Yesterday evening, as Fig was busy at work and thus unavailable for Whoery, I had the lovely Douglas and the equally lovely Phil over instead. After some debate we opted for The Curse of Peladon for its topical EU/Brexit/Bremain connotations, Ice Warriors, phallic aliens, streaky hair-dos and David Troughton’s milky-white thighs.
I was undecided about what to cook for dinner and spent a bit of time pondering it. Flicking through some recipes online I was drawn to the idea of a sausage casserole, something light, rather than tomato-y, but full of flavour. I cobbled this together out of some ideas and a bit of opportunism. (The inclusion of a handful of chopped up pieces of belly pork only occurred because there was a rather forlorn little piece of belly pork sitting, looking unloved, on the butchery counter in Sainsbury’s.) It seemed to come out quite well though and both of my guests declared it tasty. Because of its cobbled together nature the measurements are a bit haphazard.
9 Cumberland sausages
75 of belly pork, sliced into 1cm chunks
1-2 fat leeks, trimmed and sliced
2 red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 large garlic clove, unpeeled
1 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
½ a medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced into bite-sized pieces
300ml of dry cider
300ml of chicken stock
2 teaspoons of English mustard
Leaves from 3-4 sprigs of thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200
In a large saucepan heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the sausages and cook for 5 minutes or so until browned all over. Remove from the pan and transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish.
Add the belly pork to the pan and cook until browned and then remove to the casserole dish.
In the same oil add the onion and chopped garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the leek, chopped chilli and thyme and cook for a further 4 minutes or so.
Once the leek is softened a bit, add the liquid – first the cider and then the stock, stirring well to combine. Add the mustard and stir well. Add the chunks of butternut squash.
Season well with salt and pepper and then bring to the boil. Once the liquid has boiled, remove from the heat and transfer, along with all the veg, to the casserole dish, covering the sausages.
Cover with foil and cook in the oven for at least an hour. Remove the foil for the last twenty minutes of cooking time so that he sauce with reduce and thicken a bit.
Serve immediately with plenty of the sauce. I served this with wasabi mash and sautéed kale.