This is one of those "easy but yummy" meals.
I suspect that everyone has a Sausage Casserole recipe tucked behind their ear for the moment when nothing else will do. My Sausage Casseroles always involve beans in some form or another - well, sausage & beans? They're one of those matches like cheese & pickle, or chicken & stuffing! I tend to make them as a true "one pot" dish that contains all the necessary protein, carbohydrate and vegetable in one. However, it's a bit like Cottage Pie - everyone has their own ideas as to what goes into one and they all taste that little bit different. In the case of Sausage Casserole, they all contain sausages and vegetables. After that, the world is your oyster.
This version of Sausage Casserole, which was one of hubby's creations, involved using the other half of a Butternut Squash that didn't have a home to go to. We'd bought some decent quality Cumberland sausages (Cumberlands are less herby, more black peppery and contain a good quantity of pork) and together with onion, celery, carrot and some green peas for colour, it made a lovely combination.
He also made use of one of the Stock Pots that Knorr had kindly sent us recently - a chicken version - which together with a teaspoon of tomato puree, some mushroom ketchup and a little thickening from a teensy touch of chicken gravy granules (don't faint - they have their place!) it made a lovely flavoursome gravy.
We ate the casserole with plain white rice, whereas Mum made a couple of potatoes to go with it - so the choice is yours.
Sept 2015 : I made this casserole again today, but jazzed it up a little bit as Mum wasn't going to be eating this one! Not "jazzed" by much, but I added two sliced mushrooms, two cloves of finely chopped garlic, a tbsp of chopped chargrilled peppers in oil and a tbsp of chopped sundried tomatoes in oil. Of necessity (because I didn't have the chicken stockpot), I used a Knorr Ham Stock Cube and a tsp of reduced salt Knorr chicken stock powder.
As you can see, I served the casserole with mashed potatoes this time and the clean plates all round were testament as to how good it was! I really should make this one more often, as it really is a perfect autumn dinner.
* Updated since to say that in April 2015 he sadly passed away following a fall at home.
SAUSAGE & BUTTERNUT CASSEROLE (feeds 4)
8 Cumberland sausages
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (vegetable or olive oil would be fine)
1 onion, chopped small
1-2 sticks celery, diced small
1-2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
half a butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1cm chunks
1 tsp tomato puree
a Knorr chicken stock pot (or 200-300ml chicken stock)
200ml water (leave out if you're using liquid stock)
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce
1 dessert spoonful of good quality chicken gravy granules
2 handfuls of frozen peas
freshly ground black pepper.
1. Begin to heat a large wide-bottomed saucepan and add the sausages and oil. Fry until the sausages are coloured all over, then remove and retain somewhere warm.
2. Add the onion and fry on a gentle heat until transparent, softened and just beginning to colour - around 5 minutes or so.
3. Add the celery and continue to cook until the celery has begun to soften.
4. Add the carrot and butternut squash. Cook gently and stir, until the vegetables are heated through.
5. Add the tomato puree, stock pot (or liquid stock), water (if appropriate) and mushroom ketchup and stir to combine. Bring up to a lively simmer.
6. Cut each sausage into three or four pieces and add to the saucepan. Again, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pan. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the carrot and butternut squash are tender.
7. Add the frozen peas and bring back up to a lively simmer.
8. 2-3 minutes later, if necessary, stir in the chicken gravy granules to thicken and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Once the gravy is at your preferred consistency, serve.