You might wonder about the “ever-lasting” in the title. It isn’t, of course. I’m just impressed that this casserole makes a six pack of sausages feed four.
Some of the very frugal folks reading this will be sitting scoffing at the fact that I think this is an achievement, but Dave eats three sausages to himself when I make sausage and mash, and I eat two, and that’s the pack pretty much done. As I only eat free range or at least outdoor bred or reared pork (the normal bacon/ham you might see on the shopping list is for Dave – I’m really strict about it for myself though), I wanted to have a go at making it “stretch” a bit more.
Whenever you have a piece of meat you want to stretch, the worst thing you can do it serve it in one lump, which just emphasises the teeniness of the portion. For example, 250g of steak will easily feed two when sliced up in a salad or stirfry or whatever (Jamie Oliver does it in his 15 minute meals so it isn’t just me!) but Dave would not be happy if I presented him with one 125g bit of beef and called it a steak. Likewise, you get more servings of out sausages if you chop them up and put them in a casserole.
This has loads of veg, beans, tomatoes and vaguely Mediterranean flavours, and was really, really good. We ate two of the servings last week with mash and popped the other two helpings in the freezer for eating this week with rice.
Mediterranean Sausage Casserole (serves four at £1.08 p/portion)
- 6 nice pork sausages, stabbed with a fork £2 (Morrisons)
- 2 small onions, diced 6p (49p / kg, Morrisons)
- 1/2 courgette, chopped into half rounds 17p (£1 / 3 pack, Tesco)
- 1 1/2 mixed-colour peppers 53p (£1.41 / 4 pack, Tesco)
- 2 carrots, diced 13p (79p / 800g, Asda)
- 1/3 pack spring greens or similar amount of cabbage, sliced 33p (£1 / bag, Asda)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes 31p (Asda)
- 1 tin cannelini or butter beans 50p (Morrisons)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil 2p (£1.45 / litre, Tesco)
- 1 tsp oregano 4p (95p / 25g, Asda)
- 1 tsp thyme 5p (74p / 14g, Asda)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika 6p (82p / 45g)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed 10p (£1 / bulbs, Morrisons)
- chicken stock, to cover, around 300 ml (homemade & free from freezer)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and heat the oil in a casserole dish that’s hob-safe (or if you haven’t got one, use a large frying pan and transfer to an oven dish to go in the oven). Fry the sausages until nicely browned on all sides before lifting out and setting aside.
Add the onions, peppers and carrots to the pan (there should be enough oil and sausage fat to cook them off). gently cook for a few minutes until the onions are soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two further.
Add all the ingredients to the casserole dish, finishing with the chicken stock so you can gauge the level. I put the sausages in whole and chopped just before serving, but I now think I probably could have put them in chopped here.
Put the lid on the casserole dish and put it in the oven. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until everything is tender and the sausages are cooked through, then serve with mash, crusty bread or rice.
EDIT – forgot to total it – it’s £1.08 per portion not including mash, rice or bread.
What’s your favourite casserole recipe? Does anyone else use the ‘chopping-up’ technique to make meat go further?