I’m back! Apologies for the disappearance into oblivion! The last couple of months have been so busy.. When I haven’t been at work, getting a snazzy new job, going to Weightwatchers, doing exercise (an entirely out-of-character pursuit) and painting my bedroom, I have been sleeping! All of this has meant that I’ve barely been around recently and so I apologise.
As mentioned above, I have a snazzy new job, of which I’m incredibly proud. It’s been a long year of looking for something that fits and temping, which I love but of which I had begun to tire. I really enjoy temp work, I like arriving somewhere and doing my job until I’m no longer needed and moving on, much like Mary Poppins or a sticking plaster! But I was ready to settle somewhere and I’ve found somewhere I enjoy work, the people are hysterical and lovely and where I feel that I am already a part of the team so fingers crossed the next 12 months are a rollercoaster of fun!
With my return comes Autumn and I am volubly a fan of this season. I have always been open about my love of new terms, orange and yellow leaves, cosy knitwear and the excuse to start wearing scarves again and I have the perfect recipe for this time of year. It’s also bliss because it’s predominantly made with things from the cupboard and those of us careerwomen (!! Snort!) who get home from work and want to make something delicious, need these sort of recipes up our careerwomen sleeves!
I was also inspired by this because I had some amazing sausages at the Liverpool Hope Street Feast this weekend. An amazing event in Liverpool’s social calendar, slightly marred by the rain but a huge success. The sausages were from Porcus, a rare breed pork farm in Todmorden, Yorkshire, http://www.porcus.co.uk/. These were some of the most delicious sausages and we all agreed that we would be overjoyed if they did mail order.
This is a cheat’s cassoulet, by which I mean if you were to make it in France, you would probably use goose fat and confit of duck and you’d cook it for hours but this is a delicious easy supper for weeknights. The things like tinned tomatoes and beans are all likely things you would have in the house and we always have emergency sausages in the freezer. This a little like my Dad’s famous ‘sausages are interesting for supper’ creations so I suppose I must credit him with this!
• a handful of chopped up smoked streaky bacon or pancetta
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large bunch of mixed fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
• 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 2 bay leaves
• 1/4 bottle of red wine
• 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
• 2 x 400g tins of borlotti or cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 large sausages, the tastier, gnarlier and chunky the better
• 1 large, stale slice of white bread, crusts removed, whizzed to make breadcrumbs
• 1 small handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- In a large casserole dish or roasting tin on the hob, add the olive oil and saute the red onions, garlic and bacon until golden and crispy. Add the herbs and stir through. Pour in the wine and cook for 5 minutes.
- To the wine/savoury mixture, add the tinned tomatoes and beans. Cook over a good heat for 15 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Season the tomato mixture and lay the sausages across the top so they can brown when you put them in the oven.
- Place in a preheated oven at 180-200C. Cook for 15 minutes until the sausages are beginning to brown and curl. At this point, scatter over the breadcrumbs, the thyme leaves and a glug of olive oil.
- Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are bronzed and crispy.
- Eat with something crisp and green like tenderstem brocolli..