This Sausage Casserole is slowly braised with Cider and Bacon for the most delicious sauce and the ultimate in comfort food.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large, lidded, ovenproof pan, heat the oil and brown the sausages over a medium heat until the have some colour all over. (About 10 minutes.)
Remove the sausages from the pan and put in the bacon pieces, let them brown lightly (about 2 - 3 minutes).
Add in the onions, garlic, parsnips and celery and brown for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour until everything is coated. Add the tomato puree, sage, cider, chicken stock and salt and pepper. Stir well and sit the sausages on top.
Put the lid on and put into the oven for 40 minutes.
Add the apples and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir well and serve.
Note 1 - Sausages
Use whichever sausages your family like. You could also use Chipolata (thin sausages) if you prefer. You could also reduce the amount of sausages if your pack is smaller.
Note 2 - Onions and Garlic
This is one of the rare times I don't use the shortcut of frozen onions! I just think that the onions work very well in this recipe as big chunky wedges. Frozen are fine if you need the shortcut, but the texture of the sauce will just be a little different.
I do use the pre-chopped frozen garlic in this recipe.
Note 3 - Sage
If you have fresh, it works really well in this. Just finely chop it. Otherwise replace with 2 tsp of dried Sage.
Note 4 - Cider
I used a fairly standard dry cider. Don't use anything too super sweet. If your cider is in a different sized bottle (say 330ml) just replace the remaining amount with extra stock, no need to open another whole bottle. The total amount of liquid should be 650ml.
Note 5 - Stock
Made with a cube is fine. I still use one cube for this small amount as it adds extra flavour.
Note 6 - Apples
Regular eating apples (not cooking) are fine here as they hold their shape. I like to peel mine before adding as I'm not keen on the cooked skin texture. It's up to you though.