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Spicy spooky stew and ghoulish toasts

by Sarah Randell

Serves: 8

This warming stew is perfect for a Halloween party, or any chilly evening. The sweet potato makes it a meal in itself, but you could also serve it with these Ghoulish toasts.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2kg boneless pork shoulder joint, excess fat removed and meat cut into 4cm cubes
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 200ml white wine
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 390g cartons chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • 900g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 x 175g packs baby sweetcorn, sliced into 2cm long pieces
  • 16 slices of baguette
  • 500g frozen petit pois
  • ½ x 31g pack coriander, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp full-fat cream cheese


  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-based flame- and ovenproof casserole.
  4. Add the pork cubes and cook for 5 minutes until browned. You may need to do this in batches, adding another tablespoon of oil. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil and the onions to the pan. Cook for 5-8 minutes, then stir in the chillies and garlic. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until starting to soften and brown.
  6. Return the pork to the pan and sprinkle over the flour and Cajun seasoning. Cook for 1 minute, then add the white wine and let it bubble for 30 seconds. Gradually stir in the chicken stock.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  8. Remove from the oven and add the sweet potato. Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the stew from the oven and stir in the sweetcorn. Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes until the pork and vegetables are tender.
  10. Check the seasoning, then serve.
  12. Preheat a griddle pan or the grill to high. Toast the baguette slices under the grill or griddle them until toasted on each side.
  13. Put the petit pois in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes until cooked. Drain and whiz with the coriander and cream cheese in a food processor or using a stick blender to a coarse paste. Spread on the toasted baguette slices to serve.


The stew freezes well. Defrost it thoroughly, then reheat until piping hot.

The pea mixture also makes a nice dip

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