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Southern sausage stew
Cooked the Cajun way with gravy
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“A sausage stew is a winning combo in any country and this American-inspired one has a great kick ”
1-2 fresh red chillies , deseeded and finely chopped
10 sprigs fresh thyme , leaves picked
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 heaped teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar
750 ml organic chicken stock
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
long-grain rice , cooked, to serve
3 spring onions , trimmed and finely sliced
1 small bunch fresh curly parsley , roughly chopped
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In the UK we love our bangers and mash, don’t we, and you’ll find that this dish is fairly similar but with rice and Louisiana gravy. It pushes similar buttons, and it has the added advantage of extra spices, and it also reminds me of a kinda Italian peperonata. But, let’s be honest, beautiful sausages in a lovely stew are a winning combo in any country.
In the spirit of Cajun cooking, this is a simple one-pan dish, perfect whether you’re at home or cooking outdoors. Give this a try and you’ll love it.
Put a splash of olive oil in a pan and let it get hot. Add your sausages and let them cook away so they brown nicely on all sides. Once golden and crisp, take them out of the pan and put them on a plate to rest. Depending on your sausages, there may be a lot of fat left behind in the pan. You only want to keep about 4 tablespoons of it in the pan, so carefully pour any extra away. If you don’t have enough, just add a splash more olive oil.
Add your onion, peppers and celery to the fat and fry on a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in your garlic, chilli, thyme and spices and fry for another minute or two. Stir in your flour and vinegar, and after a couple of minutes add your browned sausages, chicken stock and tinned tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to break them up a little. Season with a nice big pinch of salt and pepper, stir, then bring to the boil and let it tick away for 15 minutes or so until you have a thick and delicious gravy.
Serve with a hearty spoonful of rice on the side and sprinkle over some sliced spring onion, chopped parsley and any reserved celery leaves. Really tasty stuff!
PS: I’ve also stirred chopped up pieces of cooked chicken, quail and smoky bacon through this with great results!