This is one of those recipes that never disappoints, what my old man used to call ‘stick to your ribs food’ – This is a dish that is so simple, but so rewarding in terms of big, robust flavours and is loosely based around the French classic, Cassoulet. What’s more it is cheap as chips to make and all I would recommend is getting the best quality sausages you can find.
I make this at least once every couple of weeks, it can be knocked up quickly and is the dish that I know the kids will wolf down, and even ask for seconds! I think it is perfect for those cold Winter evenings when you want that bit of comfort from your food – just be aware of the amount of garlic that is in this, especially if you use Toulouse sausages (you may need a glass of water on your bedside table to help with re-hydration through the night!!!)
Sausage & Bean Casserole
- 6 rashers Smoked Bacon (must be smoked – could use Pancetta instead)
- 1 large Onion finely diced
- 1 large Carrot finely diced
- 1 stick Celery finely diced
- 3 sprigs Rosemary chopped
- 1 glug Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped or crushed
- 1 single Red Chilli or pinch chilli flakes to taste
- 125 ml White Wine
- 2 400g tins Cannelini Beans
- 250 ml Chicken Stock
- 10 single Good quality Pork Sausages Toulouse would be a good choice
- Start by getting your main oven heated up to around 160C for an electric fan oven. While this is heating up add the Smoked Bacon (MUST be smoked!) to a deep pan suitable for oven cooking, I use the trusty Le Creuset!
- Cook on a medium heat until the bacon has rendered down and is starting to brown nicely, then add in the onion, celery, carrot and rosemary and a good glug of olive oil. Keep the heat medium to low and cover with a tightfitting lid stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or so. You just want the vegetables to soften in the steam and not brown, add a good twist of black pepper and salt (be careful though as the bacon may be quite salty).
- Once softened, add the garlic and chilli (or chilli flakes) and continue to stir to avoid any burning in the pan for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat up slightly and then add the Wine, (the smell here will be fantastic! A heady mixture of garlic, rosemary and wine!)
- Let the wine reduce down by at least a half before adding both tins of the beans (I don’t bother to drain them, but feel free to if you prefer). Give another stir and if needed add some chicken stock – you don’t want it to be too wet – liquid to be about 1 cm below the beans.
- Arrange the sausages on top of the beans leaving a cm or so between each one, you don’t want the sausages to be submerged. Place the pan uncovered in the oven and cook for around about 30 minutes, turning the sausages half way through. You want the sausages to be nicely browned and may need to increase the temperature of the oven towards the end to ensure this.
I was lucky enough to be bought my oval le creuset cooking pot as a gift probably about 15 years ago. It is without doubt my most well used pan, and I don’t know where I would be without it! It is perfect for long, slow cooking on the hob, or in the oven. The cast iron construction of the pan ensures even cooking of your food and avoids hot spots and burnt food sticking to the bottom of the pan. Not only that, but they look great! Check them out at Amazon, click here