Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Goliath Sausages

Autumn has come to my world surprisingly early this year.  It’s only mid-September and yet the blackberries have gone over, the night time temperatures have slipped to single figures and the mornings are chilly.  Taking the dog for an evening stroll now means returning to the cosy glow of a lamp lit home. 

Yesterday was one such perfect autumn day.  We had a lovely romp out in the cool sunshine and then came home to put this casserole together.  The only thing missing in my world was the Aga!! 

This dish is really just a pared down version of the Guinness sausages recipe I gave a few months ago.  I called it Goliath sausages because I cooked them in one of my husband’s favourite ales – Wychwood’s Goliath ale.  In reality, you could use any ale or dark beer of your choice! 

For two of us I used : 

6 good meaty sausages
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 small carrot
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bayleaf
1tb flour
2tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 anchovy (optional, but gives a lovely meaty depth of flavour)
Salt and pepper to taste
1tb olive oil 

Firstly, brown the sausages all over.  While they are browning, peel and slice the onions into thick half-moons. 

Cook the onions in the olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes, so that they get nice and brown without burning.  Peel and dice the carrot and cook with the onions.  Finely chop the garlic and add that, cooking for a few minutes.  Add the anchovy and push around the base of the pan to ‘melt’ it. 

Add the flour to the onions and carrot and mix well in, gently pour in the ale (so that it doesn’t froth up too much) and stir in.  Add the rosemary, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and sausages and give another stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Bring to a simmer on the hob and then cover with a close fitting lid.  Cook in the oven at 150oC/275o F/gas mark 1 for 3 hours.  You want to have a nice gravy with this so if it seems to dry out at all just add a little more boiling water (half a cup or so). 

This really is best served with buttery mashed potato to mop up the gravy!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Blackberry Crumble

Crumble in any guise is a lovely comfort food.  Blackberry crumble is perfect at this time of year, and my absolute favourite. 

The simple rule of thumb with crumble recipes is that you need half the quantity of butter to flour, and the same amount of sugar as butter. 

For a small crumble for two of us I used : 

Approximately 8 to 12oz of blackberries 
2 or 3tsp sugar, to taste

6oz plain flour
3oz butter
3oz caster sugar 

Simply clean the blackberries (I always soak them in salted water for a few hours to get rid of any ‘visitors’!) and arrange in a buttered dish adding sugar to taste. 

In a food processor (or mixer, or by hand) mix the flour, sugar and butter together to achieve a breadcrumb texture.  Sprinkle the crumble topping over and cook at 200oC / 400oF / gas 6 for approximately 30 minutes or so. 

Best served with custard, although ice cream is nice too!

Herby Roasted Sausages and Root Vegetables

This is such a quick and easy dish to put together that it’s perfect fare for a weeknight dinner.  It’s also relatively inexpensive, and quite filling. 

Obviously you can use whatever assortment of root vegetables you and your family prefer, or have to hand.  The quantities are easily adjusted to suit the number of people that you are feeding too. 

The recipe (such as it is!) given below is what I used to feed two of us. 

6 good meaty sausages (I always prefer Cumberland)
1 large carrot
½ medium swede (rutabaga)
1 large potato
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
Appx 1tb each of chopped fresh rosemary and sage (use less if using dried herbs)
1tb olive oil

To prepare simply peel and dice the potato and carrot into nice big chunks, cut the swede into smaller pieces as it will take longer to cook.  Peel the onion, halve it and cut each half into quarters.  Peel and slice the garlic and finally wash and chop the herbs. 

Simply toss all of the prepared vegetables, herbs and sausages in a large roasting tin with the olive oil and finally add a seasoning of black pepper. 

Cook in a hot oven (220oC / 425oF / gas 7) for approximately 45 minutes.