Oh the humble sausage, it has saved many a meal time for me. It’s quick and tasty and although I am a little sceptical about its nutritional value once in a while I think it is fine. I’m pretty sure N has ‘forgotten’ how to cook since we got married but if he ever does have to fend for himself it usually involves some form of sausages.
But this dish makes the humble sausage into something beautiful. I’ve tried a few sausage and bean cassoulet recipes in the past and they’ve always been fine, but never great. This is one of those dishes where every mouthful is an explosion of taste and no matter how full you are you really don’t want it to end. And it tastes even better every time I remember that I invented the recipe myself!
Cook’s tip: for a vegetarian version substitute the pork sausages for vegetarian ones such as Quorn or Linda McCartney.
- Brown the sausages in a non-stick frying pan. They do not have to be cooked through.
- Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot
- Fry the onions for a few minutes
- Add the garlic and bay leaves and fennel seeds. Cook for a minute or two
- Add the chorizo and mix well. Cook on a low heat until the chorizo starts to release some oil. Mix well so the onion is coated in the chorizo oil
- Drain the beans and rinse thoroughly with water
- Add the beans and the leeks to the stock pot and mix well
- Add the chopped tomatoes and all the juices
- Add the paprika and stir well
- Cut the sausages into pieces (approx 1 inch) and add to the bean sauce
- Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for approx 20 minutes. If there is too much water increase the heat to evaporate, or if it is too dry add some boiling water
- Just before it has finished cooking still through the parsley and mustard
- Serve with crusty bread