Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole...Spring is here!!

Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole...it is officially Spring...the Sun has started showing up at least once a weekBlossom trees and Magnolias are everywhere (seen my Instagram?)the days are warming upbut the nights are still chilly enough around my neck of the woods and perfect for this no fuss hearty mealactually, to be honest except for probably thirty days in a year Casseroles always seem like a good idea here! J
 



Easy Sausage Casserole mmskitchenbites





Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole


Ingredients:

  • Good Quality Pork Sausages, any kind you like, 6-8
  • Rindless Streaky Bacon, 4-6 rashers
  • Onion, finely sliced, 1 large
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 2-3 cloves
  • Potato, peeled and quartered, 1 large
  • Carrots, peeled and each carrot cut into 4-5 even pieces, 2
  • Chopped Tomatoes, 1 X 400 gm can
  • Chicken Stock, 400 ml
  • Butter beans, 1 X 400 gm can (*refer to notes)
  • Kidney beans in Chilli Sauce, 1 x 400 gm can (*refer to notes)
  • Fresh Rosemary or Fresh Thyme, 2-3 sprigs
  • Smoked Paprika, 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder or Chilli Flakes, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Bayleaves, 1-2
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Brown Sugar, 1 tsp (you can skip if you want but it helps to cut down on acidity from the tomatoes)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp



Instructions:


Prick the sausages all over with a fork so that they don’t split open as they cook.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole and fry the sausages for about 10 minutes, turning often, until nicely browned all over. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.

Add the chopped bacon pieces to the casserole and fry till they begin to brown and crisp. Remove and add to the sausages.

Add the chopped onion to the casserole (there should be enough oil in the casserole from the sausages and bacon) and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onions soften.

Add the garlic and fresh rosemary/thyme sprigs and cook for a couple of more minutes until the onions start turning golden brown at the edges.

Add the smoked paprika, chilli powder, chopped potatoes and carrots and stir everything well so that the vegetables are well coated with the oil.

Stir in the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and the bay leaves and bring to a simmer.

Return the sausages and bacon to the casserole.

Cover the casserole and continue to cook on low heat on the stove till the potatoes are cooked through or move to a preheated 180C oven for around 40 minutes or so till the potatoes are cooked through. ( I find the oven easier – I don’t need to check or stir)

Drain the butter beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water.

Stir the drained butter beans and kidney beans in chilli sauce into the casserole, and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes or so until the sauce thickens and beans are warmed through.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice or crusty bread or just some greens.


Notes:


  • Use any beans of your choice.

  • If using regular canned beans instead of canned beans in Chilli Sauce you would need to additionally add 1 tbsp tomato puree, ½ tsp cumin powder, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp mixed dried herbs, 100 ml water or stock per can to the casserole (add all this along with canned tomatoes, stock etc)

  • Depending on what you are in the mood for and availability, feel free to play around with any permutations and combinations:

  1. Skip the bacon.
  2. Skip potatoes and carrots and instead serve with mash and greens.
  3. Add chunks of coloured peppers after frying the onions.
  4. Add thinly sliced wedges of fennel bulb.
  5. Sub potatoes with sweet potatoes.
  6. Use only 1 can of beans or completely skip the beans.
  7. Stir in chopped fresh spinach or frozen spinach along with the beans.
  8. Add about 100 ml wine (red or white) after frying the veggies and reduce the stock amount to 300 ml.
  9. Skip Worcestershire Sauce and add a tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar.
  10. Top with herb spiked fresh breadcrumbs and grill for a couple of minutes till breadcrumbs are golden crisp before serving.

Easy Sausage and Veggies Casserole mmskitchenbites