Pork Sausage Casserole – Gluten Free Winter Warming Goodness

My mum’s pork sausage casserole is one of the quintessential British winter warmer dishes I was brought up on. It’s old-fashioned, plain cooking at its very best and the perfect belly filling comfort food for a chilly day. Accompanied with a mound of fluffy mash and pile of seasonal green veggies, pork sausage casserole is a comfortable old friend. Recipes for this old favourite are many and varied, and it’s easy to make a healthy, clean eating version.

A healthy pork sausage casserole needs good quality sausages

Step away from the cheap, pale, cereal filled nasties from the freezer aisle in the supermarket! Let’s not even think about what sort of ‘meat’ is in them – sausages should never be white or grey! I like to use 95%+ pure pork sausages that glisten and burst with succulent flavours with every bite.

The best sausages for a sausage casserole

My favourites are Debbie and Andrew’s ‘Harrogate’ sausages (they’re not paying me to say this, I just love them). Proudly made in Yorkshire from best quality shoulder and prime belly pork, blended with Balsamic vinegar and simply seasoned with sea salt and white pepper, these lean, juicy bad boys are our family sausage of choice.

Best of all, they’re 97% pure pork, and they’re wheat, gluten and dairy free

They are a bit pricier than the average supermarket ‘banger’, but I’ll choose quality over quantity any day of the week to know I’m feeding my son sausages made using traceable British meat from farmers who meet British welfare requirements. Just saying!

Sausage casserole is not a dish to be rushed; it’s proper slow food. In our house, half of the pleasure is in the anticipation of something good to come. The delicious, rich cooking smell always draws my son into the kitchen, like a hungry bear sniffing the air, asking ‘how soon will it be ready Mum?’

It’s also a dish best planned in advance. I usually prepare mine the evening before we want to eat it, leaving it in the oven with the auto time set. It’s so good to come in from the cold after a long day to a house filled with wonderful aromas and a piping hot meal ready to eat.

This healthy sausage casserole is so simple, and so frugal. It’s a great way to ‘stretch’ quality meat and to make sure you’re getting heaps of veggies into your system. It requires a little time and patience, but it is well worth it.

This will make a hearty meal for 6 people but if you’re feeding a hungry teenage boy with a bottomless stomach it won’t stretch that far! It’ll keep well in the fridge for 2 days and it’s really excellent reheated the next day but there’s never any left in my house!

Recipe: Pork Sausage Casserole

Ingredients

12 good quality 95%+ pork sausages (Debbie & Andrew’s or Heck sausages are the best!)
2 onions
4-5 carrots
1 medium-sized swede
4 sticks of celery,
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 x low salt chicken stock cube (I recommend Kallo) in 300ml hot water
1 x tsp smoked paprika
2 x bay leaves
3 sprigs each of fresh thyme and fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/Gas 5.
  2. Place the sausages on a baking sheet, with the meanest dribble of olive oil (just enough to bring a light sheen to the baking sheet) then bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into chunky diagonal slices.
  3. Chop the carrots, celery, swede and onions and place in a large oven-proof casserole dish, with the herbs, tinned tomatoes and stock. I use my trusty Le Creuset Casserole Dish I bought more than 30 years ago as it’s perfect for this dish.
  4. Add the sausage to the casserole, being sure to scrape in any meat juices that have ‘escaped’ onto your chopping board. They’re much too delicious to end up in the dishwasher!
  5. Season well and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling.
  6. Serve immediately.

Serve with seasoned sweet potato mash, seasonal green veggies and garnish with chopped parsley or coriander.

Eat immediately and enjoy!  I would love to know how you adapt yours! Do let me know.

pork sausage casserole

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