Hotpots ahead

January always heralds a fresh start and as 2018 gets underway we’ll undoubtedly be hit by the latest diet and fitness plans. Now, don’t get me wrong, a bracing country walk is one of the season’s delights, but January is no time for self-deprivation and calorie counting.

A couple of years ago, a major supermarket carried out a survey of the nation’s favourite January comfort foods, and more than 30 per cent of people rated a casserole as the dish they enjoy tucking into. The beauty – as we all know – of a slow-cooked braised dish is there’s not much to do apart from assemble your ingredients, add some tasty stock or cooking liquid, pop the lid on and leave it to simmer away for several hours.

Beef, chicken, lamb, pork or venison all work wonderfully but for something a bit different – and economical, in keeping with January budgets – Tom Kerridge has a brilliant sausage casserole recipe, topped with Savoy cabbage pesto.

Fry 150g of streaky bacon in a pan until crisp, remove and brown eight sausages before setting aside. Gently fry a chopped onion, two garlic cloves, a diced carrot and stick of celery until softened. Add two 400g tins of butter beans, 100ml of white wine vinegar and 50g of caster sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes until the liquid reduces by half. Add 100ml of white wine and 400ml of chicken stock and two bay leaves before returning the bacon and sausages. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid reduces by half.

Meanwhile, chop a handful of Savoy cabbage leaves in a food processor with 50g Parmesan, 50g pine nuts, half a garlic clove and a handful of parsley, before slowly adding 15ml of olive oil to form a pesto. Blitz two slices of bread, some lemon zest and a couple more cabbage leaves in the food processor and preheat the grill. When the casserole is cooked, drizzle the pesto on top, sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and grill until golden brown. The simple sausage just got a makeover!

Don’t forget, our sausages are all made in-store from local pork, so you know you can tuck in, forget the January blues and enjoy a nutritious, delicious dinner!