Posts Tagged ‘Sausages’

We’ve never tried Dublin coddle, mainly because it tends to be served with anaemic sausages. In this recipe by Neven Maguire you brown them; a far more sensible approach altogether.

Wine Suggestion: This dish works perfectly with a Grenache blend. For us this time, a current favourite as they’re drinking so well, Romain Roche’s Côtes du Rhône. So well balanced and smooth, but with a warmth of sunshine and gentle, velvety spices.

Dublin Coddle – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • top-quality pork sausages – 2 per person
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 150g dry-cured bacon lardons
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 750g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you’ve got one)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish and brown the sausages on all sides. Transfer to a board and cut each sausage into three chunky pieces, then set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and sauté the onions and bacon for 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden. Stir in the flour and thyme and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the sausages, carrots and half of the potatoes. Season generously, then shake to get everything even in the dish.

Turn off the heat and arrange the rest of the potatoes on top. Stir the Worcestershire sauce into the stock, then pour over the potatoes. Dot with the butter and season.

Cover the casserole with a lid and bake for 1 hour, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes or until the topping is tender and golden brown. Scatter over the parsley to serve.

(Original recipe from More Midweek Meals by Neven Maguire, Gill Books, 2022.)


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We’re starting to switch to more autumnal dishes. This is thoroughly traditional in style and will put a bit of warmth in your belly. The best side for all pies is peas to which we added a few glazed carrots. Comfort food for cold weather.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve gone a bit mad for Portuguese reds the past while and for this it was no different as we opened, and enjoyed the Herdade do Sobroso Red. From the Alentejo this is an Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend, having the joy of having a rich core, alongside an elegance and freshness that sits very nicely with the sausages and gravy.

Sausage & Mash Pie – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 8 large pork sausages
  • 25g butter
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • a pinch of golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 500ml beef stock
  • frozen peas, cooked to serve


  • 1.25kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or Roosters, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 25g butter
  • 25g mature cheddar, coarsely grated

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the sausages over a medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan and heat until sizzling, then add the onions and sugar and cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Scatter over the flour and stir to make a paste, then add the tomato purée and cook for a minute. Add the vinegar, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Tip any juices from the sausages into the pan, then slice the sausages into chunky pieces and add these too. Simmer for 5 minutes or until you have a rich and glossy gravy. Tip the mixture into a large baking dish.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked. Drain and leave to steam dry for a minute. Pour the milk into the pan and bring to a simmer, then tip in the drained potatoes and butter, and mash. Season to taste.

Top the sausages with the mash, starting at the edge and working into the middle, careful not to leave any gaps or the gravy will bubble through. Use a fork to scrape lines along the surface and sprinkle with the cheese.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Remove the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with the peas.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We’ve tried a few of these lately; a pasta dish where you literally chuck everything into the one pan, pasta and all, and cook. Perfect for weeknight/late night cooking.

Wine Suggestion: Well we wouldn’t go too fancy here as it would sort of defeat the purpose, something red, Italian, and not too expensive would be our choice.

One-pan pasta with sausage & fennel – serves 2-3

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 pork sausages, skinned
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp hot-smoked paprika
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped or plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 450ml chicken stock
  • 175g penne pasta or similar
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche, soft cheese or double cream
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated, plus more to serve
  • a bunch of basil, roughly torn

Heat the oil in a a large deep frying pan. Pull off small pieces of sausage and add them to the pan. Fry until nicely browned all over. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and chilli flakes and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pasta, then cover with a lid and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes or until almost cooked, give it a stir now and then as it cooks. Stir in the crème fraîche, Parmesan and basil, then remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to sit for a couple of minutes. Serve with extra Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, May 2020.)

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This is a much simplified version of the French classic but very tasty and popular with kids.

Wine Suggestion: something red, juicy and honest, like a good southern French GSM blend, like Roc des Anges Effet Papillon rouge.

Sausage Cassoulet – serves 6

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 sausages
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 50g chorizo, very finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • a small handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan or casserole dish over a high heat, then brown the sausages on all sides, then remove and set aside. You will probably need to do this in a couple of batches.

Add the rest of the oil and fry the onions for a few minutes until turning golden. Stir in the chorizo, tomatoes, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper, then simmer over a gentle heat for 20-25 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Stir in the butter beans, then lay the sausages on top and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or unitl the sausages are cooked through.

Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with some greens on the side.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry Cooks up a Feast with Lucy Young, DK: Penguin Random House, 2019.)

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It’s very rare that we cook a brunch like this but we’re glad we tried this one. Buy top quality sausages, bacon and eggs and you will have a feast!

Smoky beans, mushrooms, sausages, bacon and eggs – serves 2 (generously!)

  • 1 tbsp veg oil, plus a bit extra
  • 4 chipolata sausages
  • 4 bacon rasheres
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced or torn into pieces
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, don’t drain as you will use the liquid
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar
  • a few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
  • 2 eggs

Heat a large heavy pan over a medium heat, then heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Fry the sausages for 5 minutes, or until golden, then push to one side. Add the bacon and cook until godlen and crisp. Remove the sausages and bacon to a warm plate when they’re cooked through.

Add the mushrooms and a little more oil if needed, then fry until golden, scraping up any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove to the plate with the sausages and bacon.

Tip the cannellini beans and their liquid into the pan, then add the tomatoes, garlic granules and dried thyme. Bring to a simmer, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Add the paprika, sugar, worcestershire sauce and some seasoning, then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened.

Nestle the sausages into the beans, then make two gaps in the mixture and crack in the eggs. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are set. Top with the bacon and mushrooms and serve with some Tabasco if you like.

You will need toast or crusty bread to mop it all up.

(Original recipe by Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

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This recipe by Gill Meller has to be one of the nicest things you can do with a turnip. By turnip we mean the large, orange-fleshed variety that some call swedes. We’re so busy cooking new things that we rarely do things again, but we’ve made an exception for this dish already. It goes without saying that you should use top quality sausages!

Wine Suggestion: This dish needs the comforting, warm spices of a Southern Rhone red with a good dollop of Grenache, some Syrah and possibly other varieties thrown in. Given the festive season we opened a bottle of Les Palliéres Racines Gigondas. Made by the Brunier’s of Domaine Vieux Télégraphe this is velvety and deep; a real treat.

Turnip with fried sausages, green peppercorns & Parmesan – serves 2

  • 1 turnip (or swede), cut into 2cm cubes
  • top quality sausages
  • 50g butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 2-3 tsp green peppercorns in brine

Bring a large pot of salty water to the boil. Add the turnip and cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a little bit of oil, then add the sausages and cook slowly until well browned on all sides and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Don’t be tempted to speed up this process.

When the turnip is tender, drain and leave in a colander to steam. Put the pot back over a low heat and add the butter and cream. When this is bubbling, return the turnip to the pan. Mash the turnip until smooth, then season generously with black pepper, salt and most of the Parmesan.

Spoon the turnip onto a platter, pile the sausages on top, scatter over the peppercorns and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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This is the sort of lunch our daughter likes after she’s run around a Camogie pitch for a couple of hours. It’s also good if you’ve been standing in the cold at the side of the pitch!

Honey-mustard hot dogs – serves 4

  • 50g grated emmental
  • 50g grated cheddar
  • 3 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 sausages
  • 4 brioche hot dog buns

Cook the sausages, we do them on the barbecue but whatever way you like will be fine.

Meanwhile put the emmental, cheddar, mustard and honey in a bowl and stir to combine.

Heat the grill to high.

Split the hot dog buns and fill with a sausage, then top with the cheesy mixture. Put on a baking sheet and flash under the grill for a minute or two to melt the cheese.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Sausage pasta

Jules has been cooking this dish for years. Far from fancy but really tasty and super quick. Also popular with kids but leave out the chilli if they’re not that way inclined.

Wine Suggestion: A robust Italian, more than likely a Sangiovese, is our wine for this type of dish. Today it was the Tenuta Sant’Alfonso Chianti.

Sausage Pasta – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 good quality pork sausages cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300g short pasta

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sausages until they are nicely browned. Turn down the heat and add the onion and garlic, then cook until softened.

Stir in the chilli powder and tomatoes, then bring to the boil before turning down the heat and leaving to bubble for about 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the pack instructions, then drain. Tip the cooked pasta into the frying pan with the saucy sausages and mix well.  Serve with crusty bread.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)



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Sausage & sage rolls

When it is done right a sausage roll can be a real treat, but too often they’re a bit disappointing. This is usually due to grey pastry and cheap sausage meat stuffing but this is easily remedied by making your own. They’re just the trick if you’ve overindulged the night before.

Wine suggestion: if you feel like wine make it an easy, juicy and inexpensive new world shiraz like the Beelgara Estate Shiraz from the Riverland in Australia. Satisfying and flavoursome but uncomplicated and fruity.

Sausage & Sage Rolls – makes 8

  • ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
  • 6 good quality sausages
  • sage leaves (optional)
  • milk

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Gently split the sausage skins with a sharp knife and remove. They should come off very easily in one piece. Squeeze the skinned sausages together with your hands to form a fat log.

Unroll the pastry sheet and place the sausage meat lengthways down the centre of one side. Lay a few sage leaves on top if you like. Brush the edges of the pastry with milk, then fold over the sausagemeat and seal the edge. Cut slashes along the top of the sausage roll with a sharp knife.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into slices to serve.


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Cherry tomato & chipolata bake

Despite the simplicity of this dish it really showcases perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes; excellent when the garden is overflowing and you’re trying to think of recipes to use them all! One of our butchers does great, meaty and coarsely filled chipolata sausages which we used here, but Cumberland or coarse Italian ones work just as well. Leftovers make a great pasta sauce (see below).

It’s might be a bit early yet for Irish garden tomatoes but our friend Patty, who has just left Ireland to become the Garden Program Director at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California, has a huge tomato glut. So we promised a tomato recipe to help Patty, Michael, and the rest of the staff use up all the tomatoes.

Wine suggestion: Great with a robust and juicy red, don’t over complicate it and pick a moderately priced one. We’ve tried Southern Italian Primitivo’s, Barbera from the north, Cotes du Rhone, Spanish Tempranillo’s and Garnacha and a couple of juicy Aussie Shiraz’s. All work a treat. Californians won’t go wrong with a good Lodi Zin!

Sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake – serves 6

  • 2kg ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colours if you have them
  • 2 sprigs each of thyme, rosemary & bay
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 12 good-quality sausages (see above)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

Put the tomatoes, herbs, oregano, garlic and sausages in a large roasting tray – big enough to take the tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and make sure the sausages end up on the top, then bake for 30 minutes in the hot oven. Give the tin a good shake and turn the sausages over, then return to the oven for 15-30 minutes or until the sausages are at your desired level of stickiness (we like them pretty sticky!).

Lift the sausages out of the sauce, then put the tray on the hob and reduce the sauce to a nice thick consistency, before putting the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve with some warm bread and a green salad.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, Michael Joseph, 2007.)

Cherry tomato & sausage penne

As the bake makes loads just chop up the leftovers the next day and reheat to serve with penne or another chunky pasta like rigatoni or macaroni. Delicious altogether!

Cherry tomato & suasage penne

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Sausage Salad

We wouldn’t normally think of putting sausages in our salad but this worked surprisingly well.

Sausage Salad – to serve 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 400g good-quality sausages, snipped with scissors into bite-size chunks
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • 1 large avocado
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Add the sausages and onion and fry for a couple of minutes or until browned.

Add the mustard, sugar and tomatoes and cook for another few minutes or until the tomatoes are starting to split and everything is well coated.

Meanwhile, separate the lettuce leaves, slice the avocado and the cucumber. Toss together in a salad bowl. Spoon the hot sausages over the top.

Add the vinegar and 1 tbsp water to the hot pan and stir over the heat, scraping all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Spoon the pan juices over the salad and serve with some crusty bread.

Wine Suggestion: This is definitely a week-night dish so no need to blow the budget on the wine. A red Côtes du Rhône or a Languedoc would do nicely.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Gnochetti sardi is a Sardinian pasta shape which is shaped like gnocchi but made of durum wheat semolina and no eggs. It is a staple in Sardinia and usually prepared with a heavy tomato based  ragù or sauce made with beef, lamb or sausage. The ragù clings to the heavy ridged pasta shape.

If you can’t find gnochetti sardi then another short pasta shape, like penne, will do. This will serve 4 as a main course but stretches to many more as a first course which is how we like to serve it.

Sardinian Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Sauce – to serve 4

  • 500g bag of gnocchetti sardi pasta
  • 15g dried porcini
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 350g Italian sausages or other meaty pork sausages
  • 120 ml dry white wine
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pecorino or Parmesan to serve

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 100ml of boiling water for about 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and chop but don’t throw away the soaking liquid as you’ll need it later.

Bring a really large pan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, skin the sausages and break the meat up into little pieces.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion, garlic, chilies and fennel seeds and fry gently until nicely coloured.

Add the sausagemeat and mushrooms and continue to fry for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and bubble for a couple of minutes to reduce, then add the tomatoes and mushroom soaking liquid. Season well with salt and pepper. Leave the sauce to simmer for about half an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the pack, then drain and add to the sauce. Pass around the cheese and let people help themselves.

Drink with: the Sardinian red wines would work a treat, especially the ones made from Cannonau or Carignano. These two grape varieties are better known as Grenache and Carignan, so if there are no Sardinian gems in the local, find something made from these grapes and you’ll have a match.

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Good Friday night stuff this. We always have a stash of good quality sausages from Sienna in the freezer. This is a Jamie recipe called “Proper blokes’ sausage fusilli”. We assure you that proper ladies like it too!

Sausage Pasta – to serve 4

  • 2 heaped tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, crumbled (or use chilli flakes)
  • olive oil
  • 600g good-quality coarse Italian sausages (or Cumberland)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • a wineglass of white wine
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 500g good-quality fusilli or penne
  • a couple of knobs of butter
  • a handful of freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Crush the fennel seeds and chillies in a pestle and mortar until coarsely ground. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Skin the sausages and add the meat to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Fry for a few minutes until it starts to colour and the fat has started to render, keep crushing it until it looks like coarse mince. Add the crushed fennel and chillies and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the meat looks crispy and golden brown.

Stir in the oregano, then pour in the wine and reduce it by half. Add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the heat to low while you cook your pasta according to the pack. Drain the pasta but reserve a little cooking water. Toss the pasta well with the sausagemeat, then add the butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and a few spoons of the reserved water. You should have a loose, shiny sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve with some extra Parmesan.

Wine Suggestion: The recipe book suggests a Valpolicella Classico which would be good but we reckon the bit of extra acidity from a Chianti would work better. Or if you like your wines fruitier and softer try something from the Tuscan coast, the Maremma.

(Original recipe from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2006.)

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Great mid-week comfort food; rich and delicious and easy to make. We had all these ingredients in the fridge or freezer too so it made our dinner really cheap. This was so delicious that if we’d have made a larger amount Jono probably would have scoffed that too! Using good ingredients helps as we had two lovely Toulouse sausages in the freezer and good quality cherry tomatoes in a tin in the cupboard. These lifted the richness and depth of flavour.

Italian Stew with borlotti beans and sausage – serves 2

  • 2 Italian-style sausages (we used Toulouse which worked just as well)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 300ml stock
  • 400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g green beans or sugar snaps
Remove the skins from the sausages and roll the meat into little balls. Heat then brush a frying pan with oil and brown the meatballs until golden and any oil is released.

Remove meatballs and add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes to the pan. Season and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tin of cherry tomatoes and 300ml stock. Bring to the boil and then add the meatballs and borlotti beans. Cook for 10 minutes.

Now add the green beans or sugar snaps and cook for a further 5 minutes (until the greens are just tender).

Serve in bowls.

Wine suggestion: Great with a warm, but not heavy red. A Nero d’Avola or other southern Italian would work really well, but so would a cooler climate, New World shiraz or cabernet, particularly if it has a little bit of age to mellow out the tannins. Avoid the jammy, higher alcohol reds as these would overwhelm the dish.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Tasty beans with really great flavour from the fresh thyme. We’re in full autumnal mode at this stage – though it’s still weirdly warm outside. Serve with the greens below if you like.

Sausage & bean casserole – to serve 4

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 pork sausages (we used chipolatas)
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin of butter beans
  • 400g tin of baked beans
  • a small bunch of thyme
  • 200ml chicken or veg stock
  • 2 slices white bread, whizzed to crumbs

Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish, then brown the sausages well. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the casserole, tip in the vegetables and fry for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another minute.

Heat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6. Return the sausages to the pan with the beans, thyme and some seasoning, then pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and the stew is bubbling up the sides.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Hot Diggity Dogs!

Great mid-week feeds don’t need to be complicated. These are just hot dogs but made more tasty by adding a few extras you probably already have in the cupboard.

Hot dogs with mustardy onions to serve 4

  • 8 good-quality pork sausages
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 part-baked mini baguettes
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • large pinch brown or muscavado sugar
  • 2 tsp wine or cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put the sausages in a non-stick baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and mustard seeds for 10-15 minutes or until soft and golden.

Brush the sausages with maple syrup and return to the oven along with the baguettes. You should turn the oven up now to 220C/200 fan/gas 7 and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until the sausages are dark and sticky and the baguettes are cooked.

Stir the mustard, sugar and vinegar into the onions until the sugar has melted. Cut the baguettes open, stuff two sausages into each one and pile on the mustardy onions.

Reminds us of Halloween!

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We know we have done this before but this is a really simple mid-week version and not at all stressful to cook. If you’re not keen on butter beans you could use haricot or borlotti instead. We love butter beans!

Sausage tomato and butter bean bake – to serve 3-4

  • 6-8 large pork sausages, plain or flavoured
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the sausages and cook gently for a minute or two or until just sealed and lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the frying pan and add the rest of the oil. Tip in the onion and sage and sauté very gently for around 10 minutes until the onion is very soft but not coloured. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then cook for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened. Season to taste.

Put the tomato mixture into an ovenproof dish, stir in the beans, then arrange the sausages on top, burying them in the mixture. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the sauce bubbles and the sausages are cooked.

[Original recipe by Ainsley Harriott for BBC Good Food, August 2009]

Wine suggestion: Try a lighter red with a bit of acidity as the tomatoes will be acidic and it’s all about balance. Try something with Sangiovese or  a Cabernet Franc from the Loire.

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Gigantes me spanaki ke loukanika sto fourno (Bean, Spinach and Sausage Casserole)

Don’t be scared that this takes over 24 hours preparation – it’s all soaking time for the beans! It does take about an hour and a half to cook though so don’t get started too late. It is very easy despite the time it takes and is totally worth it.

Gigantes me spanaki ke loukanika sto fourno (Bean, Spinach and Sausage Casserole) – serves 4

  • 300g dried butter beans
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 250g pork sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 400g can chopped tomoatoes
Cover the Butter beans in plenty of cold water and soak for 24 hours.

Put the beans into a saucepan, cover them with cold water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, then drain and tip into an ovenproof casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a frying pan. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, season and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the beans, stir well and bake, adding a little hot water if necessary, for about 50 minutes or until the beans are soft – check every now and then that it isn’t drying out and give it a stir.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach, and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, until wilted. Drain well. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the spinach and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.

Take the beans out of the oven and dot the top with spinach. Bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

Kali orexi (bon appétit)!

(Original recipe from Vefa’s Kitchen published by Phaidon)

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This was delicious. We were a little apprehensive about whether we’d manage to untwist a string of sausages and curl them up like a catherine wheel but it was surprisingly simple. Another roaring success from Jamie Oliver with real depth of flavour.

Bubble and squeak with sausages and onion gravy – Serves 6

  • 750g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 600g mixed winter vegetables (we used Savoy cabbage, carrots and leeks), peeled or trimmed and chopped into equal-sized chunks
  • olive oil
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 200g vacuum pack of chestnuts
  • 6 good quality pork sausages in a string
  • 6 good quality venison or beef sausages in a string (we just used pork as they were all we could find in a string)
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped fine
  • 3 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • a few bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 125ml balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml good quality vegetable or chicken stock

Cook the potatoes and mixed veg in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. When they’re cooked right through drain and put aside.

Heat a glug of olive oil and a knob of butter in a big frying pan and add the chestnuts. When they start to sizzle add the potatoes and veg, roughly squash the veg in the pan, mix and then pat into a thick pancake shape. Fry on a medium heat for half an hour, checking every 5-10 minutes. When the bottom turns golden, turn it over bit by bit and mash it back into itself. Pat out flat again and continue cooking.

Preheat oven and a roasting tray to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Unravel the sausage links and squeeze the filling between them until all the sausages are joined together. Pat them to flatten a bit. Drizzle with olive oil and massage in. Sprinkle a pinch of pepper, rosemary and nutmeg. Put one sausage on top of the other and roll up into a wheel. Poke two skewers through in a cross shape to hold them together.

Take the preheated tray out of the oven, drizzle in some olive oil and add the onions. Season, add a knob of butter and stir. Place the sausage wheel on top of the onions and stick a few bay leaves between the sausages. Drizzle with more oil and roast for 40 minutes.

When the sausages are done your bubble and squeak should be done too. You can brown it under a hot grill for 5 minutes for extra colour if you like. 

Remove the sausages to a plate and put the tray with the onions on the hob, over a high heat. Stir in flour, balsamic vinegar and stock. Bring to boil and thicken to a nice gravy, then season.

Take the skewers out of the sausages and cut into wedges. Serve bubble and squeak with a portion of sausages and some onion gravy.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home)

Wine Suggestion: A southern French red – we had an inexpensive Minervois which worked really well.

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In case you hadn’t gathered by now the first Friday in every month is the Irish Food Bloggers Association’s cookalong.

We’ve participated in the last three and it’s great craic  – even more so ’cause we invite a few friends over to cookalong with us… or at least sit there and chitter to us while we cook.

Each month has a theme and this one was either leftovers or recessionary budget style cooking. So a budget dinner party it had to be.

Our first thought was something like an Irish stew but we’ve done that many times and it’s always nice to try something new so we reckoned cheap cuts and seasonal veg was the way to go. After scouring our recipe books we came across this sausage and Jerusalem artichoke casserole (from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol 1).

For the dessert: we both love Christmas pudding but every year we manage a tiny morsel on Christmas day and the rest lurks in the fridge making us feel guilty for not eating it. Or at least it did until we discovered this Christmas pudding sauce which we serve up at to everyone who visits after Christmas ’til the pudding is done. I think I actually prefer it to traditionally served Christmas pudding at this stage.

The recipes below will serve 4 people (generously) for a rather nice dinner party and will cost  €6.17 per head (provided you have some leftover Christmas pudding). The most expensive ingredient was the icecream, at €6.95 a tub, but we reckon that’s something not worth scrimping on. One of our guests also brought lots of fabulous cheese which he had leftover from the holidays. It would have been totally bargain bucket if we hadn’t drank an obscene amount of wine but howandever (it was a party… albeit a little one).

Sausage and Artichoke Casserole to feed 4

  • 8 fabulous pork sausages (budget or not you have to buy good ones)
  • olive oil
  • 4 onions
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 500g Jerusalem artichokes
  • a lemon
  • a tsp of fennel seeds
  • 500ml light stock
  • a small bunch of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • something tasty and green to serve – we had some buttered savoy cabbage

Brown the sausages really well in a little bit of olive oil in a big casserole. Set them aside.

Cut the onions into quarters, then add to empty sausage pan, add a bit more oil if you need it. Soften the onions over a medium heat until they are quite mushy – about 15-20 minutes.

Peel and finely slice the garlic and add it to the onions, cut the mushrooms in half and add them too.

Peel or just scrub (we just scrubbed) the artichokes, then cut them in half. Add them to the pan and let them colour a bit (push your onions over to the side). Now tip the sausage back in. Cut the lemon into big chunks and tuck it in along with the fennel seeds and plenty of salt and pepper.

Pour over enough stock to cover everything and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are nice and tender. If you have too much liquid turn up the heat and reduce it a bit. Stir in the parsley and check the seasoning.

Serve with your greens.

Christmas Pudding Sauce to serve 4 (with ice cream)

  • 175g Christmas pudding
  • 30g butter
  • 30g brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • vanilla ice cream

Crumble the pudding into a shallow pan. Put it on a low heat and add the butter and sugar.

Mix in orange juice and brandy with a wooden spoon and bring slowly to the bubble.

Turn the heat down and simmer gently while you put the ice cream in 4 bowls. Spoon over the sauce and serve quickly before your ice cream melts.

Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Puddings.

I’m a bit embarrassed that our chums now know we only spent 6 quid each on them ….Hahaha!


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