We are a family of 5 and not only is this casserole really easy to make, it only requires 1 packet of sausages, so this makes a very economical – not to mention TASTY meal. Served with thick slices of RUSTIC WHOLEMEAL PUMPKIN SEED BREAD – for mopping up the juices!
But before we get on with the recipe, I wanted to share my thoughts about something: I Love Autumn (or Fall as it’s called in the States). Don’t get me wrong I love Summer, infact, I confess, I love all the seasons. Much as the glorious, unending sunshine places like California portray, I simply love the change in seasons we enjoy in England. Indeed throughout the entire United Kingdom.
There is something about, at first, the almost subtle change in weather, usually towards the end of August/beginning of September where I live. The deep, deep green of the leaves on the trees, the rustle as the wind blows through the drying out leaves. Followed by the gorgeous change, through deepest red to fiery orange and a last nod to the daily lowering of the sun in the sky, as the leaves turn yellow. The confetti like fluttering of the leaves on a blowy day. The ravages of an adorned tree, ripped overnight of its leafy covering, by a violent storm.
I love sunshine, even on a clear, frosty, winters day. There is something to be said though for darker, rain & wind filled days, snuggled up on the sofa, the smell of a spicy casserole, gently bubbling away in the oven. AND puddings!!! They are more wanted, some may say needed during the colder months.
Although I love sunshine (& believe me if during the deepest, darkest months, I was to win a holiday somewhere warm with blue seas I WOULD NOT turn it down!!!!!), I fear that I would miss the change in seasons if I lived somewhere where summer was never ending.
Now to the recipe: it is truly my creation, although some who have tasted it say it resembles a Cassoulet! All I know is, it’s quick to put together, tastes yummy & makes the meat (good sausages) go a long way. Oh & there’s only 1 pot to wash up! Winner all round.
This recipe serves 5, however just add an extra tin of beans & it will easily stretch to six people.
You will need a large ( 4 litre) ovenproof casserole dish, or bigger if making for more than 6 people.
Preheat the oven to 175C.
1 large onion – chopped into small dice
1 Aubergine – chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 packet good quality sausages (usually 1lb or 450g) each sausage chopped into 4 pieces.
2 tins (2 x 400g) of chopped tomatoes
1 tin (400g) baked beans
2 tins (2 x 400g) butter beans – strained & rinsed with cold water
4 individual bulbs of garlic – minced
1 chilli (or 1tsp chilli flakes) finely chopped
1/2 bottle of red wine ( or 100ml Port – any type except Tawny)
2 tbs tomato puree
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to season.
Place the onion, aubergine & sausages in the casserole dish & pour over the red wine or Port.
Add both tins of tomatoes, then half fill each tin with cold water, swirl around so that you get all of the tomato juices left inside the tin & pour into the casserole dish. Add the baked beans & swirl with water as before, pouring into the dish, then add the rinsed butter beans.
Add the minced garlic, chilli, 1tsp of sea salt (1/2tsp if using free flowing salt) & a good grinding of black pepper.
Mix the tomato purée with half a tin of water & pour over the casserole ingredients. Now mix all the ingredients together, I use 2 wooden spoons.
If needed add more cold water until all the ingredients are just covered with liquid. Making sure there is still a good inch between the liquid & the top of the casserole dish. If there isn’t, don’t worry, either pour the entire content into a larger dish, or split the ingredients between 2 casserole dishes (the final casserole shrinks – so can be combined at the end, if you wish to serve this at the table!).
Place the lid (or cover tightly with tin foil) onto the dish & place into the oven.
Leave at 175C for 1/2 hour then reduce the heat to 150C. Leave for 3 hours. Check & top up with recently boiled water so that the ingredients are just covered with liquid again. You can also check the seasoning & add more salt/pepper to taste.
Clamp on lid (or foil) & return to the oven for 2 more hours. You can repeat the liquid adding throughout the day, the longer this casserole cooks the better it tastes!
However it will be ready after 5 1/2 hours. I serve this in bowls with a large loaf of bread cut into thick slices, with butter on the table for those who prefer their bread buttered.
And enjoy!! Sit around eating, chatting, sharing & enjoying the food & company. Remembering to dunk the thick slices of bread into the juices.
I really would advise using good (not cheap, pale sausages – as they will not hold their shape during the long cooking process & you will end up with a very oily casserole) sausages – I use GRAIG FARM ORGANIC sausages. I have used pork, turkey & chicken sausages &they all work beautifully in this casserole.
REMEMBER YOU ARE ONLY USING 1 PACKET OF SAUSAGES TO FEED UP TO 6 PEOPLE!
You can easily make a vegetarian dish by omitting the sausages and adding an extra aubergine!
I have successfully feed 14 people by doubling the ingredients (& using a whole bottle of red wine). I haven’t found anyone yet who has disliked this dish!
It also has the added bonus of being very low fat & high in fibre & I prefer wholemeal bread for the dunking, it stands up to the robust flavour of the casserole.
If you are cooking for a smaller number of people it is worth knowing that this dish freezes fantastically well.
My favourite memories of eating this dish are from a holiday in Devon where I was cooking for our hosts, more people were added to the guest list throughout the day & we all sat round a huge farmhouse kitchen table, elbow to elbow, relaxing in each other’s company whilst bread was passed around.
GOOD TIMES WITH GOOD FRIENDS = A RECIPE FOR GOOD MEMORIES.
See feasting really is fun!!!!!
Until next time have fun feasting.Share This