This casserole with sausages and beans makes a wonderfully warming and filling dish. Serve with either mashed potatoes or rice or couscous with vegetables. Or have it simple with bread slices. This recipe also freezes very well. I often freeze into portion sizes which provides a quick ready-made meal during a working week.
1–2 tablespoons oil
6-7 (or about 12 small ones) good quality pork sausages
6 rashers rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm lengths
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 x 400g can chopped or crushed tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
100ml red or white wine (optional)
1 x 400g can butter beans or mixed beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Cut each sausages into three pieces and transfer them to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.
- Fry the bacon pieces in the frying pan until they begin to brown and crisp then add to the sausages.
- Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil.
- Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more until the onions turn pale golden-brown, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and cook together for a few seconds longer.
- Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs.
- Pour over the wine, or some water if you’re not using wine, and bring to a simmer.
- Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer very gently for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.