On Saturday the TV cook Clarissa Dixon Wright died, along with Jenifer Paterson she sparked my interest in cooking more than just cake – it just took me sixteen years to do anything about it!
I used to be a stew monster. But since moving to London, and starting the New Recipe Night project I’ve not made one – all the books seem to list hundreds of ingredients for a stew, and I’ve banned myself from the Coleman’s Packs. Then today when I heard about Clarissa on the radio, I reached for my copy of Clarissa’s Comfort Food and found this really simple sausage casserole recipe to make in her honour.
The recipe says it serves four, but I think you could easily halve the ingredients and there’d still be enough for four. You’ll need 900g of sausages (approx 16 Richmond style bangers, less if you get big ones from the butchers) four onions, oil (although if the sausages are oily you won’t need it), 1 garlic clove, a tin of tomatoes and a bottle of beer/half a bottle of red wine.
For this recipe you need a flameproof casserole dish, or big lidded oven-pan that can go on the hob and in the oven. Start off by browning the sausages and putting them aside.
This is pretty much my comfort eating fantasy. The recipe says you should put oil in the pan and then fry the onions, but I just used the oil from the sausages.
When they’ve changed colour slightly, add the garlic and a few minutes later add the sausages
Season with salt and pepper, and then throw in the tomatoes and beer/wine and lob it in the oven at gas mark 4/180c/350f for an hour.
I didn’t take it out to stir or anything, and it came just like this. To go with it I made mustard-y mashed potatoes, and did some beans.
I guess with bigger sausages and hungrier diners it would be fine for four, but we’ve got two more portions going into the freezer, and with more mash we could easily have served eight.
I’m not sure where you’d find a copy of this book, maybe in the charity shops, or on Amazon, but it’s a good book with lots of comforting food, so track down a copy if you can.
Clarissa’s Comfort Food, by Clarissa Dixon Wright (Kyle Cathie Limited, 2008. ISBN: 978 1 85626 713 7)