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Marie Mitchell’s Sausage and Bean Stew

by Marie Mitchell

published on 5 October 2022

I’m not sure about you, but this summer being an absolute stonker led to numerous, often conflicting, thoughts. Yes, I enjoyed not having to take part in the usual dance of taking out many a layer and an umbrella wherever I went, ready for the shifting weather patterns that usually disturb a British summer’s day. But it also brought into sharp focus the realities our planet is facing. We thought 2020 was the time the world stood still but the pandemic has left a hangover of constant and intense change, not seen in my lifetime. 2022 has continued to bring surprise, shock and confusion.

The early days of autumn bring with them a hint of freshness that reinforces the changing seasons. Summer days are indulgent in the sense that things seem to move slower. Those long days, short nights and hot evenings give us time, or so I feel; the illusion of extra hours in each day, gifted to us by the sun standing watchful in the sky. The slow winding down to the shorter, albeit harsher, winter days can bring us a sense of peace and permission to hibernate and take stock as our year draws to an end.

So, while others have clung to the last days of summer, I’ve been testing out a new (second-hand) fleece to get me in the spirit of autumn. I want comfort, I want familiarity, I want layers. I’m a winter baby and I live for the majestic version of winter, the one we rarely get but I still hold out hope for. Crisp, sunny, cosy. But it’s not lost on me that to match that intense stonker of a summer, we have the possibility of a stonker of a winter on our hands. Jumpers are soon to be my armour, and my ability to try and lessen my own financial burden as we move into the season of the unknown.

We’re all trying to think of ways to be more economical (as many have already had to for years now). If putting foil behind your radiator or keeping the heating off for as long as possible aren’t the only options you want to try, thinking about the food you eat and how you cook it can help to make a small change but change nonetheless. To that end, I wanted to share one of my go-to autumn/winter recipes that can be cooked on the hob in one pot or in a slow cooker. You can also double or triple it and freeze it into portions to be eaten later for the maximum return on cooking this dish. Swap out the meat for veggie sausages or vegan protein options if you like; this is a recipe you can edit, change and make your own to bring you the comfort you need this winter.

Sausage and Bean Stew

Embrace autumn with a soothing, easy and scaleable sausage and bean stew from Marie Mitchell.

Ingredients (serves 4)

6 sausages, browned and then cut into quarters lengthwise (I favour a fruity type for this, like pork and apple)*

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 stalk of celery, halved and diced 

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm diagonals

A couple of handfuls of frozen peas

1 jar or 2 tins of butter beans (I use Bold Bean Co’s white beans, including their stock juice **)

600ml chicken stock (I use 1 cube of Kallo low salt stock so it’s family-friendly)

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp high frying oil (I use rapeseed)

Salt and pepper to taste

*You can substitute for vegetarian or vegan sausages, if you do, then add a quarter of an apple grated, when adding the celery, garlic and carrots or peas for a little extra sweetness.

**I like to use the bean stock as it thickens your sauce as well as flavours it and it also reduces waste – win-win.

Method

Heat your oil in a wide bottom pan (I used a casserole pan) and fry your sausages until browned on all sides. Set aside.

Add a dash more oil and fry your onions until softened, around 10 minutes.

Add your celery, carrots and garlic, cook for another 2-3 minutes and then pour in your stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cut your sausages in half, lengthwise, then add back to the pan along with your mustard and butter beans. Cook for 6 minutes.

Add in your peas and cook for another 2 minutes, season to taste if needed.

Serve with crusty bread and butter – what I live for – or a side of steamed greens if you’re skipping the bread.

Marie Mitchell is a chef, food writer and new regular contributor to The Happy Foodie. Her first cookbook, KIN, a collection of recipes from the Caribbean and its diaspora, will be published in 2024. Keep up to date with Marie on Instagram and don’t miss the next instalment of her column, coming in December.

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