December 01, 2013

Sausage and Butterbean Casserole

It's absolutely FREEZING outside, which means I want to eat food, and a lot of it,  that warms and comforts me, (duh Holly, everybody does!)

I also want to eat all my meals from a bowl and with a spoon. Eating with a spoon makes me happy...I want to be seated infront of a steaming bowl of food with just a spoon, no need for a knife and fork-too cumbersome when you're cold and hungry!

Maybe it's got something to do with childhood, I don't know. I feel that eating with a spoon makes a meal 80% better. That's why cereal is the best. Fact. 

Can we talk about the casserole already? Yes, yes we can. 

I LOVE food like this. Simple, honest ingredients that all go into one dish to cook together. This is the food that tastes the best and the food that people and families love to eat. 

Before cooking you have these wonderful raw ingredients: vegetables, sausages, stock, fresh herbs, tinned tomatoes, beans and stock. Once cooked you have a beautiful, flavourful dish that is packed with flavour, warming and nutritious. Together the ingredients make sense. 

Leaving the vegetables chunky gives the dish attitude and body and you get lovely texture from them, along with the beans. The tinned tomatoes and stock make a soupy broth that the sausages cook in making them incredible juicy. Some of the vegetables break down and the potatoes release starch that in turn thickens the broth in places. 

Food like this just makes sense to me. 

One of the greatest things about it? It is cooked in one cooking vessel which means minimum cleaning up. It is also unbelievable, if not better, the next day. 

Have a little fun with this's one recipe that can be changed again and again. Change the sausages to chorizo sausages or use vegetarian ones for the non meat eaters. Add a little red wine or change the herbs and the vegetables. Don't like beans? Don't add them. Love beans? Add another tin and maybe a different variety.  

A lot of deliciousness can go on in one pot if you let it! 



It always makes me so happy turning everyday ingredients into something delicious! I love peasant food...getting a lot from a little. 

Very everyday ingredients: tinned tomatoes, red onions, carrots, butternut squash, potatoes, sausages, fresh herbs and butterbeans. 

Let's begin...

Heat an oven proof dish over a medium heat and brown the sausages all over. 

Once browned, remove from the heat and toss in the prepared vegetables. 

Next, add the tinned tomatoes, the stock and the fresh herbs and bring to the boil. 

Stir in the baby potatoes before...

...arranging the sausages on top in an even layer. 

Place a lid on top on and cook in an oven for 45 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and remove the lid. Add the butterbeans and place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. 

Recipe, Serves 6-8

8 Large Pork Sausage, flavoured or unflavoured
2 Red Onions
2 Large Carrots
1 Small-Medium Butternut Squash
10-15 Baby Potatoes
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes
400ml Chicken Stock
1 x 400g Tin Butterbeans
Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Prepare the vegetables: roughly chop the red onion, carrots and butternut squash into medium chunks and halve the baby potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Heat a large oven proof dish over a medium-high heat.
Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the sausages all over, about 2-3 minutes.
Once browned, remove the sausages and set aside.
Add a little more olive oil to the dish and toss in the red onion, butternut squash and carrot with a very generous pinch of salt and pepper. 
Stir the vegetables around for 4 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes, fresh herbs and stock.
Bring to the boil and stir in the baby potatoes.
Arrange the sausages on top of the vegetables in a single layer and cover with a lid or tinfoil.
Carefully transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes. 
After 45 minutes, remove from the oven and remove the lid.
Test the vegetables-they should be cooked and taste for salt and pepper.
Add the butterbeans to the dish and stir.
Place the dish back in the oven, without the lid for another 10-15 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Spoon into bowls and serve with LOTS of soft, crusty bread!

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