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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Spicy sausage

Here's an impressive budget dish - great for sharing and it won't hang around for long. There's something about beans and sausages - they just go so well together! I love to experiment and try out different types of sausage, and some can be unexpectedly spicy. For this slow-cooked dish, I used chorizo flavoured sausages, although they weren't too spicy so I adjusted the amount of chilli flakes to compensate. Click 'read more' for the recipe:

Ingredients (makes 6 good portions)
600g of good quality sausages
150g of mixed dried beans (e.g. pinto, cannellini, black eyed)
40g red lentils
2 sticks celery
2 medium carrots
a large onion
either a small swede or turnip
one leek
two large cloves of garlic (minced)
100ml red wine
large 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
one large red whole chilli pepper
teaspoon smoked paprika
teaspoon dark brown sugar
chilli flakes (we used half a teaspoon)
one litre of stock/water
two bay leaves
1. Begin the day before by soaking your chosen beans, remember not to add any salt at this stage. If you prefer you can use tinned, ready cooked beans to save time. I would use a couple of tins myself. If using dried beans (and after soaking), place them in a pan of cold water and boil for 10 minutes. Add the lentils to the boiling beans for the last 2 minutes, then drain and to the slow-cooker.
2. Fry the sausages on a high heat for 6-8 minutes until nice and brown then place in the slow-cooker.
Finely dice the celery, carrots - the aim is for these two ingredients to break down during cooking and thicken the sauce. Chop the onion, swede or turnip and leek slightly larger than the celery/carrots. Add all the vegetables into the frying pan and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the frying pan. Stir all the ingredients an place into the slow-cooker. De-glaze the pan with the red wine - bring to the boil, then add to the slow-cooker.
3. Now add the rest of the ingredients to the pot i.e. tinned tomatoes, large red chilli (keep whole), teaspoon paprika (smoked if you have it), teaspoon sugar, chilli flakes, stock/water, bay leaves & salt/pepper to taste. Give it all a nice stir. If the mixture seems too dense, then top up with a little more water, otherwise the beans will not cook properly.
4. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. If you can possibly manage it, wait for a day before devouring - as the flavours will develop further and you'll enjoy it even more. Don't forget to remove the whole red chilli before eating - not that you can miss it (but you never know). Add a little yoghurt and a sprinkle of paprika... and enjoy.
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