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    Sausage, Kale and Flageolets

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    Sausage, Kale and Flageolets

    If ever there were such a thing as peasant sophistication, this is it. The simplest of dishes comes together in the easiest of ways to make a bowlful that spans the Channel: we are experts on comfort food, while the French bring finesse with the flageolet bean, that beautiful, demure green pulse. For the sausage, you can play home (Cumberland) or away (Toulouse) – just make sure it’s got plenty of flavour.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 65 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes 60 minutes 25 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 200g dried flageolets beans (or 2 X 400g tins cooked beans, drained)
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 450g sausages, cut into 2.5cm pieces
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1½ tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
    • 800 ml chicken stock
    • 75 ml double cream
    • 300g Kale, woody stalks removed and chopped into 5 cm pieces
    • 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


    1. If using dried flageolets, soak them in cold water for 24 hours. Drain them, cover with fresh water and cook until tender but still holding their shape. This will take 1–2 hours, depending on the age of the beans.
    2. Heat the oil in a deep, thick-bottomed stew pot, and fry the sausage until golden brown. Add the garlic and rosemary, then turn down the heat and stir in the onion. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 15 minutes, giving the occasional stir, until the onion is soft and light brown.
    3. Pour in the chicken stock, the drained beans and season. Bring to a relaxed simmer and cook for around 20 minutes, giving it a skim as you feel necessary. Stir in the cream and kale and mix well, then simmer for 10 minutes, covered, and 10 minutes uncovered. Adjust the seasoning and finish with the chopped parsley.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This light, elegant, fresh flavoured yet typically savoury wine is just the job. Waitrose Cotes du Rhone-Villages Gabriel Meffre 2007 Rhone, France.


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    5 stars