Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Winter Warmer

Hello and thank you for calling in.  The north wind doth blow and we had a bit of snow on Tuesday night - not enough to do anything with but enough to get people excited.  It's been very cold and I have just the recipe for this situation: it's hot, hearty, filling and frugal.  Here are the ingredients you need to feed 2 hungry adults and have a small amount left over for one lunch tomorrow -  

4 sausages
1 onion
2 medium potatoes
small handful (approx. 4oz) red lentils
I tin of value-brand chopped tomatoes
stock (made from a cube or powder)
spoonful of cooking oil

This what you do: cut each sausage into 4 chunks and peel the onion, cut it in half and thinly slice into half-moons.  Now heat the oil in a pan and brown the sausages and the onion.  While that's happening, peel the potatoes and dice into pieces about the same size as the sausage chunks.  When the sausage has browned, add the potatoes and the lentils to the pan and mix everything together so that the potatoes are coated in the fat.  Then add the tin of tomatoes and the stock.  Now, I never measure the lentils or the stock, I just add enough "so that it looks right", but this time I used a teacup and scales, so I know that I use about a teacupful of stock.

At this point, you can add other flavourings as you see fit.  I don't add any herbs or spices because I use tasty sausages, but I do often add a slug of alcohol and some tomato puree. 

So, bring it all up to the boil, put a lid on it, turn it down and simmer for 35 minutes - check it after 25 minutes because you might have to add more liquid.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  If you do, just tip a bit of hot water in from the kettle to loosen it up.


 That's all there is to it.  Dish it up and it looks like this -

We have this once a week during the autumn and winter.  It's a great way of extending sausages - if we have them "au naturel" the Best Beloved insists on having at least 3 and really he likes to have 4, which doesn't leave much for the rest of us if there are 6 in a pack!  But he is very happy with this.  I bought two packs of 6 sausages for £4 in Asda this week, which means I can make this three times - 67p per dinner for the protein for each person.  I don't like to spend more than £1 per person on the meat or fish for our dinner so this came in well under budget.
If I'm cooking it for three or four people I use an extra 2 sausages and 1 potato per person and increase the amount of stock, the rest stays the same.

And a one pot dinner means that there is only one pot to wash up, another benefit!

This wasn't intended to be a blog about recipes but they are proving to be popular.  I am looking forward to some warmer, sunnier weather so that I can get out and about and show you some more Shropshire delights.  In the meantime, wrap up well, make sure you wear a vest (I am my mother's daughter), keep warm and enjoy the weekend.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x


  1. That looks like a version of the French 'cassoulet' and really delicious. We like to cook sausage meat with tomato puree, red wine and garlic to create a really sticky pasta sauce. It's great as a supper and makes an interesting packed lunch when it's cold the following day. Jx

  2. Ooh Jan, I hadn't thought of cold - that sounds good. x

  3. Replies
    1. John, I couldn't help myself. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for months and thought it was the perfect time to declare my hand. x