Beans, beans they’re good for your heart, the more you eat the more you –
Ahem. Sorry. Whenever I hear or see the word beans that old rhyme runs through my head! This recipe has sort of evolved over time from what was once a pork casserole to a completely vegan bean casserole… and now uses what I commonly have left over from the previous week that needs eating sooner rather than later – celery and peppers! No idea why, but there’s some limp celery and a forlorn pepper lurking at the back of our fridge more often than not.
I like making this bean casserole particularly when it’s cold outside. It reminds me more of when I was younger and loving my dinner table seat in front of the radiator as my mum dished up dinner whilst the wind whipped at the windows, or rain pelted down outside.
Have more than one paprika?
Me too, don’t worry. At last count I found four different types in my little spice trolley! I like to use some hot paprika we picked up in Budapest at the moment, which really gives this dish a kick! But regular paprika from your local shop of choice works just fine too. Alternatively, if you have some smoked paprika around, I recommend giving that a try!
You mentioned serving it with sausages…
I generally recommend serving for dinner with sausage, mashed potato and some green vegetables, to make a super filling meal but really it can be served however is easiest for you. I often pack up the leftover serves with some rice or pasta for my fiance to take to work, or if I’m feeling like something simple, I just pour it over a baked potato for a change up to baked beans. If I want something lighter for my own lunches, I’ve been known to pack up spare portions with some steamed vegetables. What I’m saying is – go wild!
Also – all hail delicious but ugly food. I could not think how to present this nicely, so I just put it in my prettiest bowl! I’ve not pictured it will sausages or mash because, to be honest, I completely forgot to photograph it with some! I completely forgot to photograph it full stop until I came to post the recipe and realised it was still on my ‘to do’ list. Bad food blogger.
Our sausages of choice
At the moment our sausages of choice are the Linda McCartney – I’ve had this with both the original ones and the rosemary & red onion ones! If using the rosemary & red onion sausages, try adding 1/4 tsp of dried rosemary to the casserole to tie them together really nicely. We’ve tried the ‘Secret Sausages’ range as well but, to be honest, they’re not worth the cost in my opinion.
And, of course you can make this with meat sausages! There’s no rule here stating you must use vegetarian ones but it will prevent the meal from being meatless (…obviously).
Bean Casserole with Sausages
- 1 large onion chopped (~120g)
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 red chilli finely chopped
- 2 large sticks of celery chopped (~140g)
- 1 large bell pepper chopped (~200g)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1.5 tsp paprika smoked or hot work really well
- 0.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400g
- 1 tin butter beans drained (240g drained weight)
- 1 vegetable stock cube + 240ml water 1 cup
- 30 g tomato paste
- 1 tbsp tamarind sauce ~12g, optional
- 1.5 tsp cornflour mixed with water to form a paste (optional)
- Add enough water to a saucepan to cover the base and put it over a medium heat. Add the celery, onion, garlic and chilli. Saute until the onion and garlic soften and turn translucent (about 5-10 minutes, depending on how big you chopped them).
- Add the bell pepper and saute for a few minutes more. Add some more water to the pan if things start to stick.
- Add the spices and stir constantly for 30 seconds, or until they become fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, drained butter beans, vegetable stock, tomato paste and tamarind sauce (if using). Stir and bring to a gentle simmer - leave it uncovered. Stir occasionally.
- Cook your sausages while this simmers (I like to grill Linda McCartney ones from frozen - these take 15 minutes).
- If your casserole is looking a bit watery, add the cornflour paste and allow to cook until thickened slightly, stirring regularly (about 5 minutes).
- Serve in bowls with mashed potatoes and some green vegetables (for example steamed broccoli or some sugar snap peas).