Do you know the difference between a stew, a casserole and a cassoulet? I was baffled when it came to naming this dish – thus I left it as ‘thingy’ – my covers-all-indescribable-things term. You know…the THINGY with the sausages and beans? People get it in the end. Saves time.
However, that niggling feeling resides at the back of my mind and I can’t help myself – I have to find out the differences between the three. (Also, I think I can only get away with naming one of my dishes a ‘thingy’ once) So off to the clever people at Oxford for clarification…
Stew: a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan
Casserole: a kind of stew cooked slowly in an oven
Cassoulet: a stew made with meat and beans
Ah, so in essence, everything is a stew! This is one of my favourite mid-week meals. It’s rather hearty – with chunky portions of browned pork sausages, a generous amount of white beans and enough vegetables to qualify this as healthy.
I’ve made this dish many times now, varying ingredients based on what I have in stock. Instead of beans, you can use lentils and you can be really flexible with the vegetables as well. I’ve tried butternut squash, peppers, kale and spring greens. That’s the best part of cooking isn’t it? Getting the basics right and then putting on the creative hat by using different ingredients and spices. Good times!
For this particular ‘thingy’ I used:
3 cloves of garlic
6 gourmet pork and leek sausages
1 head of savoy cabbage
2 medium tomatoes
1 tin of cannellini beans
A splash of stock
Half tsp of cumin
Brown the sausages in a heavy pot, remove and set aside.
Add onion, garlic and cumin and cook till soft.
Return sausages to the pot, add the rest of the vegetables and beans.
Add a little stock and wine (optional) and simmer the stew till sausages are cooked through.
Season with salt, pepper and some brown sugar (optional).