Those who know me well will be aware that I suffer from a deep-rooted and near-pathological hatred of sausages. Tragically, I am part of a family who loves them, so this meal was originally made (with much reluctance and grumbling) as a result of prolonged nagging.
As it turned out, it's a good job that I was pushed. Sausages, I learned, are not Satan's choice of meat product after all but extremely easy to cook and delicious when baked in a vegetable casserole. All in all, it's been a bit of an eye-opener. Now I just need to work on the presentation...
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2-3 eating apples (I use Granny Smiths as they have a nice tang)
1 teaspoon mixed herbs or oregano (I vary this depending on what I have in the cupboard. Both work well).
1 tablespoon tomato puree
400g tin peeled tomatoes, chopped (more flavour than a tin of chopped tomatoes).
400ml vegetable stock made with 2 teaspoons of Marigold Bouillon
6-8 pork or vegetarian sausages (I allow 2 per person)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas Mk 6). Heat the olive oil to a medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan and cook the sausages until browned (approx 5-8 minutes).
2. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, carrot and sweet potato to the pan and cook over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking.
3. Add the garlic and herbs and cook for another 5 or so minutes.
4. Peel your apples, remove the cores and chop into chunks of about 1-2 cm.
5. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, apples and sausages. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring.
6. Transfer to an ovenproof pan, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check from 25 minutes onwards.
7. While the casserole is cooking, make mashed potatoes and green beans.
8. Remove the casserole from the oven, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the beans and mash. Surprisingly delicious!
One of the great things about this casserole is that any leftover sausage-free sauce can be reheated as chunky soup the next day.
And, of course, any leftover ingredients will give you the bulk of what you need for Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Soup. #allintheplanning