I have been keeping Archie out of the kitchen while his broken arm healed (not least because he has to keep his plaster cast clean and dry!) but, with the pain diminishing and his movement improving dramatically, this week felt like a perfect time to hang out together in the kitchen again. I had missed and I know he had too. We ended up in the kitchen for well over an hour – making this delicious sausage and bean casserole, making one of his soup concoctions, and playing one of those repetition games that only a toddler can enjoy – involving an empty peppercorn pot and several pots of herbs and spices!
I literally cooked this casserole out of my freezer and store cupboard. If I was to cook it again, no doubt the ingredients would be different again! But the principles would remain the same – and it means you can also use whatever you have to hand.
As for the dish, it was one of the tastiest things we have made on the blog in a long time. The casserole is thick, hearty and warming. So quick to put together, this really is midweek comfort food at its loveliest. And it goes without saying that this casserole – and my lovely sticky toffee apples – make for the perfect bonfire night meal this week…
**NOTE** This dish is one of those which is even more flavoursome if made well in advance, even the day before.
Preparation time 10 minutes
Total cooking time – 2 1/2 hours
8 large sausages (that said, I had a mix of traditional and some small chipolatas and this mix worked well)
1 large onion, coarsely sliced
1 x 400g tin cannelli beans, drained (or similar type of beans)
1 red pepper, thickly sliced (I only had an orange pepper but it was still tasty)
1 carrot, peeled and thickly chopped
2-3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 beef stock cube
1 large tbsp soft dark brown sugar
A good dash of Worcester Sauce
Generous shakes of dried thyme and paprika
Approximately 300ml water
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 230C/ 450F/ Gas Mark 8