Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The perfect sausage cassoulet recipe for a cold or rainy day

I don't know about you, but on a cold and rainy day I love coming home to a warm stew. After amassing various sausage stew recipes over the years, the below is one of my favourites. It's hearty. It's comforting. It's like being wrapped up in a big duvet

As sausages can be quite gristly and fatty, I always recommend spending a little bit more on premium quality sausages if you can, for more actual meat and less nasties and filler. For this recipe I used game sausages instead of traditional pork sausages for a leaner option. Combined with pulses and lots of fresh herbs, it was a marriage made in heaven. Almost like a thick soup.

Another huge bonus is that this can be quite a purse friendly recipe as lots of the items are the sorts of things you should have lying around the house already (and if not, a single carrot and a single onion aren't exactly expensive!) Also because it makes so much, it's perfect for leftovers which translates to a low cost per head. I managed to feed myself and my partner for dinner one night and then we had x4 takeaway boxes worth left afterwards which did us for an extra 2x lunches each!


You will need...

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100ml red wine (I usually use more because I'm naughty)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • A generous sprinkling of smoked paprika
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (I was liberal with these)
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 400g tin of butter beans, drained
  • 400g tin of borlotti beans, drained
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 8 rashers of bacon or 200g lardons
  • 12 Wild & Game pheasant & venison sausages


METHOD

1. Set your oven to 190°C / Fan 170°C / Gas 5 and cook the sausages in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, turning mid-way through.


2. Meanwhile fry the onion, gradually adding the bacon / lardons, carrot, and then the garlic

3. Add the red wine making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get every last scrap of flavour (the tastiest bits!)

4. Add the tinned tomatoes and also all the beans, tomato purée, paprika and remaining herbs

5. Leave to simmer for as long as you can to really seal in that flavour!

6. As soon as the sausages are fully cooked, remove from the oven and add them to the pan, continuing to simmer


7. Season to taste and add more herbs, wine etc according to your taste (I usually add extra smoked paprika and wine at this stage, but that's just me!)

8. Serve with an extra sprig of thyme to garnish if you have (stops the dish from looking too beige I find!) and a sliced French baguette (although to be perfectly frank, it is more than satisfactory without bread thanks to all the beans!)


It really couldn't be simpler. If you aren't into cooking, or don't want the hassle, this recipe could be one for you. No need to worry about frying sausages and them spitting up in your face like with other sausage stew recipes. No 8-10 hours wait time for a slow cooker. Instead boosh the sausages into the oven and leave be. Get your pot simmering and leave be. Add the cooked sausages and leave once again. Meaning more time for you. Grab that glass of wine. You deserve it.

I'd never tried making a sausage stew with game sausages before, but they were a really nice change. I did set aside x3 sausages to taste outside of the stew and they were delicious. Traditional pork sausages carry a lot of flavour,  but fortunately the pheasant & venison sausages had a good meaty flavour and held their own. Admittedly I couldn't taste venison or pheasant specifically, but on a positive note, you could actually see big pieces of game when cutting into the sausages. This in itself was refreshing as game pies and produce I've brought from other game suppliers in the past have been lacking in game and mainly padded out with pork meat - which happily wasn't the case at all with Wild & Game!

As you may have seen on social media, I've also been sampling some of their pasties, sausage rolls and pies, all of which have been really generously filled and wrapped in beautifully buttery pastry.


I was also really impressed with how well my delivery was packaged. It was delivered on one of the hottest days of the year in a huge polystyrene box surrounded in a generous amount of ice which amazingly was still frozen by the time I got home in the evening! I was suitably impressed and will definitely be ordering from Wild & Game again (please do check them out and their Facebook page here for additional cooking inspiration!)


* Wild & Game produce kindly sent for review purposes. As ever, all opinions are my own

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