. Recipes .

Recipe: Spicy bean stew with sausages

Posted: 26 September 2010


As I ducked out to the chipper on Friday night, with only my hoody for warmth, I finally noticed for myself what I've been hearing the weather folk on TV talking about.  Autumn has arrived, and it has definitely got chillier.  This thought must have stayed with me until the next morning when I started thinking about what I was going to cook for the weekend.  It didn't take me at all long to decide on the fabulous sausage stew that I discovered last Winter in my James Martin 'The Collection' cookbook.  In fact, I think it has sub-conciously been in the back of my mind since last winter when it has become a bit of a staple in our household, we actually must have had it at least five or six times!

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not promoting this particular James Martin cookbook as such, it jut happens to be the source of this recipe.  When I bought the book for myself last Christmas as a special treat I was actually quite disappointed.  That's not to say that there's anything wrong with the book as such, it's clear, concise, has good pictures, easy to follow recipes with easy to find ingredients.  My point is rather that maybe it's aimed at a slightly different market.  Out of the '300 classic recipes' contained within the book, on my first read I only tagged up 9 recipes that tickled my fancy.  Not a great ratio, but I have my own recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese, and when I want Spaghetti Bolognese, I want MY Spaghetti Bolognese and I won't be referring to a cookbook.

Summary (cont):

Despite my misgivings about the book as a whole, James I thank you for the below sausage stew recipe.  The recipe has loads of cupboard ingredients, and only takes about 40 mins start to finish so is great even for a mid week treat.

Right, I'm off to tend to the lamb joint in the oven, another comforting treat..... Enjoy!

Number Served:

4 (but adapts well to 2 as well)


5 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
8 sausages (Tesco's finest hot and spicy used to give the whole thing an extra kick that I loved but they stopped doing them - gutted!  Try another hot and spicy brand though)
4 streaky bacon rashers, chopped (I actually find smoked gives it extra depth as well)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped (or more if you fancy)
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 x 400g can plum or chopped tomatoes
a dash or red or white wine (whatever's open!)
2 x 300g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 300g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
leaves from a small bunch parsley, chopped


Put a large heavy based saucepan on the hob and heat 3 tbsp of the oil.  Add the sausages, and fry over a medium hear, turning them over until they are browned on the outside.  Take them out of the pan and chope them into 3cm pieces.  Set them aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, turn the heat down to low, add the bacon and onion, and fry gently for about 10 mins, stirring from time to time so that they don't catch the bottom.  They do pick up all the lovely sausagey goo at the bottom of the pan.

Add the garlic and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes, then add the brown sugar.  Pour in the tomatoes, wine and 300ml water, the stir in the sausage pieces along with the beans, and cook for 15-20 mins over a low to medium heat.

Srir in the parsley, salt and lots of black pepper.  Serve with some nice fresh crusty bread.