Slow cooked Boston Baked Bean and Sausage stew

This is basically slightly posher baked beans with sausages in.  Which I used to like as a kid but now I can’t help but feel somewhat suspicious of what is in those teeny tiny frankfurter sausages.  If it was indeed pigs that died to make those sausages I really don’t think they were happy pigs snuffling round a farm being fed turnips lovingly by a ruddy faced farmer called Andrew.  I’m not saying that is exactly how the pigs which made my sausages grew up.  I’m not sure that they were particularly happy about a trip to the abbatoir to be turned into tasty sausagey goodness for my eating pleasure.  But hopefully they were reasonably OK up until that point.  I used organic sausages to make this.  But of course, any bangers will do.

Increasingly I’m getting more into buying organic fruit and veg.  Of course, I do have concerns about the environment and animal welfare but I have to be honest my main reason for buying it is the taste.  I’ve pretty much been consistently disappointed with supermarket meat and veg recently. I’m lucky in that I live near an excellent green grocer and a farm shop.  I’ve also started getting an Abel & Cole veg box delivered.

Last time I dabbled with getting an organic veg box was when I was weaning Corey, about 5 years ago.  I was determined that he would have the best most tasty baby food ever.  He enjoyed a varied diet of the cream of the veg box crop and we ended up eating a lot of kale.  And kale wasn’t even trendy then.  The only person who even pretended to like it then was Gwyneth Paltrow.  Nowadays the world and his healthy wife are scoffing kale and making smoothies from it and pretending they like it.  I have been really impressed with the Abel & Cole boxes though – in a month of getting them we have used every last thing each week without many extra trips to the supermarket or greengrocers and everything has been of the highest quality.  There seems to always be an offer on too so overall  I really don’t think it works out more expensive.  Obviously it does if you normally buy the more value ranges or shop in Lidl.  But for equivalent quality I think its not bad value at all.

Anyway, back to the sausage stew.  We actually ended up having this twice last week.  Once as a prototype version for just the two of us one night then at the weekend I made a huge vat of it for us and our friends who came round for dinner.  It was the perfect friends for supper dish – tasty, filling, not time critical and I served it with a crusty baguette sliced up and some runner beans from the garden.  I did make a kids version at the same time which was essentially the same but with less of the spices.

Like I say, this made a massive vat of the stuff – but we are all pretty greedy so it fed 4 adults and 4 kids with some leftovers.  Not many leftovers admittedly.  But if you want it to stretch further you could do some jacket spuds with it.  Or just be less greedy than us.

I think this would be a fab bonfire night meal.

 

Warming stew

Warming stew

IMG_8081

Recipe – Boston Baked Bean and Sausage Stew (FEEDS LOTS SO ADJUST QUANTITIES DOWN ACCORDINGLY)

As many sausages as you think you’ll need – I used about 16 (didn’t actually count them)

1 large onion roughly chopped

2 tins of baked beans

1 tin other beans (I used kidney beans)

Use the empty tin to fill up with cold water too

3 rashers of smoked bacon or a handful of smoked pancetta cubes

4 cloves of garlic

2 sticks of celery finely chopped

1 pepper chopped quite big

3 tbsp. tomato puree

3 tbsp. soft dark brown sugar

1 tbsp. Worcester sauce

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard

1 bay leaf

bit of olive oil

 

I cooked all of this in my massive le creuset casserole dish.   I love it because you can brown things on the hob in it first – but if you don’t have one just use a frying pan then dump everything into a casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 165 mins.

Brown the sausages in the pan and set aside.  I had to do this in batches.

Fry the chopped onion and bacon for a couple of minutes.  Add the celery and pepper and fry for a minute.  Add all of the other ingredients (including the tin of water).

Give it a good old stir and then whack in the oven for around 90 minutes.  I then take the lid off and cook uncovered for about another 15 mins so that the sausages on the top get a good old colour on them.

The photos above are from when I made a smaller version for just us in the week – I stirred some spinach in just before serving.  I was going to do this when we had guests too but I had drunk Cava and so promptly forgot!

Enjoy

 

 

 

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