Slow-cooked Bean and Sausage Stew

It’s slow cooker season, oh boy!  The air is colder, the days are shorter…we need a bit of light and warmth in our lives.  Nothing quite compares to that feeling of coming home to an abode that smells as delicious as a meal that has had 8 hours to develop flavour.  Not only that, but a wonderful meal like this takes minimal effort – tiny bit of searing, chuck it all together and…wait.

The beans and sausages of this meal are, of course, adaptable.  I used cannellini beans and borlotti beans, with pulled pork sausages.  Change the meat, change the beans.  Really the joy here is in the mixture of textures and flavour in this protein abundant winter warmer.  Serve it with rice, bread, cous-cous, pearl barley, potatoes…whatever you fancy!  Just enjoy a hearty bowl with some people you care about (and that one you can’t stand, but have to invite to save face.)

Ingredients

  • Tinned beans
  • Sausages, sliced
  • Red Onion
  • Sweetcorn
  • Red Pepper (diced)
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Stock (1 and a half times the amount of water that fit in your tin of tomatoes)
  • Parsley
  • Oil
  • Seasoning
  • Creme Fraiche (optional)

Method

  1. Slice your sausages and onion, and fry in a little oil so that the meat develops a nice sear and the onions soften slightly.  A little salt will help the process along.
  2. Add to your slow cooker, along with all of the other ingredients except the seasoning and creme fraiche.  Normally I would demand that you season throughout, but it isn’t worth risking over-seasoning at this stage.  Stir it all together and cook on low for 8 hours, or medium for 4 hours.  Resist the urge to lift the lid, it is vital to the slow cooking process that you trust it to maintain a reasonable temperature.

  3. Season, taste, and if necessary add a little more liquid.
  4. Top with creme fraiche and serve.

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