Friday, 16 November 2012

Happiness is... sausage hotpot

I always feel like a fraud if I'm blogging with no food in the house. Which is where I find myself this evening. I cobbled together our dinner from what was in the freezer and some decidedly lacklustre veggies. But that's the nice thing about cold weather dishes - it doesn't matter if your veggies are fridge-bottom leftovers, or that the rest of the ingredients have come out of the storecupboard. Sadly the same can't be said of summery salads. 

So tonight's dinner was Sausage hotpot. A dish I used to cook at uni, and the first thing I taught someone else to make. *proud* I'm not sure if this is still the same recipe I used to use, but this is how I made it tonight, and given the cold we both ate it from our laps. M even mopped up the leftover sauce with some bread.

Sausage hotpot (serves 3 hungry grownups - easily 4 or more if you served with green veggies, bread and butter)

1 tablespoon flavourless oil
1 pack of pork sausages (about 1lb) - I like Lincolnshire, but choose whichever ones you prefer 
2 cloves of garlic
3-4 carrots
1 red onion
Half a box of chestnut mushrooms
1 potato
3/4 pint beef stock (I used a cube and rinsed out the tin of tomatoes for the water)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Dash of worcestershire sauce
Tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Put the oil in a frying pan and over a medium to high heat brown the sausages
Slice the onion, carrots and mushrooms - I use the food processor, but you could easily do this by hand
Finely slice the potato - you want slices that are about half a cm thick
Brown the sausages in a frying pan - this took about 15 minutes

In a biggish casserole dish with a lid:

Layer half the potato on the bottom of a casserole dish
Add half the onion/ carrots/ mushrooms
Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree and crush in the two cloves of garlic
Season - be gentle with the salt as you're using a stock cube and worcestershire sauce
Put the browned sausages on top of the tomatoes
Fill up the tomato tin with water and add this to your stock cube, give a good stir and add a liberal splash of worcestershire sauce
Add the veggies ontop of the sausages 
Pour in the stock
Cover the top with a layer of potatoes, dot these with butter
Put the lid on and cook in the oven for about an hour, then take off the lid and cook for another 45 minutes
Serve with green veggies and some French bread and butter

  • If you want to make this go further, chop the sausages up before you put them in the casserole dish. If you want to stretch it even further, add half a cup of lentils to the casserole and up the water by half a pint

  • Also to borrow an idea from Michelle at Utterlyscrummy to bulk it out further, add either oats or lentils to the sauce - add extra liquid too though. I'd add half a cup of lentils and a cup of liquid to start with and see how that goes - I reckon that would easily make it do another 3-4 portions (more if you're feeding little ones)

  • If you like a more intense savoury flavour in casseroles, then add a drained tin of anchovies to the veggie layer at the bottom. But be careful with your salt if you do that. 

Had I had any in I would have served this with some steamed and lightly buttered kale or greens.

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