This recipe is my Dad’s, and it dates from his (crazy)
college days – apparently it was his go-to recipe when he and his chums came in
after a night out, although to be honest I think at that kind of time I’d be
more likely to go for something super easy like Pizza Sandwiches… on a normal
evening though, this is a scrumptious dinner, full of big flavours, plus it’s a
one-pot thing so there’s hardly any washing up!
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 pint of chicken stock, plus extra boiling water
A couple of handfuls of lardons
A good handful of chorizo
1 tin of mackerel fillets in tomato sauce
A couple of handfuls of mushrooms
depending on how hungry you are.
First, a quick word – I’m guessing that by this point,
some people will have been put off by the mention of mackerel… but trust me, it’s
really a very small amount, so it just makes the flavours deeper and richer. If
you really can’t stand it, though, feel free to leave it out.
Chop the onion and celery finely, and get them frying in
a drizzle of olive oil – use a big pan, because you’ll be making the whole dish
in it. I find that a wok is perfect, because you can fry things properly in it
but it’s also good and deep. While the onion and celery is softening, deseed
and chop the pepper, and cut the mushrooms into chunks. Slice up the chorizo
and add that to the pan with the lardons, and once the bacon has browned, add
the peppers and mushrooms and stir well.
Next, add the rice, and keep stirring as it turns
translucent. Once it starts to take on a golden colour, add a good sprinkling
of turmeric. This will add a lovely warm spiciness, but it’s not too hot. Just
be careful with it, because this spice will really
leave a stain if you get it on your clothes.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and a bit of chicken stock –
enough that the liquid covers all the other ingredients. Open the tin of mackerel and break up the
fillets with a fork, then scrape those into the pan.
Leave the whole mixture to bubble, but keep an eye on it
and add more stock whenever it starts to look dry. Once you run out of stock, add
boiling water, and keep going until the rice is cooked. Serve up a deliciously steamy plateful with a
glass of red wine, close your eyes, and pretend to be in Spain.