Day 14 – Sausage, Leek and Apple Casserole
In this case it was a butcher’s display, proudly advertising pork and leek sausages. They were beautifully made, with enough coarseness in their texture to add a depth of flavour and specked with fennel seeds to boot. It’s proof that even if you are on a budget, some gourmet snags every once in a while is a wonderful investment. In this case, four hefty hand-made sausages added so much oomph that the rest of the meal came together in no time.
1 tbsp olive oil; 6 fat pork sausages, preferably pork and leek or pork and fennel; 30g butter; 1 large onion, diced; 2 cloves garlic, finely diced; 1 large leek, white part only, washed and sliced thinly; 2 small or 1 very large granny smith apple; 1 tbsp plain flour; 2 tbsp cider vinegar; 1 litre chicken stock; 1 tbsp dijon mustard; 1 x 400g can borlotti or cannelini beans; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large cast-iron enamelled casserole pot or a heavy-based fry pan over medium heat. Add the oil and heat it up. Twist the sausages at their midway point to make 12 smaller sausages. Brown them, in two batches, for a few minutes until they start to colour. Remove from the pan and keep them warm.
Add the butter to the cooking juices and add onion, garlic and leek to the pot. Sauté for five minutes until the leeks soften and the onion turns translucent.
Peel, quarter and core the apple and slice each quarter into three more wedges. Add the apple pieces to the onion mixture and scatter the flour over the lot. Stir well to combine and thoroughly coat the vegetables with the flour mixture.
Add cider vinegar and allow it to bubble up briefly while you scrape up all the browned bits off the pan. Add the stock and mustard and bring to the boil.
If you are using the fry pan, pre-heat oven to 180°C. Transfer the onion and apple mixture to a 2L oven-proof casserole dish.
Regardless of which cooking method you are using, at this point return the sausages to the apple mixture and add the can of rinsed and drained beans. Cover well with a tight-fitting lid.
If using the oven: Bake for 40 minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the apples are collapsing into the sauce.
If using the stove top: Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook for 40 minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
Check for seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices.
$14.40 for four hearty serves