Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Sausage casserole...

Well, as planned over the weekend I also made a sausage casserole, which was very nearly a 'Sausage casserole of death' (I do not exaggerate in the least!) Here I should take the opportunity to explain that as far as what I term 'family meals' go; so your shepherd's pie, casseroles, lasagne, roasts etc... I've been making these for my family since I was about 9, and that's a fair few years. Every now and then I tweak my tried and testeds, but largely can do (and have done) them in my sleep/ with a hangover/ whilst jetlagged/ and on a rare occaision, when drunk. I find making these sorts of things soporifically relaxing, and if I'm unwell or in need of generally soothing they are the type of thing I turn to. Alas, with the 'sausage casserole of death' (TM) this was not the case... Oh and you should probably get wine, and some supplies in as this may be lengthy...

1 Red onion (2)

1 clove garlic (3)

8 pork sausages

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 pint vegetable stock

1 tin drained haricot beans

1 tin drained cannelinni beans





I started out as always by frying off some bacon, removing that from the pan and using the fat to cook a chopped red onion and a clove of garlic. To this I added the sausages and just lightly browned them. I then added 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, some vegetable stock, mushrooms and cabbage, 1 drained tin of haricot beans and the same of cannelini beans. I then added some fresh chopped thyme, seasoned and brought the casserole to a gentle simmer.

To be honest, at this point I was a little concerned as it smelt of tomatoes, and that's it... no homely casseroley aromas filling my flat. Oh no. But I persevered, took it off the heat and walloped it in a low oven for an hour (or so)

On taking it out of the oven I was dismayed to find a distinct lack of any yummy casserole smell, and when I tasted it, it was awful, very bland verging on nasty. So, back to the old faithful standbys... a teaspoonful of marmite, lots of pepper, and randomly some paprika (what can I say, I was getting desperate)... still no improvement. It was at this point that I very nearly deleted my blog account as clearly I am an imposter and should be cooking from jars. But instead of throwing a tantrum, I just put the casserole back in the oven and decided to return to it in the morning.

So on Sunday morning, back I am in my Primark sheep pjs fishing out the sausages from the casserole, and frying them off a bit more with another red onion and some more garlic, when they were sizzling away (I'm still not entirely sure that they weren't at fault) I put the rest of the casserole back in... and we were starting to improve... sloooowly though. I had suspected that the flavours would develop overnight somewhat, and importantly there was some flavour in there and it wasn't nasty. So I decided to trawl my cupboards for things to add... in went, the remains of a jar of caramelised onions, more thyme, some winter greens and a bit more garlic.

Finally, we were getting somewhere. So off I pottered to generally get ready to face the day... leaving the casserole simmering on the hob. By lunchtime. Bingo! I had it for dinner for three nights and froze three large portions.

I have no idea what went wrong, but my money is still on the sausages...

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