Hunting around for ideas for tea the other night revealed that I had some Spanish style sausage meat left over from the meatballs I made earlier in the week, celery, carrots and some potatoes busily spurting in the bag. Those potatoes really need using up! So I decided to make a layered bake.
You could replace the Spanish style sausage with any other meat that takes your fancy or you could just leave it out and maybe add a few peppers into the mix for a veggie treat.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
250g sausage meat
3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme
600ml stock ( I used vegetable)
salt and pepper
Butter a shallow baking dish well. Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of potatoes. Layer the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the thyme. Break the sausage meat into chunks and place on top. Season again lightly. Add the final layer of potatoes. Pour over the stock and then season again lightly. Place small chunks of butter on top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 for about 1 hour, until all is tender. Take off the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes until the top is brown and crispy.
Winter is a fabulous time for comfort foods, but not so fabulous for taking a picture of that food, so apologies for the poor quality of this photo and all photos from now until next summer.
Anyway, my local butcher has a wonderful selection of sausages and they are hard to beat taste wise. He does a spanish style sausage which has a lovely red hue and is imbued with paprika. To do this sausage justice I like to add it to a hot-pot flavoured with paprika and tomatoes. This time I served it with plain boiled rice, but noodles, mash potato or cabbage would also be lovely as accompaniments.
6 spanish style sausages
1 onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 red chilli, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 tsp root ginger, chopped finely
5 ready to eat dried apricots, quartered
1 tsp paprika
1 400g tin of butter beans in water, undrained
1 400g tin of plum tomatoes
Pour a tablespoon of oil into a large casserole dish and add the sausages and fry over a medium heat until the sausages are browned all over. I do this on the bottom of the roasting oven of the Aga. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, then add the pepper, chilli, garlic and ginger and cook again for a few minutes more until everything is gently softened. Add the paprika and cook for a minute. Then pour in the beans and the water they are in and give everything a good stir. Add the tomatoes and the apricots and season with pepper.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour until the sauce has reduced a little. Check for seasoning and serve with something that will mop up the juices.