Sausage and leek casserole with parsley dumplings (Serves 4)

It's snowing outside as I type this so I've made a last minute recipe change to reflect the current climate - this simple dish can be thrown together really quickly when you get back from work and is ready in 2 hours. This really is a recipe that epitomises winter and the dumplings give it that extra stay indoors lift.

Leeks are also well in season at the moment so let's take advantage of this classic vegetable and embrace the winter!

Ingredients

  • 8 butchers made sausages (from any good local butchers around £3.30)
  • 500g of leeks (84p)
  • 1 large red onion (22p)
  • 600g of potatoes (62p)
  • 300g of carrots (24p)
  • 35g of fresh parsley (68p)

The cupboard staples...

Olive oil, salt, black pepper, bay leaves (2), chicken stock cubes (2), garlic (2 cloves), plain flour, baking powder and a little milk.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco (and your local butchers), where it came to £5.90 - that's £1.47 per head!

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
  • It's important to brown the sausages first in a large frying pan to get some flavour going (use a little olive oil in the pan to get them going). Once the sausages are browned all over place in a casserole dish.
  • Now to prep the vegetables; finely slice the onions, finely chop the garlic and cut the potatoes, carrots and leeks into roughly the same larger cuts. I would cut to 1 inch in length pieces as we don't want them to breakdown too much in the stew.
  • Add all the vegetables to the same frying pan and get a little colour on them. Again, once browned add to the casserole dish - deglaze the pan with a little stock (or white wine if you have) and also add to the casserole dish.
  • Season the mixture well with salt and pepper and add two bay leaves - then pour over 750ml of hot chicken stock and place in the oven with a lid on for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • We can now make the parsley dumplings. Grab a large bowl and sift in 9oz of plain flour then add 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and the finely chopped parsley. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and gradually add some milk until the mixture forms into a dough consistency. This mixture will make around 14 to 16 teaspoon sized dumplings - roll out the dumplings in your hands with a little flour to avoid sticking.
  • After the casserole has been in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, take out and turn the oven up to 200C. Add the dumplings, put back in the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes remove the lid, turn the oven up to 220C and cook for 10 to 15 minutes so you get some colour on the dumplings that have risen to the top.
  • Happy eating!

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