Bangers & mash

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I work in an office on a Thursday and Friday, which for our little family affords us the best of both worlds. I’m very fortunate to get good quality time with the girls, plus adult interaction and of course a bit of extra cash. I love my job, the people are great and the work is well within my capabilities. It’s an early start and I’m out of the door by 6:45. When I get home, after collecting the girls from nursery it’s all systems go to get them fed, bathed and in bed.

As you can imagine, dinner on these nights for hubby and I has to be quick and easy. There are usually leftovers from Wednesday kicking around for Thursday and it doesn’t get much simpler or scrumptious than bangers and mash on a Friday.

I’m really enjoying farmers markets at the moment, and always try to be a bit more adventurous with my sausage selection than I would if I was doing an online grocery shop. Last week we had some really tasty ginger & spring onion bangers and tonight we’re having spicy pork, beef & chorizo from the awesome Brixton Village.

We don’t eat too many potatoes in our house these days but do still enjoy mash, so I always try and use veggies that are in season. As luck would have it, March is a great time for this as some of my fave veg is very hot to trot right now! Tonight’s concoction will be cauliflower, broccoli and leek. Yumsters!

Ingredients (to serve two):
4-6 good quality sausages
250g broccoli – chopped into small florets
250g cauliflower – chopped into small florets
Large leek – finely sliced
50g butter – I use goats
Salt & pepper
Splash of wine (whatever you have open)
Dollop of red onion chutney (optional)

Method:
– get a large non stick frying pan nice and hot, melt a small knob of butter into it, then chop the sausages into three or four pieces each directly into the pan coating each one with butter

– let them brown for a few mins, then pour over the wine, turn the heat down low and put a lid on

– in a large saucepan sauté the leek in a large knob of butter, until soft. Tip the contents of the pan into a bowl and set to one side

– place your cauliflower and broccoli in the pan your leeks have vacated and fill with cold water. Bring to the boil, then continue cooking over a high heat for 5-10 mins until nice and soft

– drain and return to the pan. Chop the remainder of the butter into six pieces and scatter over the veg. Give it a good mix with a potato masher (or whiz in a blender) then stir in the leeks and season to taste

– by now your sausages should be ready to serve, but always double check they are cooked through

– distribute your bangers and mash as required, along with the lovely gravy that will have accumulated at the bottom of the frying pan

– I like to serve ours with a big dollop of home made red onion chutney on the top. Check out this recipe for a quick version

 

Eat the fridge casserole

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This über flavoursome dish was inspired today by needing to eat up what was in my fridge, to make way for the christmas shopping. By sticking to the first half of the method, I’m certain you could use any leftover meat and still get really tasty results.

Ingredients (for two large bowls):
2 chicken thighs
2 rashers of bacon
6 chipolatas
2-3 tbsp fat (I used duck fat, although olive oil or butter would work just as well)
50ml stock
50ml white wine
Large red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 a celery
100g mushrooms
4 carrots
1/2 a butternut squash

Method:
– preheat the oven to 175C/350F and brush half of the fat over a large baking sheet

– peel your carrots, parsnips and squash and cut into small chunks. Arrange on the tray and roast for 30 mins

– in the meantime, melt the other half of the fat in a large ovenproof pot over a med-high heat. Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery, and fry until soft. Adding a little stock if necessary, to stop from burning

– peel and quarter the mushrooms and chuck in at this point. Cook for a few mins with the lid on to create some liquid, then put the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside

– return the pan to the heat, and brown off the chicken and sausages. Chop up the bacon and add to the pan. Pour in the wine and rest of the stock, then add the veg in the bowl and give everything a good stir

– turn the heat off and allow the pan to sit on the stove until the veg in the oven is ready

– when the veg has had half an hour, remove from the oven and add to the pan

– reduce the oven temp to 160C/325F and cook for an hour with the lid on. Serve immediately with green veggies