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Kentish Sausage Casserole

Kentish Sausage Casserole – Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients: 8 medium size sausages (two per person).
I medium sized onion (leeks will do if you prefer)
4 shallots roughly chopped
2 peppers, sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 pint of chicken stock
1 400g tin of lentils
1 table spoon of cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
2 medium sized potatoes peeled and diced into cubes
1 sprig of chopped rosemary
knob of butter
Directions: This recipe is a genuine hybrid, it’s an amalgam of my mother’s basic casserole recipe which has been added to from my own experience and experimentation over several years. It’s designed to be quick, warming and very, very tasty. I’d be surprise if you don’t adapt this further to suit your own tastes. The only ingredient I would stress are the sausages, don’t view the bangers as a cheap alternative to other forms of meat, go out of your way to get high quality fresh pork sausages, it will make or break this dish. The effect I try to achieve is a thick full flavoured sauce, that accompanies the sausage. If the casserole reduces down too much it will ruin so be prepared to add more stock until you get the hang of this particular recipe.

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed casserole dish on a medium heat on top of the stove. Pierce the sausages then brown all over.

2. Set aside the sausages, add the onions shallots and garlic to the pan, cook slowly for about five minutes or until they start to become tender.

3. Add the cubed potatoes and fry for a further five minutes, taking care not to burn the onions and garlic.

4. Add the chicken stock gradually, stir well and add the sausages.

5. Slowly introduce half the rosemary and all of the other ingredients.

6. You are looking for the liquid to cover all of the sausages, the liquid to reduce down during cooking by as much as half.

7. Continue to cook on the stove for a few minutes gradually increasing the heat until the pot is simmering. Taste the casserole, if it’s too acidic add a pinch or two of brown sugar.

8. Cook uncovered for about an hour in the oven at 180c or Mark 4.

9. Remove from the oven, garnish with the remaining rosemary serve with fresh broad beans and rice, polenta or couscous.

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