Among my crowded shelf of cookbooks I discovered an old brown copy bearing the somewhat ironic name ‘Modern Cookery’. It looked out of place among its brightly coloured neighbours, who boasted celebrity names and colour images. It turned out to be the guide of choice for all my grandmother’s meals and while some of the advice it gives is best forgotten (forty minutes for cooking leeks!) there is wisdom to be found.
Because the aim of this dish is to use up left-overs, proportions and specific ingredients are not that important. But I’ll write down the essentials and the variables.
- 250g of any rice (I like brown short grain)
- 1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes/chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, (or to taste) minced
- pinch chilli flakes or powder, (more if you want it really spicy)
- 1 tsp oregano
- glug of olive oil
- 125ml red wine or alternatively stock
- 1 bay leaf
Vegetables: I used a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, one red bell pepper, a few spring onions and a handful of spinach. Alternatively any kind of pepper, aubergine, courgettes or tomatoes would work well. Coriander optional.
Meat or beans: I used around 400g of roast beef (chopped into chunks is better than sliced here) and 100g of choritzo. You could use any left-over meat you have! For a vegetarian version use any kind of tinned beans 400g and add extra veg – but remember to add a few tsp of paprika if you are not using chorizo.
For the rice, cover with boiling water and simmer until nearly cooked, then drain and set to the side.
Saute the onions garlic and chorizo in olive oil on a medium heat with a pinch of salt, until the onions become transluscent.
Then the meat/beans and vegetables of choice and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Then add wine or stock, tin of tomatoes, oregano and chilli and simmer for 10 minutes
Finally add the rice and cook until tender.
Serve and enjoy!