Sausage and red pepper casserole…

Sausage and red pepper casserole recipe…

A very quick and simple recipe, but also very tasty.

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1 pack (6 or 8) decent pork sausages

2 long, pointed red peppers, deseeded and cut into large-postage-stamp-sized pieces

200g mini plum tomatoes, chopped

300g Meli Melo tomatoes (mixed red and yellow, plum and cherry tomatoes), ditto

Or 500g of your favourite tomatoes – mini plums and cherries are usually the tastiest, though

half a dozen large Pink Fir Apple potatoes, scrubbed, any manky bits cut out, and sliced thickly

2 medium onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly

1 teaspoon sugar

2 Kallo organic veg stock cubes

Sea salt and black pepper

A little dried thyme or sage (NB: a little sage goes a long way), or fresh thyme, if you have any

1 tablespoon of sweet paprika (optional, but worthwhile) – I have Hungarian paprika, which also adds a little heat; not as much as you’d get from chillies, but enough to add interest

Boiling water

Tomato purée (optional)

2 cans Napolina butter beans, rinsed and drained, and added t the end to just heat through.

If you have any Brussels sprouts hanging around, trim a handful of small, firm, ones, quarter them and add to the pot. The stalk will hold them together nicely, and they go well with tomatoes.

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I’m using Jimmy’s Farm Free Range Pork Sausages, but any good pork sausage will do. Some people use something cheap for sausage casserole – I think that’s a bad idea. Poor ingredients yield poor results. Be sure to use sausages with natural casings – collagen (artificial), casings don’t take kindly to being casseroled and can go  slimy.

Pointed peppers are tastier and less watery than bell peppers, but if bell peppers are all you can get, they’ll be greatly improved by grilling until charred, putting in a plastic bag, knotting the top and, when cool, removing the skins (add any juices to the pot), deseed and chop in the usual way. I’ve found that the pointed peppers don’t really repay the  effort of grilling and skinning; they’re OK as they are.

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Start by frying the sausages. You want them just lightly browned – cooked just enough so that they firm up and don’t disintegrate into the stock when you cut them up. Set aside.

Spoon a little of the oil/fat in which the sausages were fried into a pan or casserole, and soften the onions and peppers (omit the peppers if you’ve grilled and skinned them – they’re already soft; add at the same time as the sausages).

When the onions are soft, stir in the paprika, if using, and cook out for a few minutes

Cut each sausage into 4 or 5 pieces, depending on size, and add to the pot along with any juices.

Add the tomatoes and their juice (cut them up on a plate so no juice is wasted), the thyme and sugar.

Dissolve the Kallo cubes in a cup of boiling water and add to the pot, adding more water until everything is well covered, put on the lid, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

Do not season yet.

After 15 minutes, add the sliced potatoes, return to the boil and continue simmering until the potatoes are soft.

Towards the end, taste and, if not tomatoey enough for you, stir in a couple of teaspoons of purée, and allow to cook out for a few minutes. Add the beans now, too.

When cooked, allow to cool a little, then taste and add pepper to taste.

Set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight. I know I always say this, but casseroles, soups and stews always benefit from a chance for the flavours to snuggle up, get to know each other, and smooth out. The following day, taste for salt content (canned beans can add a little salt, so it’s best tasted next day), and season if needed.

Note: I haven’t made this yet, but I will be later today, exactly as described, and it’s going to be very good indeed. I’m just writing it up first while I try to gather together some spoons.

spoonie spoon

It gets just one spoonie spoon, as it’s a very easy recipe, and you can break off the prep with no problems if you need to sit down.

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