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Jambalaya

We made this from Cerys Matthews’ book, Where the Wild Cooks Go. The book is just as good for the playlists as it is for the recipes. It was sunny today and we spent all day outside and lit a fire in the evening, with music from the American South.

Wine Suggestion: we think Syrah/Shiraz is the grape to look out for to match this dish … just make sure it isn’t too jammy and alcoholic or it’ll feel clumsy with the food. As we’re dipping into our cellar a bit more at the moment we pulled out a 10 year old Pierre Gaillard Cornas (100% Syrah) that was still a baby and a little tight and unruly when first tasted. It then opened up in the glass and gave leathery damson flavours with hints of tobacco leaf and brambles. The fruit was juicy and didn’t fight the spices in the food, and was the right weight to not overwhelm them either.

Jambalaya – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 6 smoked sausages/hot dogs, sliced – we used a big kielbasa sausage from the Polski section of the local spar shop and chopped it up
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • a small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 large fresh tomatoes or 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
  • ½tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g brown basmati rice
  • 1 litre vegetable stock

Heat a large deep frying pan or sauté pan over a medium heat, then fry the sausage until browned.

Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon, then add the onion, celery and green pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes.

Add the spices and bay leaves along with plenty of seasoning and stir well. Tip the sausages back in and stir in the rice.

Pour 750ml of the stock in and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes and try not to stir. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 20 minutes. Taste the rice to check if its cooked, you may need to cook for longer. If it starts to look a bit dry just add some more stock.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve with hot sauce on the side if you like.

(Original recipe from Where the Wild Cooks Go by Cerys Matthews, Penguin Books, 2019.)

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