A food post! I'm sorry there have been so few over recent months, but my current health problems make it hard to feel enthusiastic about food, especially as I'm currently supposed to be following a very low fibre diet, so many of my favourite foods are off the menu.
However with the weather having suddenly turned much colder, we needed some comfort food - and my usual favourite winter warmer of sausages with lentils and parsnips was going to be too fibre rich, so I came up with this comfort-food alternative.
It isn't an expensive dish to make, but you could push the price down even further by using economy sausages and mushrooms, bacon scraps and the cheapest cider you can find. Not that bargain basement white stuff though - I once tried cooking with a can of that (I'd bought it in order to enter a competition and couldn't face drinking it) and it had no cider flavour, just an unpleasant metallic bitterness. On the other hand, if you used your butcher's premium free range sausages, wild mushrooms, pancetta and an artisan cider, this dish would be great for entertaining.
To serve 4
Pork sausages, 2-3 per person depending on your appetites.
1 large onion, quartered then thinly sliced
150g small flat mushrooms, wiped and quartered
6 rashers thin cut streaky bacon, cut into small strips or lardons
1 tbs sunflower or rapeseed oil
440ml can dry cider
1 rounded tbs plain flour
1 tbs tomato purée
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
(optional) a beef stock cube
Heat the oven to 150 C (130 Fan). 300 F, gas nark 2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and briskly fry the sausages until browned, then remove them from the pan and keep warm.
Add the butter to the remaining oil in the pan, then add the onions and bacon and fry for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and fry for about 5 minutes more, then reduce the heat to very low and blend in the flour. Gradually pour in the cider, stirring constantly, increase the heat and stir until boiling. Add the remaining ingredients, seasoning well if you choose not to add the stock cube, and then cook in the oven for 1-1½ hours (it's very forgiving about time), stirring occasionally.
Lovely served with mashed potato - I added some marrow in cheese sauce, too.
Because this is so cheap to make, I'm joining in with Credit Crunch Munch which this month is being hosted at My Little Italian Kitchen and as always is looked after by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All.