So, why have I called this post “Naturally gluten-free…”?

Think of it as a caveat. Because, basically, this recipe wouldn’t contain gluten anyway. I haven’t tried to do anything ‘clever’ with the trifecta of gluten-free baking: rice flour, potato starch and xanthan gum.

So I suppose what I’m doing is setting out my stall straightaway. A pre-emptive strike, if you will. I, for one, have a tendency to get hung-up on the food that I can’t eat and forget about the food I can (especially when I’m in the mood to blog), so I’m always thinking about how next to tweak my bread recipe (STILL not happy with it!) and how I can put a new twist on a muffin. I never really hankered after cakes and biscuits when I could eat them. Now, I do. A classic case of “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” (cue Joni Mitchell).

But really, there are only four things I can’t eat: wheat, barley, rye and oats. Everything else I can…that’s a LOT of food if you think about it. And on a day-to-day basis, the truth is that I’m not constantly trying to whip up a batch of ersatz croissants. Much of my diet is made up of naturally gluten-free food.

Such as this chorizo and butterbean stew. I know that there was a debate some time ago about whether gluten-free cookbooks (and I suppose, by extension, gluten-free blogs) should contain naturally gluten-free recipes because, presumably, if you call something gluten-free then there’s the implication that it originally would have had gluten in it and you’ve done something frightfully clever to create it without.

But this blog is about what I love to cook and what I love to eat. So, here’s my NATURALLY gluten-free recipe. And I make no apologies for it…

Naturally gluten-free chorizo and butterbean stew

This is a really simple dish to make. The preparation is straightforward and then it just takes care of itself in the oven. I always add a half spoon of sugar when I’m cooking with tomatoes otherwise I find them too acidic. Don’t be tempted to put in more than a small sprig of rosemary. I find a little goes a long way.

Serves 2

150g chorizo, cut into 5mm slices
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 red pepper (capsicum), deseeded and cut into 1cm strips
1 x 410g tin of butterbeans (235g drained weight), drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
1 small sprig rosemary

You will also need a flameproof casserole with a lid

Preheat the oven to 160°C (mine is fan-assisted, so adjust accordingly).

Place the chorizo slices in a flameproof casserole and place over a medium heat. Dry fry the chorizo for about 5 minutes, until it is darkened and slightly crisp, and the bottom of the pan is covered in orange oil. Remove the chorizo from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and pepper and fry, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. The vegetables should be glistening and have started to soften.  

Return the chorizo to the pan along with the butterbeans and the tomatoes. Fill the empty tomato can with cold water and add to the casserole. Finally sprinkle over the sugar and add the rosemary sprig. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Serve with a crisp green salad and a slice of gluten-free focaccia.