1994 sausage hotpot

They say your sense of smell is the most evocative, and on opening the oven door to this hotpot I was transported to Solihull in the early to mid-Nineties. Just as I had hoped.

There, at my grandparents’ house, I would dine impatiently on this delicious, warming and hearty supper. Grampy’s secret ingredient was dried stuffing mix, which he’d sprinkle over the top layer of potatoes to give it a herby, crispy crust.

It’s very cheap to make, being made mostly of root veg and bangers. Good sausages aren’t especially cheap if you pay full price, so I recommend raiding the Whoops! counter or turning to a bag of frozen ones.

Feeds: 4-6

Prep time: 10mins

Cook time: 1hr Р1hr 15mins

Ingredients:

  • 12 sausages (the best you can afford)
  • 4 white potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1tsp garlic puree
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 sausage casserole packet mix (80p @ ASDA)
  • 2tbsp dry sage and onion stuffing mix (30p/85g)

Method:

  1. Finely dice the celery stick, the carrots and one of the onions, then fry in a little oil with the garlic until softened. Remove from the frying pan and season generously.
  2. Fry the sausages in a little oil. Do this in batches if needs be, and get good colour on the skins.
  3. While the sausages fry, thinly slice the second onion into half moons and separate the rings. Then, peel and thinly slice the potatoes, and set aside.
  4. Once cooked, cut the sausages lengthways and set aside.
  5. Combine the stock cube and packet mix with 2/3 pint of boiling water.
  6. In a casserole dish with a lid, layer first potato, then onion, then fried vegetables, and finally sausages. Now repeat, using up the last of the onion and fried veg. I used five sausages on layer one, and seven on layer two – as my dish is wider is the top.
  7. Top with a final layer of potato, then pour in the stock mix.
  8. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven at 200C for 30-45 minutes. Then, remove the lid and scatter with the sage and onion stuffing before returning to the oven, uncooked, for a further 30 minutes.
  9. Serve with a chunk of crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

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