Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mystery Chef (and Jamie Oliver) present: Cumberland Sausage Casserole

There has been no change in the weather. The weekend was freezing. It snowed both Saturday and Sunday, sometimes fluffy flakes, other times, wet and useless, none of it sticking to the ground, but generally just blowing in your face and being a nuisance.

My weekend was quite low key. Dinner and drinks with friends on Friday night, trudging around running errands in the snow on Saturday, and a cozy night in on Saturday night. By Sunday, I was more than pleased to be invited to a friend's for Sunday lunch.

To give you a little background, I had cooked for this friend before, but this time it was his turn. I had also inspected the content's of his kitchen, and as he didn't yet have a cutting board or tea towels to dry dishes with (it should be noted that much to my surprise, those items have since been acquired), I was beginning to question how he was going to turn out a full meal...

But every good friendship is built on trust.... so off I went with some downloaded movies and some Rosemary (Mystery Chef's local grocer was out).

On the menu: Jamie Oliver's Cumberland Sausage Casserole 
(for the original source click here ...but then you'll miss out on the Mystery Chef 
getting his 'cook' on)

You will need:

• 6 thick cumberland sausages
• Olive oil, for frying
10 banana shallots, peeled
• 5 rosemary sprigs
• 1 large glass red wine (get a bottle and then you can drink it while you cook)
• 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
• 2 x 400g tins cannellini beans (sorry Jamie, we used Chick Peas and I'm pretty sure it was better)
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
• 4 small dried chillies, crumbled
• 2 large handfuls breadcrumbs 

Mystery Chef: I don't want to wear the Apron

Me: You have to wear the Apron

Mystery Chef: Jamie Oliver would NEVER wear this Apron

Me: Put on the Apron

Method: (Jamie says it serves 4...but the two of us polished it off quite easily)

1. Put the sausages in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil, the shallots, 2–3 sprigs of the rosemary and a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Toss gently, and place on a medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, moving everything around to brown evenly. Pour in the wine and simmer gently until it’s almost gone, then add the tomatoes and beans, bring them to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. 

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Spoon the casserole into a baking dish and bake for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil, the garlic and chilli, the chopped leaves of the remaining rosemary and the breadcrumbs, and stir-fry until golden brown. Take the stew out of the oven, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, then return to the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and red wine.

Into the Casserole dish and into the oven it goes...don't mind the slop on the side of the dish.
Chef consults Jamie. 
The topping...don't forget to deglaze the pan.
Sprinkle the topping on top, and back into the oven.
The finished product, gobbled down with some crusty bread and sauteed spinach.

This dish was absolutely scrumptious, and I am definitely going to add it to the rotation. 

After settling into a food coma, we spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch with the rest of the red wine and some Easter chocolate watching 

'The Englishman who went up a Hill but came down a Mountain'. 

Have you seen it?

(Skip to 35 seconds to watch from the good part)

Me (In my best accent): "They came all this way Just to measure our Mountain!"

Mystery Chef: "Stop, you are terrible at accents"

Me: "Welsh?"

Mystery Chef: "Nope, Irish"

Me (In my best accent): "If it's got to be a thousand feet, then by God let's make it a thousand feet"

Me: "Welsh?"

Mystery Chef: "East Indian"

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