Although we are having some lovely spring like daytime temperatures, it is still a bit nippy in the mornings and evening, so I thought I’d continue with some heart-warming ‘comfort food’ before embarking on my spring menus, so yesterday I made a very robust and very British sausage casserole (for a more ‘Frenchy’ version of this – see my ‘Whimps cassoulet’) Followed by a very French classic dessert a ‘Tarte Tatin’ (coming up very soon)
Like Halloumi cheese, which I used in my ‘Grilled Halloumi and bacon, walnut and caper salad with balsamic dressing’, I could not find good old English bangers in Paris.
There was a confusing (for ‘une petite Anglaise’ like me) array of dried ‘saucisson’ and lots of ‘boudon noir’ and rich’ Toulousian’ sausage (traditionally used in cassoulet) but I yearned for a nice fat piece of spicy Cumberland…………..
Then Marks and Spencer came to my rescue, and although they do not sell the best of British sausages, they were ‘familiar’!
I like to spice this dish up with a hint of chilli and the addition of red kidney beans and my French son-in-law Ludo loves it…………
Again this dish is best made in a ‘Le Creuset’ or similar heavy cast iron casserole, so that it can simmer gently over a good few hours, sealing in all the delicious flavours……….
Ingredients Serves 4
8 good quality sausages
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper diced
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic very finely chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes (plus 1 can of water)
1 can of red kidney beans (drained and well rinsed)
6-8 small red skinned potatoes (or any other ‘waxy’ potatoes) cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
Fresh ground black pepper, sea salt and chilli flakes to taste
A good glug of olive oil
Remove the skin from each sausage and cut into 6 bite size pieces
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole (preferable ‘Le Creuset’ or similar) and sauté the sausages until brown on all sides
Add the red and green pepper then the onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes, taking care not to brown
Stir in the tomato puree and chilli flakes
Add the tomatoes and the water and the kidney beans and potatoes
Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer very gently for around 2 hours until the potatoes are soft and all the flavours have amalgamated – to give a more French twist – add a good glug of red wine at the same time as the tomato puree………
This dish tastes even better the next day, and also freezes well if just making for two…..
Please note that portion sizes will be smaller than average ones in the UK, but this is meant to be eaten, as all other ‘main meals’, with an entrée, cheese and dessert – a la francais
(and possibly an apero!)