Now I love a bloggie challenge and when Vanesther, of the gorgeous family food blog Bangers and Mash, launched her new Recipes for Life Challenge I was really excited, particularly as it’s right up my foodie street. Each month she’ll be picking three ingredients and challenging fellow bloggers to come up with something tasty, wholesome and easy-to-cook with them. And the best recipes will be included in a new cookbook for the Somerset based charity Swallow. Swallow support adults with learning difficulties to lead more independent lives, including the running cookery courses to help members learn to prepare simple, inexpensive and nutritious meals.
This month the three ingredients are Sausages, Onions & Tomatoes and I knew exactly what I wanted to make for Swallow. My much-loved family favourite Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot that I’ve thus far failed to get snapped and blogged. It’s a lovely winter warmer one pot wonder dish, that’s so easy to throw together yet hearty, healthy and heavy on the veggies. And my kids LOVE it as much as us grown up folk. And you can chuck in whatever beans or veggies you so happen to have in, anything goes!.
Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot
Great for family or grown up dinners, toddlers, bigger kids, vegetarians (using veggie sausages obviously!), mid-week suppers, weekend slowies, winter warming
Serves 4 to 6 big appetites (or a family of 4 TWICE!)
a tablespoon of Sunflower Oil
6 – 8 Sausages, meaty or veggie
an Onion, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 Carrots, sliced
a Parsnip*, diced
300g of Pumpkin or Butternut Squash*, large dice
a generous pinch of Chili Powder
2 teaspoons of dried Oregano or Mixed Herbs**
2 x 400g tins of Chopped Tomatoes
2 x 400g tins of Beans (Cannellini/Butter/Kidney/Haricot/Flageolet all work brilliantly or a mixture of any of them!), drained and rinsed
Salt & Pepper
600g of washed and peeled Potatoes (about 3 medium sized), finely sliced
300ml of hot Beef Stock (or veggie stock if you’re using veggie sausages)
Special Equipment: A Large Lidded Oven-proof Casserole Dish that can also go on the hob
* Please feel free to vary your veggies as to what you have in, you can happily substitute with any sturdy veggies like sweet potatoes, swede, turnip, peppers, celery, celeriac, chard, green beans, cauliflower etc.
** Or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme all work wonderfully if you so happen to have any, my preference is for fresh rosemary.
Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC/Gas Mark 5.
Heat the oil in the Casserole Dish. Fry the sausages until a little browned all over. Set aside to cool, and when cool enough to handle cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Set aside until later.
In the same casserole dish add the onions and garlic and fry in the fat left from the sausages on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so nothing catches. Then throw in the carrots, parsnip and pumpkin or butternut (or your other chosen veggies). Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring at intervals.
Stir in the chili powder and herbs, quickly followed by the chopped tomatoes, beans and the set aside sausages.
Bring everything to a simmer and season generously with salt and pepper.
Take off the heat and arrange the sliced potatoes over the top of the hotpot. Pour the hot stock over the potatoes, place the lid on the top and slide into the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 45 minutes.
The hotpot’s ready when the potatoes have browned a little on top and are completely soft and tender.
I’m also entering my recipe to Ren of Fabulicious Food‘s Simple and In Season challenge, since it uses plenty of seasonal goodies. This month the event’s hosted by Cake, Crumbs and Cooking. And to Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla of Fab Food 4 All‘s Credit Crunch Munch event, as this is a particularly frugal munch!.
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