Sausage and black pudding casserole

Sausage and black pudding casserole is an ideal winter dish but it’s so popular in the restaurant that we often have it on the menu, no matter what the weather.

It seems obvious but a good casserole depends on the quality of the ingredients you use. Obviously you’re depending on someone else’s product when using sausages and black pudding so do try to get the best you can. It’ll make such a difference to the dish.

And for those people who aren’t that keen on black pudding, give this dish a go; particularly if it’s the texture you don’t like. You might be pleasantly surprised because the pudding breaks down a little and gives a lovely richness to the sauce.

Serves four

  • 600g good quality pork sausages
  • 250g good quality black pudding – cut into cubes
  • Four carrots – peeled and roughly chopped
  • Half a swede – peeled and roughly chopped
  • One large onion – peeled and finely diced
  • Four sticks of celery – cut into 1cm pieces
  • One litre of chicken stock
  • A couple of sprigs of thyme
  • Two bay leaves
  • A handful of pearl barley
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Unless you like the look of pink sausages, lightly brown the sausages under the grill. They don’t need to be cooked, just coloured.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large pan or casserole that can sit on the cooker. Heat, add the carrots, swede, onion and celery and cook over a low-to-medium heat until they start to brown. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, add the pearl barley and allow to cook for a further ten minutes.

Then add the black pudding and allow to cook for a few minutes and you’ll notice the pudding start to break down a little and enrich the sauce. Turn the heat down and add the sausages along with a little black pepper. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes, tasting and adding salt if necessary.

To serve, pile into warmed bowls and accompany with crusty bread. Or, if you wished, it goes great with mash, bubble and squeak or a few new potatoes.

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