It’s Fri-YAY, and I’m in the mood to part-TAY … or at the very least, hunker down with a bowl of chilli and a fridge-cold Cornish beer. My social life is pretty predictable these days but that’s just the way I like it – although I do enjoy a boogie from time to time, mostly I’m happy to stay put. Yup, mama’s lost her mojo. In other news, I apparently share my name with a pea … how cool/weird is that? Until Hodmedod’s kindly sent me some, I’d never actually come across ‘Carlin Peas’ before (also known as Black Badgers) so didn’t really know what to expect – apparently they’re popular up North and are frequently used to make mushy peas … and heaven knows, I do love mushy peas! I didn’t quite go down side dish route myself, as I was hankering after an all-in-one recipe that I could re-heat for our self-imposed Friday night hibernation.
Obviously I wanted to put my own spin on it though so opted for a generous dollop of harissa instead of my usual chilli spice combo (cumin, paprika, cayenne etc.) and I’m pleased to say it really worked a treat. You can easily up the spice ante with a dash more chilli if you please but one birds eye (sans seeds) was sufficient for me, especially as I didn’t want the harissa overshadowed by mega-heat. I was tempted to serve this with Hodmedods quinoa (also British grown!) but went in for my favourite chilli accompaniment instead … tortilla chips. Oh, and don’t forget that guac/avocado for added creaminess that will offset the richness of the tomato sauce.
Now, as for the peas. Well, what can I say other than they were a resounding triumph! Meaty, perfectly round and quite simply made for chilli – or any stew for that matter. I like to reduce the sauce until it’s super thick and scoopable … even when simmered for a long time on the stove the peas don’t lose their shape and are incredibly substantial – you certainly won’t be hungry after a bowl of this! Is that Friday night calling? Yep, methinks it is – grab a bowl (and some Carlin peas) and let’s go.
what you’ll need
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
1 heaped tsp garlic puree or 3 garlic cloves
1 tsp red vinegar
pinch of brown sugar (optional)
1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400g carlin peas
2 heaped tsp harissa paste
1 birds eye chilli
100g fresh spinach
salt and pepper
what you’ll do
heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. finely dice the red onion and add to pan.
season and sweat until the red onion begins to soften before adding the garlic puree. cover and cook until the red onion is transparent. add the red wine vinegar and pinch of sugar (if using) and gently sweat for a few minutes further.
add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree and season generously. fill the empty with water or vegetable stock and swill out any excess juice into the pan. simmer gently for around 40minutes breaking the tomatoes up with the back of a spoon.
drain and rinse the carlin peas and add to the sauce along with the harissa paste. finely mince the chilli and add to pan. check for seasoning and simmer for a further 20minutes.
finely chop the spinach and add to the pan. simmer for an additional 10-15minutes until it has fully wilted. check for seasoning and serve.
divide the chilli between 2-3 bowls and top with sliced or mashed avocado, a smattering of hemp seeds and a side of tortilla chips.