Food & wine

Mark Diacono’s recipe for chilindrón stew

A rib-sticking versatile slow-cooked stew from northern Spain from gardener, cook and author Mark Diacono of Otter’s Farm and River Cottage.

Chilindrón stew

First catch your wild boar. Or find an excellent butcher. This is one of those comforting, sustaining stews that remains bright in flavour, despite the cooking time. If you can source Ñora chillies – a red, round, very mild variety that’s usually sun-dried, sometimes smoked and particularly suited to Spanish recipes – you could use them here in place of half of the sweet paprika. I like this with rice, crushed potatoes or excellent bread, and squeaky dark brassicas.


  • 2 large red (bell) peppers
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g (1lb 12oz) diced wild boar, or pork or beef
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika, or more or less to taste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 200ml (7fl oz) red wine
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 220°C /200°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

  1. Roast the peppers whole for 15–20 minutes. Add to a bowl, cover and leave for a few minutes until the skins slip off easily. Peel, deseed and cut them into strips.
  2. In a large heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil over a moderate heat, and seal the meat until coloured, in batches if needed, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat, setting it aside on a plate. Leave the oil in the pan.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 10–15 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic, paprika, chilli (if using, see intro) and cumin and cook for a few minutes, stirring a few times.
  4. Add half the red pepper strips along with the meat, the remaining ingredients and enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil and season to taste. Cover and place in the oven. After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 140°C/120°C fan/280°F/gas mark 1 and cook for 2–3 hours until completely tender.
  5. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then check and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve topped with the parsley and remaining red pepper strips.

Wine Recommendations: 

Given that this dish hails from northern Spain it comes as no surprise that Rioja is a sure-fire winner here. Think too about other regions that enjoy this kind of country cooking – southern France’s rich ripe reds from the wild-boar territories of Languedoc and Chianti spring to mind, as does eastern Europe and Hungary with its peppery kékfrankos. Whites are not going to be so easy, but you could try with an off-dry riesling, say. As a bit of a wild card, why not try an amontillado or dry oloroso sherry with this? There’s something about the rich nutty umami flavours that really marries well with game stews.

>Discover our wines selected to go with this dish 

>Mark Diacono’s recipe for Jansson’s Temptation

Mark Diacono

Guest writer

Mark Diacono

Mark spends most of his time eating, growing, writing and talking about food. He is an award-winning author of several books on cooking and gardening, including, A Year at Otter Farm and River Cottage Veg Patch.

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