On a piggy mission: 1

This weekend I bought half a pig, a lovely Large Black rare breed free range fella. It was rather handily divided up already, into a vast array of joints, chops, loin, tenderloin, steaks, bacon and sausages.

So, I thought I’d try and cook lots of interesting and new (to me) things, mainly to stop me getting bored of eating so much pig or cooking the same things over and again. We all have favourites after all.

So, this evening we have: Sausage Cider Casserole with Fennel, Apple and Squash

Serves 4 (or two hungry people with leftovers for the dog)

1 tbsp oil (rape seed or sunflower is fine)

6 good sausages (min 70% meat)

1 medium onion, diced

1 fennel bulb, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1/4 squash, peeled and chopped (I used butternut, but acorn or even pumpkin would work here)

1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, quartered and chopped

1 bottle of cider (I used Aspall)

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed lidded pan. Brown the sausages and then remove from the pan. You don’t need to cook them, just quickly brown them, this will caramelise the meat adding flavour but also stop that insipid ‘dead fingers’ look to a sausage casserole. Soften the onions in the pan which will have some tasty sausage fat in there now as well. Add in the rest of the veg and fruit.
Veg Mix

Cook for a few minutes until things start to soften.

Add the sausages back into the pan, then cover with cider.
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Season, bring to the boil on the hob, then cover with the lid and pop into the oven. Cook for an hour or so, then take out and check everything is fully cooked. You can thicken the sauce by adding some cornflour or removing the sausages and reducing the liquid on the hob (adding the sausages back in at the end).

Serve with baked potatoes, mash or whatever you have handy (rice, pasta, couscous or beans would work well here), with some steamed green veg.

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