Sausage casserole

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Bert, determined sauce avoider, came home from pre-school raving about the ‘brown, bumpy sauce’ he’d had there. Questioning and detective work revealed it to be sausage casserole. Desperate for some sauce in our lives, I quizzed him intensely, thought hard about what makes the best sausage casserole (and what makes sauce brown and bumpy), did some research and tinkering and came up with this.

Meanwhile, Bert’s been perfecting his joke delivery technique.

‘What do you get if… [stage whisper] what is it? you put what is it??? boiling water down what is it??? rabbit hole?’

I don’t know, what do you get?

‘What is it??? Hot what is it??? bunny. Hot hot hot hot hot hot…hot hot hot… hot hot what is it??? hot hot hot… hot bunny hot hot hot what is it??? cross bun bunny.’

Stewart Lee has made a career out of this. But all we have is an uneaten portion of sausage casserole.

‘What is it?  It is not brown bumpy sauce. It is not brown. What is it?’

He had pasta and Parmesan cheese, we had this.

Serves 4

Good glug of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 carrot, grated

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

1 pack chipolata sausages, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tin tomatoes

300ml chicken stock

1 dessert spoon dark brown sugar

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon dried rosemary or finely chopped fresh rosemary

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and soften the onions. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook gently till the carrot is soft and pale orange. Add the sausages and cook till browned. Then add everything else, bring to a fast simmer, reduce the temperature and cook for 30 minutes, stirring now and then.

Serve with pasta, buttery mash or crusty bread.

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Sausage pasta


‘Look my willy! Look like snake, long snake. I pull it?’

Two minutes later.

‘Look my crazy willy!’

In other news, we had sausage pasta for dinner. 

Serves 2

1 onion, chopped

2 small carrots, diced

2 sticks celery, diced

1 tin chopped tomatoes and half the can of water

Olive oil 

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon cream

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 sausages 

1 tablespoon cream

Parmesan to serve 

Fry the veg gently in olive oil till starting to soften then tip in the tomatoes and water, and season. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile de-skin the sausage and break into pieces into a hot pan with a splash of oil in. Add the fennel seeds and cook on a very low heat while the sauce cooks. 

Then blend the sauce, add half to the sausages (fridging or freezing the rest for pasta sauce or pizza sauce), stir a spoonful of cream into the remainder and simmer on a very low heat while you cook the pasta. Add a splash of the drained pasta water to the sauce, stir through the cooked pasta till its coated in sauce and you’re good to go. Sprinkle on Parmesan at the table.

Eat naked from the waist down, dressed as the Gruffalo waist up.


Root veg cakes and sausages

rootvegcakes

…and a poached egg for me.

I suppose this is a bit brunchy for dinner, but in a world where we sleep in a pair of woolly tights, on all fours, with our bum in the air and reject milk but eat dried dog food, anything goes.

Serves 1.5 very generously (2 if you count the dog as a second half person)

A selection of root veg – we used a small carrot, 4 small potatoes and a quarter of a small celeriac

A dessert spoon of flour

1 egg

A grating of black pepper and nutmeg, a sprinkle of dried or well chopped fresh sage

A large dessert spoon of butter

Sausages

An egg

Peel and chop the veg into pieces – about the size you’d do for roasting – and parboil them for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the sausages in the oven or under the grill. Grate the veg (using a food processor means you can do it hot) and combine with the flour, herbs and egg. Get the butter frothy in a hot pan and put small spoonfuls of the veg mixture in – if they’re small it makes them a bit more manageable and less fragile. Push them down a bit with the spatula till they sizzle. Fry till golden on both sides, then poach or fry an egg for yourself to go on top. No reason why a baby can’t eat an egg, but self feeding and runny yolks are an extravagant combination, wet wipes wise.