SAUSAGE and black pudding casserole might seem like a winter dish, but it’s so popular in our restaurants that we often have it on the menu, no matter what the weather.
It seems obvious, but a good casserole depends on the quality of the ingredients you use. Obviously, you’re depending on someone else’s product when using sausages and black pudding, so do try to get the best you can. It’ll make such a difference to the dish.
And for those people who aren’t that keen on black pudding, give this dish a go; particularly if it’s the texture you don’t like. You might be pleasantly surprised.
600g good quality pork sausages
250g good quality black pudding – cut into cubes
Four carrots – peeled and roughly chopped
Half a swede – peeled and roughly chopped
One large onion – peeled and finely diced
Four sticks of celery – cut into 1cm pieces
One litre of chicken stock
A couple of sprigs of thyme
Two bay leaves
A handful of pearl barley
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Unless you like the look of pink sausages, lightly brown the sausages under the grill. They don’t need to be cooked, just coloured.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large pan or casserole that can sit on the cooker. Heat, add the carrots, swede, onion and celery and cook over a low-to-medium heat until they start to brown. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, add the pearl barley and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes.
Then add the black pudding and allow to cook for a few minutes and you’ll notice the pudding start to break down a little and enrich the sauce. Turn the heat down and add the sausages along with a little black pepper. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes, tasting and adding salt if necessary. To serve, pile into warmed bowls and accompany with crusty bread. Or, if you wish, it goes great with mash, bubble and squeak or a few new potatoes.
Oldfields Restaurants cookbook Passion for Real Food is out now and available in good bookshops. For discounted copies, contact us at the restaurants on Dean Street, Newcastle, on (0191) 212-1210 or Claypath, Durham, on (0191) 370-9595 or go to www.oldfieldsrestaurants.com