Recipe: Spanish-Inspired Stew with Ham, Chorizo, and Shrimp

2017-03-28 19.41.19

Not sure what to do with all that leftover ham/ham bone from a holiday feast? Well, let me tell you a story.

A couple months ago my fiancee went over to our friends’ house for our regular bi-monthly dinner with them. Aaron and Sarah are close buddies of mine from college (both are in our wedding party) – but more importantly, they’re damn fine cooks. Aaron had mentioned his wife was going to be throwing together some sort of stew with a “bunch of ingredients she felt like having.” Sure, sounds good!


That did not prepare for how epic this stew was.

A savory and spicy medley of smokey chorizo, salty ham, sweet shrimp – all swimming in a heavenly broth that may be the epitome of my favorite taste of all: umami. Yes, this stew is what umami dreams are made of.

I am grateful that Aaron and Sarah chose to go to Spain for their honeymoon, which inspired this dish, and even more thankful that Sarah was willing to let me share this recipe with the world! (With some slight tweaks.)

One small note: when I made this myself, I just decided to turn my leftover honey mustard-glazed picnic ham + bone into broth first to use as the base, but it’s definitely not necessary. It will be delicious either way!


  • Ham pieces (can scavenged from a spiral or picnic ham)
  • 8 oz+ Spanish chorizo (or Portuguese linguiça if available)
  • 1 LB shrimp
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4-8 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 poblano peppers
  • 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1-2 cups chopped or baby carrots
  • 2-3 cups chicken or ham bone broth
  • 1 bottle of hoppy beer
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers + 1-3 TB adobo sauce from can (or 1-3 TB hot sauce)
  • A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package spinach
  • 1-2 TB olive oil
  • Salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika to taste

Feel free to include your favorite soup vegetables or legumes, such as celery, parsnips, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc. I didn’t when I made this but I’m sure it would be tasty with these additions.


Chop ham, chorizo, and veggies up into soup-sized pieces. Peel the shrimp.

In a big soup pot, cook the onions for a few minutes in the olive oil over medium heat, until they soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two, then add the other vegetables and seasoning. Continue cooking until the vegetables soften a bit, then add the broth, beer, chiles, chipotle peppers, adobe sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer. Add the chorizo. Continue cooking until everything has softened – about 15-30 minutes, depending on your level of preferred thickness. Near the end, add the ham, shrimp, and spinach, and keep cooking until the shrimp are pink and firm. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with a crusty bread!

(This is what it looked like from inside my pot. Mmmm.)

2017-03-26 19.51.34

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