This is an absolutely delicious recipe. It’s originally a Hairy Bikers recipe and can be found on the BBC website. I first encountered it when my friend Phil cooked it for me. I’ve shamelessly stolen Phil’s innovation of adding some sliced chorizo to the recipe which makes it even richer and tastier. I tend to go for three sausages per person, although the recipe suggests two each. I got some lovely Cumberland sausages from Aldi for this recipe yesterday – I think that the brand was Ashfield Farm or something like that. Really solid, meaty sausages and good value at £1.99 for six.
It’s easy to bulk the recipe up, or slim it down, depending on the number of people you’re cooking for. The amounts here are meant to serve six but, to be honest, I keep the amounts the same for all the veg and liquids and just increase/decrease the amount of sausage and bacon accordingly.
1–2 tbsp sunflower oil
12 good quality pork sausages (or 2-3 per person, as per your preference)
6 rashers rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths
½-1 chorizo, thickly sliced
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½–1 tsp smoked paprika or chilli powder
1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
300ml of chicken stock (being really pretentious I used some home-made stock that I made last week with a roast chicken carcase)
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of dark brown muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
100ml of red or white wine (optional)
1 x 400g can butter beans or mixed beans (Sainsbury’s do a nice tin of mixed beans in vinaigrette – I use those and just rinse the vinaigrette off first.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.
Fry the bacon pieces and chorizo slices in the frying pan until they begin to brown and crisp and then add them to the sausages.
Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil.
Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more until the onions turn pale golden-brown, stirring frequently.
Sprinkle over the smoked paprika or chilli powder and cook together for a few seconds longer.
Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs.
Pour over the wine, (or some water if you’re not using wine) and bring to a simmer.
Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with rice or slices of crusty bread.
Absolutely delicious; rich, meaty and slightly spicy. And very beany!