Quick and easy mid-week sausage casserole

One of my biggest food-related resentments is not having the energy to enjoy cooking dinner after a day at work. It’s the one meal of the day where you can take the time to focus on nourishing yourself. Manipulate raw ingredients and watch them transform in colour, smell and texture into a creation. Choose and plan exactly what you will eat and how you will eat it. With the launch of Meat in a Box comes my own lifestyle rebrand. Yes, I will invest time and energy into making every meal special. No, I won’t simply pick up a ready meal. (*NB Chris read this and told me I sound like Gwyneth Paltrow)

My second item from the Well Hung Meat Company small meat box was a pack of six organic pork sausages. I’m not actually a huge sausage fan, but I ended up begrudgingly impressed with the product. They were a bunch of non-descript fellas, but they did pack a punch in the end as they are essentially what a good quality pork sausage should be – made from a mix of belly pork and pork shoulder meat, mixed with organic sausage mix, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

I had in mind all day a quick and easy mid-week sausage casserole, so gathering all my leftover vegetables I came up with this.

The sausages were browned for 5-6 minutes in a casserole dish and then set aside. They released a wonderful smell that can only be described as akin to the tantalising smell of a pizza puffing up in an oven. Weird. I chopped up onions, garlic, some old mushrooms and celery and chucked them into the same dish and softened them in the sausage fat. A bay leaf was added in for good measure. To get a lovely sauce going, I added 1.5 tablespoons of flour while gradually pouring in a very large a glass of red wine (intermittently taking a sip). Then it was into a preheated oven at 150C for 45 minutes. Super simple!

What I love about this recipe is that you can use any vegetables you want. I did see a variation kicking around that called for bacon, but obviously I can’t cook any meat that’s not from the Box – dems da rules!

I served up the sausage casserole with some weird potato bites that I saw in Sainsbury’s – I did reach for the ready made mash (cut me slack, I was tired!) but it was sold out. The sausage had a dark, gamey flavour to it, firm and not fatty at all. The wine sauce turned out superbly, very tangy on the tongue and just the right consistency. I would definitely recommend a mash to soak up the sauce. If there was anything I’d have done differently, it would have been browning the sausages just that bit longer. The remainder of the casserole has been frozen in two portions to sustain me through the rest of the month.

The Well Hung Meat Company sells packs of organic pork sausages in five for £4.49, or they come in sixes in a meat box. The casserole serves three and cost about £7 to make.

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