Sausage stew

Easy to cook, and warming and satisfying - and that's just the smell when it's slowly bubbling away. I make a big pan of this to the recipe below and it feeds me and my partner very well for 2 days - it's still good on reheating the next day, particularly if you chop the sausages into chunks before returning to the pan rather than leaving them whole. You could also try adding roughly chopped kale for the last hour of cooking.

  • Total time: 1hr 15 mins - 2hrs 15 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 sausages (Toulouse or Cumberlands are good)
    1 medium red onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    1 tin borlotti or kidney beans, drained
    1 tin cannelini beans, drained
    1 tsp brown sugar (whatever kind you have is fine, I tend to use dark muscavado as I generally have it in the cupboard)
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp dried thyme, or a handful of chopped fresh leaves
    2 tins plum tomatoes
    handful plum cherry tomatoes
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    olive oil
    a little butter

Method

  1. In a large pan, quickly fry the sausages in a little olive oil over a high heat, until browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the pan with a little butter, and sweat for around 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, cloves and thyme and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so - until the great smells start to come up strongly. Add the tomatoes and beak them up in the pan. Using plum tomatoes in this way seems to give a thicker, more flavoursome sauce than simply using a tin of ready-chopped.
  3. Return the sausages to the pan - cut them in half first if you like. Add the beans and sugar, and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and put the lid on the pan. Allow to bubble away gently for betwen 1 and 2 hours. Serve with mashed potato (try 1part sweet potato to 2 parts regular potato in the mash).