This recipe ain't a fancy one, but it's good to have up your sleeve. Also, with a bit of imagination you can apply it to just about any meat/vegetable combination that happens to be lurking in the refrigerator. And you should serve it with mashed potato to mop up the gravy. Or bread. Or bread and butter. God, I love carbs!
But, honestly, besides the fact that I wanted to use up the leftover sausages and try and get through the vegetables in our fridge before we disappear for another month or two, I also really, really wanted to try out my new flameproof casserole dish, reduced from $399 down to $69. How could a girl say no to a bargain like that?? And if that weren't enough it's red. And if it's red then it's awesome. Red AND awesome.
Anyway, I won't hold your hand too much through this one because it really is very basic. I think it goes without saying that the onions should be cooked and the vegies just browned ever so slightly, or at least warmed to get the cooking process started. It doesn't really matter what you chuck in, or how much, provided that there's enough liquid in there, but the ingredients I used are a tried and tested combination. It's one of those "magic pot" recipes that you can just add to at will, and I suspect that you could probably keep the recipe rolling day after day by throwing different leftovers and extras in as the mood strikes you. Some people think that's gross but I happen to think that it's fabulous (provided your food hygeine is up to scratch).
But what I WILL do is encourage you to giggle immaturely over the resemblance this carrot has to a nipple. Obviously the colours are a little out of whack, but I'm pretty sure it won't just be me that sees this:
Anyway, the ingredients:
4 cooked sausages, 4 small carrots, 2 medium potatoes (cubed in 2(ish)cm pieces), 1 brown onion, 2 cloves garlic, as much thyme as you can pull out of the garden in the dark without worrying about whether you have uprooted the plant, parsley, 1 can crushed tomatoes, frozen peas, a couple of heaped tbsp of gravy powder and a couple of cups of boiling water. You know, give or take. And the "give or take" refers to all of those quantities!
Turn oven on to about 180oC (truth be told I wasn't paying much attention to how how my oven was, but 180 is my default setting). Heat RED*, AWESOME flameproof casserole dish on medium heat. Realise you've got the wrong burner on and then change burners. Add oil (apparently you're supposed to add your oil after it's heated when you're using enamelled cast iron. Check it out! I read the instructions!).
*Note that your flameproof casserole dish doesn't actually have to be red for this to work. I don't think...
Fry onions and garlic.
Add thyme and carrots.
This, by the way, is the quantity of thyme to which I referred in the ingredients:
Realise you're going to need these puppies, and thank your lucky stars you always keep a can in the cupboard.
LOOK!!! IT'S THE RIGHT WAY UP!!! Note for future - rotate image using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer and THEN open it with Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Don't ask me why but it seems to work! Hopefully my success will be repeated next time...
Dissolve gravy powder with boiling water in the tomato tin (be careful not to burn your fingers when you pick up the tin. I do it in the tin because it cleans all the juices out and doesn't waste anything). Add extra boiling water if it's too thick or extra gravy powder if it's too thin. Add chopped up sausages (the OCD side of me insists that you cut them diagonally because they look nicer).
Add torn parsley.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste (I personally add only pepper as the gravy is quite salty on its own).
It's a little bit daggy but it's one of my favourite meals ever. I luvz it. Comfort food at its best.
I freaked out a little because the casserole dish darkened quite considerably in the oven, but it reverted back to its original hue once it had cooled. Crisis averted!
Also, you can make this in a regular casserole dish but you'll need a frying pan, too. You can do it without giving the vegies a quick fry but the onion often turns out a bit funny. By which I mean raw. You will need to stir it a few times during cooking to ensure everything cook evenly if your casserole dish is jam-packed (the centre will cook more slowly), and particularly if some of it is poking its head above the liquid. You may also need to put a tray underneath to catch any drips if the dish is so full that it is in danger of overflowing, which has often happened to me cooking in a smaller (non-flameproof) casserole dish for a larger number of people.
You can play about with flavours, too - add red wine, or curry powder, or whatever herbs and spices your li'l heart desires.
Lastly, if you're making it with raw meat instead of cooked snags, dust the cubed meat in flour and then add stock instead of gravox - the flour will thicken the gravy, and the stock will give it the flavour.