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Spiced sausage and bean casserole (Ve)

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a warming, hearty stew.

This sausage casserole can be made with meat, vegetarian or vegan sausages. Or if you’re catering for different needs at your table, you can easily divide the mixture before you add the sausages for a very simple way to create a delicious meal that suits everyone.

Sausage and bean stew – meat or vegetarian/vegan versions

Tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil

8 free range pork sausages /vegetarian/vegan sausages or 4 of each depending on quantities required – this is based on 2 sausages per person.

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans

1 x 300g tin of kidney beans

1 teaspoon brown sugar

grating of nutmeg

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves

1 sprig of fresh thyme of a teaspoon of dried thyme

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

Serves 4

In a heavy based saucepan or cast iron casserole dish heat the oil and fry the onion gently until soft.

Meanwhile, brown the sausages for a few minutes in a frying pan. Add the crushed garlic, then the brown sugar and the spices and herbs. Add the tinned tomatoes.

At this point, if you want to do one vegetarian version and one meat, divide the mixture into two pans.

Add the sausages to the correct pan. Then add the beans and give it all a good stir and season.

Ensure it cooks at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to check it isn’t sticking on the bottom. Cook for at least 1-2 hours. You can cook the sausage casserole(s) on the top on a gentle heat, or transfer to an oven proof dish and cook in the oven for an hour at 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Serve with mashed potato and a vegetable like green beans.

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