Have sausages, will casserole (Pork and pigeon with root veg)

Pork and pidgeon sausage and root veg casserole served with rice cooked with borlotti beans

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.

Root vegetables at the ready

When all had been suitably peeled and chopped, I sweated them down in a little butter and oil:

Sweating down the veg

Fresh beetroot turns everything red, including my hands and the chopping board:

Red stains

As you can see above, I also added some bayleaves.
While the veg was sweating down, I browned off the sausages:

Browning the sausages

Then added the sausaged into the pan with the veg:

Add the sausages to the veg when suitably browned

Added a glass of red wine (a robust Italian Merlot in this case):

Add the wine

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:

Add a few glugs of Worcestershire Sauce

Then stir gently, cover and leave to simmer for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours

Stir this then cover this and leave to simmer

About 15 mins before serving, I added a bunch of fresh sage:

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:

Add the sage to the casserole...

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….

Served out with rice cooked with borlotti beans...


About Gourmet Gorman
I'm a musician who enjoys cooking

13 Responses to Have sausages, will casserole (Pork and pigeon with root veg)

  1. A fantastically warm and comforting dish as the cool breezes wash in. Did you make this sausage yourself, or buy it at the market? There is no such thing as pigeon anything anywhere here, but I did see it at Borough Market when in London in March. Is it all dark meat? If you make your own, I cannot wait to see a post. I am in the midst of getting my post up for the sausages we made in Bosna this past summer. An incredibly rustic and educational experience, and now I am into it!
    I am getting some Canada Goose to see what I can do with that, sausage-wise.
    So, love your dish…. Vanja LOVES sausages – hates it when I cook with wine unless the wine is absolutely distilled… like in a boeuf bourguignon.

    • No, didn’t make the sausages, wish I had the facilities to do that. That would be an interesting project for sure!
      Surprised you can’t get pidgeon over there.. I thought they were pretty much ubiquitous the world over…
      I assume you’re getting Canada Goose meat, rather than live geese?
      Look forward to seeing your sausages post…

  2. hopeeternal says:

    I have never tried pidgeon – not exactly the thing I can get in the local supermarket! Lots in the garden but I don’ t have the heart… I expect yours came from a specialist source. However, even without the pidgeon in the sausages this sounds delicious. Perhaps a good quality pork sausage and some very finely chopped lambs liver (so fine it disappears into the sauce) might go part way to getting the same taste – and a good way to get non liver eaters to eat liver without knowing it. (I introduced my liver refusing children to it that way!)
    I’m interested that Valerie is going to cook Canada goose. They are getting almost as numerous as pidgeons in the UK now but no one ever mentions them as good to cook.
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

    • hopeeternal says:

      I meant that pidgeon sausages were not really available in supermarkets, but I’m not sure I have seen pidgeon in our small local ones either…

    • You can actually get pidgeon in the supermarkets around autumn/winter, but I think you’re far better getting it cheaper and more locally sourced from a butcher. The pidgeon was actually in the sausages, which I bought from a farmer’s market stall.
      But yes, this would definately work with any sausage. Perhaps some of the more meaty cumberland varieties would be better?

      • hopeeternal says:

        We have an excellent small Farmer’s Market here in Walthamstow High St market each Sunday morning. There is a good sausage stall – I will have to have a look there. I think Cumberland (one of my favourites anyway) would work a treat. Thanks

  3. Lou says:

    please feed me this. Seriously.
    I’m glad some Lea&Perrin’s got in there… there is nothing in the world that isnt made better by Worcester Sauce!

  4. yamaonna says:

    looks great as usual! I can’t wait for the weather to cool here so I can start cooking autumn and winter dishes 😀

  5. Oh I am so glad the weather has turned cooler – I love autumn cooking. There’s nothing lovelier than a gorgeous sausage casserole, though I have to say I haven’t seen pigeon sausages in our game dealers. maybe I should ask for them!

  6. Su-Lin says:

    Oh yum yum yum… I’d love a portion of this right about now!

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