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1st March 2013

Cheaper than chips: the sausage

Cheaper than chips returns with tips on how to get more banger for your buck

The Sausage

One important thing to get to grips with if you want to eat cheaply is that you can do so many different things with one ingredient. Take sausages for example – they are always on offer (3 packs of 6 for £6 in Sainsbury’s and 2 packs of 10 for £7 in Tesco) and are so versatile. No one wants to eat bangers and mash every night, so try these out for a bit of variety.

1. The Classic: Toad in the Hole

Ingredients: 6 sausages, plain flour, eggs, milk

Serves 3

Put your sausages in a roasting tin in the oven at 200°C for 20-30 mins, shaking them about occasionally. Meanwhile, take a medium sized cup and measure out a cup of flour, a cup of eggs and a cup of milk. Whisk these together in a large bowl (for a really airy Yorkshire pudding mix, cheat by adding half a teaspoon of baking powder.) When the sausages have browned, take them out of the oven and shake the fat that has come off them all around your tin to grease it up. Spread the sausages evenly around the pan and pour in the Yorkshire pudding mix. Put the pan back in the oven for 25 mins or until your batter has risen to golden crusted glory!

2. The Hunger Stopper: Man Pasta

This is a simplified version of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Proper blokes’ sausage fusilli’

Ingredients: 6 sausages, pasta, 2 onions, garlic, herbs and spices

Serves 3

First get the pasta water on to boil, then chop your onions. Gently sweat them in olive oil, before adding salt to release water. Crush the garlic and add to the onions. After 10 minutes, turn the heat up slightly and – this is the fun part – squeeze the sausage meat out of their skins and into the frying pan. Once the sausage meat is browned, turn the heat down slightly and add your herbs and spices. Any powdered or dried herbs and spices need to be cooked off for the flavor to really come out whereas fresh herbs like parsley and basil can just be added at the end. Man Pasta calls for big flavors like fennel seeds and cumin. Try adding a chopped chilli for extra spice. All that’s left is to drain the pasta and mixing in the sausage.

The Winter Warmer: Sausage Casserole

Ingredients: 6 sausages, 2 onions, garlic, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 tins of beans (flageolet, cannellini or butter beans are the best), a stock cube, 1 tbsp brown sugar, herbs and spices

Put some olive oil in a large frying pan and quickly fry your sausages on all sides. Then put these aside. In the same frying pan, sweat the onions and add the crushed garlic, a teaspoon of ground coriander, a teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of cumin. When your onions are soft, tip them into a large pan or casserole dish, before adding the tomatoes and beans and simmering gently. Melt a stock cube in 150ml of boiling water and add to the casserole along with the sausages and a tablespoon of brown sugar. The casserole needs a good hour and a half cooking time, so either keep it on the hob at a gentle simmer or put it into the oven at 180°C.

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