From Marsh Mash December 2009

As 2nd - 8th November 2009 was National Sausage Week, a bit late I know, but I felt compelled to share a yummy sausage casserole with you, so practice for next November.

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre bottle of good real cider (I used Biddenden Strong Kentish Dry @ 8.4%) 1lb (500g) good quality pork sausages (I used onion & sage from the Lazy Pig Sausage - http://www.lazypigsausage.co.uk/, or Hoads Korkers are also good)
  • A small amount of good quality cooking oil for frying (I used a toasted sesame seed oil, which has a 'nutty' taste)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs (or a bunch of fresh mixed herbs, i.e. parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Water
  • 6oz (160g) button mushrooms, sliced or very small mushrooms left whole (or a tin of sliced/wholemushrooms)
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored (I used a Kentish Bramley)
  • 2-3 tablespoons gravy granules
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
Fill a nice glass with some of the cider and gently sip whilst making this recipe: -put the remainder to one side as you WILL need three quarters of a pint (400ml) for this recipe!

  1. Place the oil into a deep saucepan and lightly fry the onions until soft (about 5 mins).

  2. Prick the skins of the sausages a couple of times with the tip of a fine bladed knife (this releases the lovely meat juices when cooking) and add them to the onions. Cook gently for 10 mins. turning regularly- do not allow to burn.

  3. Add the herbs and garlic, then gently pour in three quarters of a pint (400ml) of the cider and add enough water to just cover the sausages. Stir well to combine the ingredients.

  4. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 mins.

  5. Remove lid and add more water, if necessary, to cover the sausages again, then add the mushrooms and apple.

  6. Bring pan back to the boil, turn the heat down, (add dumplings at this stage, if using - recipe below) re-cover pan with the lid and simmer for a further 10 mins - leave the lid slightly open to allow the steam to escape.

  7. Remove lid and add gravy granules, salt & pepper and stir until thickened - if casserole is too thick, add a little more water, if it is too thin, add some more gravy granules and more herbs to suit your own taste.


Serve with creamy mashed potato and boiled vegetables or in a deep bowl with herby dumplings, made as follows (per dumpling):

Ingredients:

  • 2oz (50g) SR flour,
  • 1oz (25g) suet (beef or vegetarian),
  • 1tsp dried mixed herbs and water to mix.

Method:

  1. Mix together flour, suet and herbs
  2. Add enough water to combine into a dough
  3. Divide into 2 and roll each into a small ball
  4. Add to the casserole at stage 5, after bringing the pan back to the boil and reducing the heat Enjoy your casserole with the remainder of the cider from the bottle or open another!

Recipe by Shirley Johnson