Sausages, Sweet Potato Mash and Homemade Cider Baked Beans

Consider my current position – I’ve just got home from being well and truly soaked in driving torrential rain, can’t really feel my finger and toes and am therefore pretty miserable. It’s dark and wet outside, so I plonked myself into a hot and steamy bubble bath and am now snug as a bug in a rug with a cosy fleecy dressing gown, comfy sofa and wonderful husband to snuggle up to. If you were in my position what would your ideal meal be??!! I bet there will be several answers involving sausages, mash potato, beans or cheese; and this dish is so comforting and warming that it combines all of those together!

If you haven’t made your own baked beans before then please take note that they officially rock! They have a deeper flavour, more textures and are all together healthier than those out of a can. The great thing about this recipe is that you will have loads of the beans leftover; so have them in a jacket or on toast the next day, or simply freeze them until you need them. These beans are a great way of getting your kids to eat more veg, and I promise there will be no going back to the canned variety once you have tried these bad boys!

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Serves 2 (plus extra helpings of beans)

For the Cheesy Bakes Beans

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion – finely chopped
  • 1 leek – finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed and sliced
  • 400g tin pinto beans – drained and rinsed
  • 400g tin berlotti beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 courgette – grated
  • 200ml cider
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Handful sweetcorn

For the Sweet Potato Mash

  • 3 white potatoes – peeled and sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes – peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Handful chives
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 6 good quality sausages (I chose sundried tomato and pesto)
  • Mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 180’C

Heat a large casserole dish with the olive oil and fry the onions until soft.

Add the leek and the garlic to the pot and cook for another couple of minutes – being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to the boil and then cover and put in the oven to cook while you prep the rest of your dinner.

To make the potatoes, bring a pan of salty water to the boil and cook them for 17-18 minutes, or until soft.

Drain the potatoes and return to the heat, giving them a good shake to get rid of any excess juices

Mash or rice the potatoes and then stir in the mayonnaise, chives, mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Put the potato in an oven proof dish and bake for 30 minutes until it has a crispy topping.

Cook the sausages according to the pack instructions, or under a grill, in the oven or in a frying pan.

When your sausages are almost cooked, remove the potato and the beans from the oven – scoop the beans into 2 individual portion pots and the top with mozzarella

Place the pots under a hot grill for a couple of minutes to golden up the cheese.

Plate up your sausages and your mash and serve with the cheesy beans – being careful not to touch the bean pot as it will be very hot.

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