a circular piece of baking parchment the size of the pan lid over the veg, put on the lid and put the whole pan in the oven for 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
4) Stir in 2 tbsp of the salsa (or more if you like it extra spicy!) and serve in bowls with the goats cheese crumbled on top and some fresh chunky bread for mopping up the juices.