Time: 30 minutes + 4 hours cooking
This sausage casserole is a delicious , hearty slow cooker dinner full of sausages, bacon, and tomatoes. It’s probably not one for teeny tiny chefs, but Hannah enjoyed measuring out everything and helping to make the sauce and learning from her Daddy how to chop onions.
1–2 tbsp sunflower oil
12 good quality pork sausages
Pack of bacon lardons
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
100ml red or white wine (optional)
Brown the sausages
Heat and spoonful of oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes. Turn them once in a while so they are brown on all sides. Add to your slow cooker.
Fry the bacon
Get your child to help add the bacon lardons to the pan (being careful not to get too close). Fry them until they are nice and crisp then add to your sausages.
Cook the onions and garlic
While the sausages and bacon are cooking get your child to help you peel the garlic and onions. If you have a garlic crusher, they can help you crush the garlic as well. If they are a bit older they may be able to help you cut the onion as well.
Cook the onions in your pan on a medium heat for five minutes or so until they start to soften.
Add the garlic to your pan and cook for a few more minutes until the onions are a golden brown.
Add the paprika. Hannah helped us measure this out. We put it in a small bowl first and then put it in the pan, as this was a bit easier for her to manage.
Prepare the sauce
Rather than add everything straight to the pan, we got Hannah to help measure out the dry herbs to a bowl and the wet ingredients into a jug. That made it much easier to then add it safely to the pan.
Start by getting your child to put the stock cube/pot into the measuring jug. Add the water and get them to give it a stir. Add the tomato puree (2 tbsp) and Worcestershire sauce (1 tbsp).
In a separate small bowl, get your toddler to measure out the sugar (1 tbsp), mixed herbs (1 tsp), bay leaves (2) and thyme (1 tsp).
Once everything is measured out, get your little one to pour the herbs and jug of sauce into the frying pan and give it a stir. Pour over some wine (100ml) or if you’re not using wine, just the equivalent in water. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
Add the sauce to the sausages and bacon in the slow cooker. Cook your sausage casserole a medium heat for 4-5 hours. If you are not using a slow cooker, pop everything in a flameproof casserole dish and cook on a simmer for 30 minutes or so, stirring from time to time.
Serve your sausage casserole with vegetables, rice or some rustic bread.