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Thursday 5 May 2011

Sluttishly Savoury: Summer Sausage Stew

Stew isn't the most summery sounding of dishes, but this one is light, herby and just the ticket for one of those in-between days that are cold but sunny. It's the edible equivalent of spring layering and can be served with polenta if you fancy some stodge, or crusty bread for dipping (or even salad) if you feel like something lighter. The sausages should be good herby ones for the best flavour.

It's also an excuse to get out the pestle & mortar and bash the living daylights out of some garlic and herbs. Just the thing for an after-work supper!

Summer Sausage Stew (Serves 4)

You'll need:
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp rosemary needles, chopped
  • 1/2tsp caraway seeds
  • 8 sausages, chopped into bite size pieces
  • Some butter and oil for shallow frying
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 bulbs fennel, sliced
  • Splosh of red wine
  • 1 tin cherry tomatoes (ordinary ones will do, but I used tinned Italian cherry tomatoes from Sainsbury's)
Make it!
  • Bash together the garlic, rosemary, caraway seeds and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar to form a paste.
  • Brown the sausage pieces in some oil and butter. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Soften the onions in same pan, without letting them brown. When they're soft, add the fennel.
  • After a couple of minutes add the garlic/rosemary/caraway paste. Fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with a splosh of red wine. It should almost completely evaporate. Scrape the bottom of the pan gently with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the sausages, tomatoes and a tin full of water (or enough to just cover other ingredients).
  • Simmer for 1/2 an hour.
  • Serve with polenta or crusty bread to dip in the sauce.

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