How can a sausage stew be so exciting? Well apart from being delicious this stew combines a whole number of, to me at least, exciting events. Take a look at the photo, yes I have managed to grow celery for the first time ever. Actually if I am honest Juliet kindly gave me three small celery plants earlier in the year, but I kept them alive through a cunning combination of benign neglect and allowing them to be surrounded by just the right combination of out of control bean plants and crazy mint. I am feeling very pleased with myself.
I took some of the sausages and a little bit of smoked loin from our large black pigs (see here, here and here) to Islay and while there made a very fast, simple, but delicious sausage stew. It will be forever in my head known as Islay sausage stew and is best enjoyed with a single malt of your choice!
Islay Sausage Stew: some vegetables such as onions, carrot, celery, bit of courgette – it is up to you; a tine (or two) of beans – again anything goes. Some very good sausages made from outdoor reared pork – ideally organic – or use veggie ones; tin of tomatoes or a lots of small yellow ones if you have a glut; nice bit of thick cut fatty smoked bacon; oil or lard.
Fry the sausages in oil or lard in a largish casserole dish. I am using lard as I made a huge batch before – see here. Remove sausages to a plate (saves on washing up). You can fry the bacon at this stage too.
Chop and fry the veggies in same pot. Add tomatoes and cook down. Add the sausages and cook for a little more. Add the beans and cook again. If you are in the middle of exciting event number two you can leave cooking the bacon to the end – fry it and add to stew. Then just add salt to taste and eat – simple but delicious.
What is the exciting event? I have a slicer – I have a very good slicer. I used it to slice up my bacon – look at those beautiful slices! It is revolutionary as being able to slice my own bacon brings us one step closer to rearing, curing, slicing and selling our own bacon and other cured meats. I am going to apply today to start selling sausages and bacon from our own pigs. The butcher will make the sausages and cure the bacon for now – and also package it – as we aren’t set up to do it. But this winter I will practice making my own bacon and we will hopefully sometime after getting a new roof on the house and building a new toilet block for the site set up a small separate kitchen for commercial food preparation and then I will use my slicer to slice my own home raised, home cured bacon.
You can’t slice the end bits so these have to be chopped up and browned and then added to sausage stew – oh what a hardship.
N.B. the whisky I drank with the stew was The Laddie Valinch from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. It is a single cask bottling and you bottle it yourself from the cask in the shop at the distillery. It is really rather special.