Recipe: Sausage and Bean Hot Pot

I am suffering with a horrid cold on top of it being my time of the month, so all I want to eat is good, old-fashioned comfort food. Is there anything more comforting than a nice sausage? This hearty meal will fill your belly right to your boots, and it is great for using up all the odds and ends of veg knocking about in your fridge and cupboards, looking a bit languid and forlorn, a day or two before you do your grocery shopping.

The syns value varies, depending on what sausages you use, but if you use Slimming World sausages or Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion sausages, it’s entirely syn-free. If you’re vegetarian, you can use vegetarian sausages or leave them out altogether, as it also makes a very nice bean and vegetable hot pot.

Key:
F = Free food (eat as much as you like)
S = Speed food (these should make up at least a third of your meal)
P = Protein free food (eat as much of these as you like!)
HEa = Healthy Extra A (a daily allowance of dairy produce)
HEb = Healthy Extra B (a daily allowance of a product with fibre)
# = a number denotes roughly how many syns are in foods used

944098_10156311643150386_8876319933887294806_nSAUSAGE AND BEAN HOT POT
Serves 4-6, syns value is dependent on your choice of sausage

Ingredients:

  • Sausages – allow 2 per person
  • 1 ltr passata (S)
  • 2 tins of beans in water (not in sauce!) (P)
  • a good-sized handful of lentils (P)
  • a good glug each of balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce (F)
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener (to take away the acidity of the tomatoes) (F)
  • whatever herbs and spices take your fancy (F)
  • as much speed veg as you can cram in there (S)

Directions:

  • Cook your sausages however you prefer – I grill mine, but you could oven cook or fry them if you like.
  • Cut your sausages into small chunks and chuck them in a pot with all the other ingredients, and let them all simmer away together till the veg is tender and the lentils are soft.

This time I used black eyed beans and butter beans, but other times I’ve used chickpeas and kidney beans, barlotti and cannelini beans – I just use whatever is in my cupboard at the time.

On this occasion, the veg I used was:

  • butternut squash (diced – I just cooked it in the sauce)
  • onions and garlic (which I sauteed lightly before putting in the rest of the ingredients)
  • baby corn
  • peppers
  • chillies
  • muchrooms
  • courgette
  • spinach

I tend to go with my old favourite combination of chilli powder, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried mixed herbs for flavour, but feel free to use whatever combination you like best.

It really is one of those dishes where I just see what’s looking a little limp or what’s rolling around in the bottom of the fridge that doesn’t look too suspect or like it’s about to grow legs and walk to the bin by itself. No matter what I’ve put in, it’s always turned out tasty.

I used a combination of four Asda Reduced Fat sausages (1.5 syns each) and four Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion sausages (syn-free), and it made five very generous portions which would come in at just under 1.5 syns each, so I rounded up to the full 1.5 to keep myself right.

I served mine with Slimming World chips, but it’s also delicious if you top it with mashed potato (or a mixture of potato and root veg all mashed together) and whack it under the grill to brown. If you fancy it, top that with cheese from your Healthy A choice, and serve with even more veg, steamed to perfection.

You can cook this in your slow cooker if you like – just brown the sausages, cut them up, and chuck everything in the pot. Whack it on low in the morning, and it’ll be ready for dinner when you get home from work. Equally, you can do it in a casserole dish – I reckon it’d take anything between 30-45 minutes, but I don’t tend to cook that way, so I couldn’t say for sure.

This recipe freezes well, so if you have an extra portion or two, pop them in freezable containers, label them, and whack them in the freezer to enjoy another time.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know what you think of it, so please do leave a comment below!

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