If you live on the East Coast of Australia it seems they've been talking about the extreme weather event to come all week while the sun shone defiantly and the sky stayed blue. Then yesterday afternoon it hit with a screech of wind and rain and its been cold and windy with random patches of blue all day. There have even been reports of snow out west where we're headed this weekend and I'm wondering if I can knit some more woolies before Saturday!
All of which inspired this meal which I first made a couple of weeks ago. I'm certain there's a recipe for this sort of thing out there somewhere but this one is mine and uses what I had on hand at the time - chicken sausages with lots of different beans and my old favourite tomato base. It makes a heart warming and healthy stew to help fill those empty legs my children seem to have at the moment. I think the sausages make it a bit more child friendly too, they love it.
I made it early today (which I never do) and it gave me the chance to take some pics along the way. I must say it was lovely cooking away with the sun and rain duelling outside the kitchen window, listening to the radio and pottering about. And its such a nice feeling knowing that dinner is all ready I must do it more often, maybe finally invest in a slow cooker. All thats left to do is slice some crusty bread and pour a glass of wine.
The chicken sausages are so light and tasty. Some are plain and the others are chicken cheese and spinach. I really love all the sausages you can buy these days, aren't we spoilt! All measurements are approximate and you could easily use different beans or perhaps lentils, add some vegies (I popped in some pumpkin), some chilli or a different meat, pork sausages would be nice. (p.s. I love this locally made Massel stock which is vegetarian - even the chicken stock - and all natural and free of lactose, gluten and msg.)
Bean and Sausage Stew
salt and pepper
2 onions chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
100ml white wine
1 cube vegetable stock dissolved in 350mls hot water
2 (or 3) cans chopped Italian tomatoes
3 or 4 cans of beans (cannelini, kidney, lima, chickpeas, borlotti) I drain and rinse mine
2 packets chicken sausages
heat olive oil in large pot or casserole dish
fry onion and garlic till soft and golden
add white wine and stir for three minutes
add stock cube, water and cans of tomatoes
cook down, approximately 15 minutes
meanwhile fry the sausages in a separate frypan or grill
add beans to casserole, cook ten minutes
add sausages to casserole (cut into large pieces)
season to taste
cook a bit longer then serve with crusty bread and glass of wine!
p.s. Winter warmer recipes very welcome! (And thanks to Tiel who emailled me about Boston Baked Beans today, sounds so delicious, its top of my eat list now!)
Do you have a slow cooker? What's the best one to buy, and what do you cook with it?