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Rioja-Style Potato and Chorizo Sausage Stew

  • SERVINGS: 4 APPETIZERS

Summer or winter, diners at Marichu enjoy this appetizer with a glass of smooth Rioja wine. A famous peasan dish, it is typical of the Rioja region of Spain, which borders Navarre as well as the Basque province of Alava.

Chorizo, a coarsely ground pork sausage flavored with chiles and other seasonings, is used widely in Spain and Mexico. Generally, the Mexican variety is made with fresh pork and the Spanish with dried or smoked pork. Look for either one at specialty food stores.

  1. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 Spanish chorizo sausages (about 3 ounces each), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  4. 5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into coarse 1-inch chunks (see Note)
  5. 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  6. Kosher salt
  1. In a large nonreactive saucepan, warm the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, paprika and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; stir well. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender when pierced and the stew has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
  2. Uncover the stew, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, to incorporate the oil on the surface into the stew. If desired, crush some of the potatoes against the side of the pan to thicken the stew. Season with kosher salt if necessary. Ladle the stew into shallow soup bowls and serve at once.
Notes Here's an old peasant trick for cutting the potatoes so the maximum amount of their starch is released into the stew: instead of cutting a potato all the way through with a knife, insert the knife tip at one end of the potato and then work it like a wedge to break off chestnut-size pieces.

Suggested Pairing

Look for a Spanish Rioja.

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