Smoky sausage, squash and carrot casserole
How to make it...
6 good quality sausages (I used Cumberland sausages)
400g kidney beans
2 red onions
1 clove of garlic
A squeeze of tomato puree
1 large celery stick
200g chantenay carrots
Half a small coquina squash, peeled and cubed
390g carton of chopped tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
Place all the ingredients except for the kale and cornflour into a large casserole dish with the lid on. You could fry the sausages off first to brown them if you wish, but I never bother.
Season and place in the centre of the preheated oven.
Cook for around an hour. Remove from the oven, stir and add the cornflour if the casserole isn't thick enough.
Leave the lid off the dish and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so or until the sausages are cooked through and the veg is soft.
Add the kale to the dish and return to the oven for a final 5 minutes.
2 rashers of smoked bacon
Half a vegetable stock cube
1tsp smoked paprika
Half a tsp of ground cumin
Half a tsp chilli flakes
A handful of curly kale
2tsp of cornflour (if the casserole needs thickening up towards the end of cooking)
I hate the tail end of winter.
Before Christmas I can cope with the cold weather, the dark nights and freezing mornings.
It sounds trite, but I think the excitement of the festive period wards off any miserable thoughts that can be attributed to the weather.
But February, when I'm writing, is a truly miserable time of year.
By now, we've had our fill of winter. Spring is approaching, the evenings are very, very slowly getting lighter. But yet the better weather still seems so far away.
The only solution? To hibernate with a decent bottle of red, a blanket and a hearty, warming casserole.
This smoky sausage one-pot is the epitome of winter comfort food.
And it's a wonderfully welcome alternative to the traditional roast dinner on a Sunday - if anything because it leaves far less dishes to wash up.
This goes perfectly with mashed potato or on its own - there's so much veg in this recipe that you can save yourself the trouble of cooking anything else.
I served mine with a chunk of soda bread (you can find my recipe here) to mop up all those leftover juices. Well, it seems a shame to waste them.
And if you've any of the casserole left over as I did, the scraps are equally delicious blended up into a thick soup for the following day's lunch.