Well Autumn is well and truly here now. The weather is starting to get colder (I’ve been able to start wearing my new hats); the evenings are getting shorter; the leaves are are turning and starting to fall off the trees and we’re starting to get that beautiful Autumnal light, shining through the multi coloured trees. For me, it’s also the time of year where we start cooking stews and casseroles again. There is something particularly lovely about coming home to the smell of a stew cooking in the slow cooker. I thought over the next few blog posts, I’d share with you 3 of my favourite slow cooker recipes, which I am going to call my ‘Weekend Warmer Recipes’. You can do them in a casserole dish in the oven, or in a saucepan on the hob but you’ll have to change the timings. Casseroles are really hard to take good photo’s of, so, as I like photo’s on my blog, here are a couple of ‘Autumn’ shots of our local area.
I love my slow cooker; we use it all the time. It’s great because I can get the dinner ready, whenever is easiest and just leave it to cook. It also means that little man can eat the same thing as my hubby and I, even though we eat at different times, as I can just take his portion out and leave ours safely in there. I saves me cooking two teas! In fact, because these are pretty much ‘throw it all in together and let it go’ recipes, Little Man often helps me with the cooking, which means that he is more interested in eating the end result (we’re going through the fussy toddler phase at the moment).
Right the first Weekend Warmer Recipe I’m going to share with you is my Sausage Casserole (serves 2-3)
I haven’t given exact amounts for some things like meat and onions as people like different amounts.
Sausages (the key is to use good quality sausages – I usually find supermarket ‘finest’ ranges work well as they have a higher Pork content).
1 Tin of Chopped tomotoes
100ml of boiling water
1/2 a pork stock cube
Mixed herbs, a bay leaf and pepper to season.
Tomato purée to thicken if needed.
1. Fry onion in a frying pan and add to slower cooker.
2. Pour over 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and the stock (made from the water and the stock cube).
3. Add the sausages and add some mixed herbs, bay leaf and pepper. Thicken with tomato purée (I just squeeze it in until it seems to have done the job) if you need to.
4. Cook on ‘high’ for 2-3 hours, until the sausages are cooked or if you want to leave it on all day, just stick it on ‘low’.
5. If you want to, an hour before serving chop the sausages up (I do this for little man).
Serve with pasta, jacket pots, bread or cous cous.