I'll admit, sausage casserole is not the most inspiring of dishes, but I promise you that you'll find yourself reaching for this recipe time and again. It's become a bit of a signature dish of mine, and is great if you're entertaining large numbers. Perfect for winter, it's warm and comforting, with a little bit of a kick. It's easy to make, but packs a punch flavour-wise, which is all you're really looking for from a casserole, right? Right?
- 6 fat sausages or 8 thinner ones
- 1 white onion
- mushrooms (optional, but if you want to use them - about 200g)
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, to taste
- 1 chilli, to taste
- can/carton of chopped tomatoes
- squeeze of tomato paste
- can of kidney beans
- salt & pepper (of course)
- glass of red wine
- 1 chicken stock cube
Before we start, let's talk about sausages. The ones I used were just standard, thick pork sausages from the butchers. However, if you can get the right flavoured sausages, it can be an absolute dream. Pork and Black Pepper, Pork with Chilli or even a Spanish-style sausage would all be delicious. The holy grail, however, is sausages with cheese inside. I picked up some sausages with mozzarella inside at the Leeds Loves Food festival last year, and popped them in this casserole. Best decision I made all year.
So, to start this baby off, you'll need to brown off the sausages for a few minutes. They don't need to be cooked through, just so the skins have a little bit of colour. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Chop up and fry the onions, until they begin to soften. Add the chopped garlic, mushrooms and chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes. Same as you would with a chilli or a ragu.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato paste. Add as much wine as you want - the more you add, the richer and deeper the flavour. I suggest around a big glassful, whatever that means to you. Transfer the sausages back into the pan and throw in the kidney beans (don't forget to drain them first!).
If everything isn't mostly covered by liquid at this point, add some chicken stock until it looks like this:
And you're basically done! All you need to do now is bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes. Stir periodically to make sure you don't burn the stuff at the bottom.
When the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency, serve up with some crusty bread. It'll keep in the fridge for a few days, and is just as delicious the next day (or the day after that). If it's a little thick when you're reheating, add an extra splash of wine or stick to loosen the sauce to your preferred consistency.