Growing up in the 60s & 70s I was surrounded by adults who had experience life in the war years and the austere aftermath.
I have fond memories of my uncle tending to the vegetable garden and the joys of harvest time when simple meals would be made to make use of the bumper crop. One such dish was green beans and onions, boiled together and served with a little salt and some Carmarthenshire butter. Frugal yet tasty. Nothing quite compares to fresh produce directly from the garden.
I have recently discovered a simple yet delicious Spanish dish which uses ingredients which can be sourced equally easily for a Spanish or Welsh kitchen. Habas con Jamón (beans with ham), is a favourite tapas dish or can be served as a side to a main course.
I was very fortunate to have as a Christmas gift a 2Kg Jamón Serrano (Serrano ham) which is integral to the recipe. Serrano ham is a dry cured meat from the Sierra or mountain regions. Iberico white pigs usually are farmed to yield the meat.
Pouring Olive oil into a deep pan sauté a small diced onion & a clove of garlic until soft. Next add 1/2 a diced red bell pepper and continue to sauté.
Chop 55g of Serrano ham and add to the pan before adding 400g of broad beans and a pinch of oregano. Continue cooking until the beans are tender and before serving add a teaspoon of flour to thicken the juices to make a subtle gravy.
Serve hot with your other favourite tapas dishes or as a side to any meat or fish main course.
As for a wine, try a white Rioja. Muy beun!