It’s recipe time!
Made this lot yesterday, based on recipes I found elsewhere, with a few adaptations of my own. It can be carnivorous or vegetarian, and I reckon it’s easy to do a gluten-free version if that’s what you need. Don’t hold me to that though and check your ingredients carefully!
So, without further ado…
Sausage and Bean Stew
Serves 5-6 ish, depending on how many hungry men you expect to feed.
For vegetarians, use vegetarian sausages and veggie stock. Or replace the meat substitute with two extra tins of beans/pulses.
Gluten-free option: use GF sausages or use chopped pork, stock (check carefully! or omit entirely) and omit the Henderson’s/Worcestershire sauce. Double-check the wine/wine vinegar for gluten. Oh and don’t make the bread – instead add extra sweet potato to the stew.
12 pork or vegetarian sausages
2 tins beans, drained – I used white kidney beans and butterbeans but use whatever you have/prefer
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
Several large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
Large squeeze of tomato purée, about 1 tbsp
2-3 tsp mixed herbs – I used thyme, rosemary and majoram
½ – 1 tsp chilli powder, depending on how spicy you like things
1 Bay leaf
1 beef stock cube, or 2 tsp Bouillion mix
Medium glass of red wine OR 2 tbsp (red) wine vinegar and a glass of water
Brown the sausages and onion over a high heat.
Transfer to stew pot or slow cooker.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and give it a stir.
Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 h, or on medium for 5-6 h.
If cooking in the oven, add an extra glass of water and cook for 1½ h at 150°C in a fan oven or at Gas Mark 3.
For the Bread
500 g strong white bread flour
2 tbsp easy-bake yeast
1 ½ tsp table salt
1 tsp sugar
15 g butter/margarine
~ 300 ml warm water
Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and lightly mix together.
Rub in the butter
Add ~100 ml water and mix in. Add some more water and keep mixing. Keeping adding it bit by bit, mixing well each time until you get a firm dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. You can go from too dry to too wet very quickly. If you do add too much, don’t worry, just add tablespoon of flour.
Once all combined, turn out onto a floured surface and knead vigourously for 7-10 min. It should feel springy, elastic and smooth under your hands, and have little blisters under the surface. It should spring back from a firm prod with your finger.
Shape into a round on a lightly greased baking sheet and loosely cover with clingfilm/saranwarp/a damp tea towel.
Leave somewhere warm for 35-45 min until doubled in size. It’ll take longer the cooler it is so don’t be afraid to give it a bit more time if necessary.
Heat the oven to 210°C fan oven/gas mark 8.
Score criss-cross cuts into the surface of the round with a sharp knife. Scatter wholemeal flour on the top to make it pretty.
Cook the bread in the oven for 15 min at 210°C then turn down the heat to 160°C/gas 4 and cook for another 15-20 min.
The bread will sound hollow when you knock on the bottom once it’s cooked. If you’re not quite sure, stick it back in for another 5 min.
Cool for *at least* 15 min on a wire wrack, then eat, smothered in butter, with the stew.