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Super sausage casserole

publication date: Nov 3, 2009
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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Apparently it's British Sausage Week this week so what better way to celebrate in this bitingly cold winter weather than a good old-fashioned sausage casserole? I'd use a standard butchers' sausage for this, not flavoured ones. And fat ones, not chipolatas.

Serves 4-6
Time: About 1 1/2 hours
Cost: depends on whether you can find a 2 for 1 offer - there often are - but about six quid I would say

225g smoked back bacon
3 tbsp sunflower oil or other cooking oil
8 plump sausages (about 1 1/2 x 400g packs - you could cook the others and use them for sandwiches!)
4 medium sized onions (about 450g), peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml beef stock made with 1/2 an organic beef stock cube or 1 level tsp Bovril or Marmite
1 tsp dried oregano, marjoram or Herbes de Provence
2 bay leaves (if you have some)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven (if you've got one, obviously) to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. (If not you can cook this over a very low heat on the hob). Cut the bacon rashers into 4 or 5 pieces. Heat a large frying pan, add 1 tbsp of the oil and fry the bacon lightly for about 2 minutes until the fat begins to run. (If you get a lot of liquid in the pan, discard it and add some more oil) Transfer the bacon to a casserole. Fry the sausages lightly on all sides (see above) then set aside on a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan and tip in the sliced onions, stir and fry over a moderate to low heat until soft but not coloured (about 10 minutes). Add the crushed garlic, if using, then stir in the flour. Add the tinned tomatoes, the stock, oregano, bayleaves if using and the Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes while you cut the part-cooked sausages into 2 or 3 pieces. Add the sausages to the casserole, pour over the sauce, stir, then bake for an hour to an hour and a half. (The casserole will be ready after an hour but the sauce will get more intense if you give it a bit longer.) Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mash or baked potatoes. Buttered cabbage is nice too.


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