Have sausages, will casserole (Pork and pigeon with root veg)
September 19, 2010 13 Comments
I’ve been quite busy recently…. which is not something I can complain about, but being a musician, being busy means being out at night (or out on tour), either of which seriously curtails your activities in the kitchen.
Even though eating in nice (and sometimes not so nice) restaurants can be a very agreeable way of life, after a while, I do start to feel a deep seated craving to make a homecooked meal, prepared at leisure, with a glass of wine at my side, listening to something good on the radio (apart from when I turn on the extractor fan, which tends to put paid to my being able to hear anything else going on…), and enjoying the anticipation of what’s to come.
So last Friday, I was unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised to hear that the gig I was supposed to be doing that evening had been cancelled at short notice, but with full pay, which effectively awarded me a paid day off (always a cause for a minor celebration).
My thoughts, of course, immediately turned to what I would cook with my newly acquired evening of leisure.
Seeing as summer seems to be well and truly over here (not that we had much of one anyway) I thought I’d prepare a rustic and comforting casserole using some pork and pigeon sausages I had stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion, and a variety of root vegetables from the local market.
Here’s what I did:
First I gathered all my veg ready for preparation:
Onion, leek, garlic, carrot, celery, parsnip, small turnips, and beetroot.
When all had been suitably peeled and chopped, I sweated them down in a little butter and oil:
Fresh beetroot turns everything red, including my hands and the chopping board:
As you can see above, I also added some bayleaves.
While the veg was sweating down, I browned off the sausages:
Then added the sausaged into the pan with the veg:
Added a glass of red wine (a robust Italian Merlot in this case):
Added some beef stock (sadly not fresh stock this time, but from a cube, albeit an organic one with no MSG):
…and added a good few glugs of Worcestershire Sauce:
Then stir gently, cover and leave to simmer for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours
About 15 mins before serving, I added a bunch of fresh sage:
Chopped it finely and added it to the casserole. It was quite a lot of sage. Too much could make a dish bitter, but in this case there was so much sweetness from the root veg that it balanced out very nicely:
I made a simple rice dish with borlotti beans and herbs to serve this with. The sausages were extremely good. I always think pidgeon has a similar texture to lambs liver and I could detect this in the sausages. I always feel slightly cheated if I don’t find at least one piece of lead shot in my food while eating game. Luckily I found a bit (but didn’t bit on it…phew..).
The root veg, as said before, lent a delicious sweetness to the sauce. Beetroot is always a treat, and the small turnips were a revelation. They had a smell when raw that was ever so slightly horseradishy, and they kept their texture in the final casserole.
All in all a successful start to the autumn I think….