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Hearty Sausage Casserole

by Chris Collins from Comfy

A wholesome comfort classic, this warming one-pot casserole is ideal for cold winter evenings.

From the book

Chris Collins, Don’t Go Bacon My Heart

Ingredients

12 (approx. 800g - see notes) pork sausages
4 slices (approx. 100-120g total) back bacon (smoked or unsmoked), chopped
3 (approx. 200g-250g) carrots, finely chopped
1 large white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
120ml dry red wine
750ml beef stock
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 small (or 1 large) bay leaves
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
400g baby potatoes, halved
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
olive oil, as needed
salt and black pepper, to taste
buttered bread, to serve (optional)

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Method

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large, deep casserole dish over a medium-high heat. add the sausages and fry until deep golden and lightly charred, then remove and set aside. Don’t worry about cooking them right through at this point, just focus on browning the outside.

Add the bacon to the leftover oil and fry until it begins to brown. add the carrots and onion and fry for a further 3–4 minutes until the onion has softened. add the garlic and fry for another minute. stir in the tomato purée and fry for 1–2 minutes, then pour in the red wine. simmer for 2 minutes until it reduces slightly.

Pour in the stock, then add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce and sausages. Give it all a good stir, scraping off any flavour from the bottom of the pan, then bring to a gentle simmer. once simmering, turn the heat down to low, pop on the lid and leave to gently bubble away for 1 hour 30 minutes. remove the lid, give it a stir, then simmer for a further 20–30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Pluck out the rosemary and thyme sprigs and the bay leaves (or just remove them when serving). Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. this is perfect served with some hunks of buttered bread.

Sausages try to grab some thick sausages, just so they don’t break apart as they simmer. I recommend something with a neutral flavour (i.e. not loaded with different spice/flavour combos).

Carrots I typically don’t peel carrots for a casserole, but if they’re looking a little rough you can certainly give them a scrub. Just slice off the firm stubby end.

Red wine this gives a gorgeous depth of flavour to the casserole. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just so long as it’s dry. If you can’t use alcohol just sub with more stock.

Simmering the long simmering time is crucial, as it deepens the flavours and marries them all together. It also leaves you with super-soft sausages. It’ll still look a little watery after the initial 1 hour 30 minutes, but once the lid is off, it’ll soon start to reduce and thicken.

Storage allow leftovers to completely cool, then tightly cover and store in the fridge for 2–3 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot. You can also freeze for up to a month, then thaw in the fridge and reheat.

Sausages try to grab some thick sausages, just so they don’t break apart as they simmer. I recommend something with a neutral flavour (i.e. not loaded with different spice/flavour combos).

Carrots I typically don’t peel carrots for a casserole, but if they’re looking a little rough you can certainly give them a scrub. Just slice off the firm stubby end.

Red wine this gives a gorgeous depth of flavour to the casserole. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just so long as it’s dry. If you can’t use alcohol just sub with more stock.

Simmering the long simmering time is crucial, as it deepens the flavours and marries them all together. It also leaves you with super-soft sausages. It’ll still look a little watery after the initial 1 hour 30 minutes, but once the lid is off, it’ll soon start to reduce and thicken.

Storage allow leftovers to completely cool, then tightly cover and store in the fridge for 2–3 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot. You can also freeze for up to a month, then thaw in the fridge and reheat.

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