Sausage casserole makes a wonderfully warming and filling dish, and it freezes brilliantly.
1–2 tbsp sunflower oil
12 good-quality pork sausages
6 rashers rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½–1 tsp hot chilli powder or smoked paprika
400g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
3–4 fresh thyme sprigs
100ml/3½fl oz red or white wine (optional)
400g tin butter beans or mixed beans, drained and rinsed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
rice or rustic bread slices, to serve
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.
Fry the bacon in the frying pan until starting to brown and crisp and then add to the dish with the sausages.
Add the onions to the frying pan and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil. Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes until the onions turn pale golden brown, stirring frequently. Sprinkle over the chilli powder and cook together for a few seconds longer. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs. Pour in the wine, or some water if you’re not using wine, and bring to a simmer.
Tip the tomato mixture carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer very gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with rice or slices of rustic bread.
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Source: BBC FOODS