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22 April 2012

Barbecue Sausages & Red Pepper

Spice it up, or spice it down - whichever way you want your chilli , this recipe is completely double yummy.

I had best part of a bottle of Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Sauce left over from another dish and so needed to find it a job to do.  Coincidentally, we also had around 200ml of tomato Passata left over from the same dish (which we'd put in the freezer, awaiting eventualities), plus two red peppers that never got made into stuffed peppers.  So, thinking about how to use the both of them immediately led me to ye olde sausage.

Ready for the oven
I have discovered that, in order to render an inedible dry sausage juicy and infinitely edible, the best thing to do with it is to cook it in a sauce.  Either in meatball style, or directly as a sausage, it works as well both ways.  I've whinged on in the past about how sausages just don't seem to have the same "juiciness" as they used to - and lay the blame at the door of the fat police.  Now I have some sympathy with the fat police (being seriously overweight myself), but not at the expense of what a food product is supposed to do.  To me, a sausage runs completely out of appeal, if it doesn't burst in your mouth with flavour and preferably, it is supposed to (when a whole sausage is bitten into on the end of a fork) drip down your chin in tantalising fashion.  I'd far rather eat fewer delicious sausages, than eat more dry and boring sausages.


So, having indulged in a bit more whinging about sausages (sorry about that!) I shall stop digressing.


I had a feeling that the Barbecue sauce would go very nicely with mashed potato.  I will admit to being a bit of a mashed potato fan - and have paired some odd things with lovely mash, things that have made hubby recoil in alarm.  However, this time, I was right and a forkful of sauce and mash was a symphony of comforting buttery potato, followed by sweetness, then savouriness, then the growing heat of the chilli.  The sweetness of the sweetcorn and peas that I served alongside, just helped as a bit of a respite from the chilli - even though the effect of the chilli was much reduced by the sweet red peppers - and provided a nice crispness to the overall texture.

Incidentally, speaking of chilli, the Levi Roots' sauce is pretty effective at providing chilli heat.  Well, it is made with Scotch Bonnet peppers!  However, if you're not so keen on the effects of chilli, but are keen on barbecue flavours - just get an ordinary barbecue sauce.  If, on the other hand, you're a fire-breathing chilli hound, then why not add a few dried chilli flakes to the mix?  It's up to you. 


Baked and ready to serve
As a weekday meal, this one is a real winner.  I'd even go so far as to buy some more Reggae Reggae sauce just so that I can make it again - and it is very definitely going on my "list of good sausage recipes".   Needless to say, both hubby and son thoroughly enjoyed the meal - the brilliant Jelly potatoes make such excellent mash that even hubby sets aside his hatred of the humble potato long enough to enjoy a very different variation on Sausage & Mash.

BARBECUE SAUSAGES & RED PEPPER    (serves 3)

Ingredients :

9 good pork sausages
a tbsp olive oil
a red onion, sliced thinly
a red pepper, de-seeded and sliced thinly
200ml tomato passata
200ml barbecue sauce (I used Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae sauce)
a pinch of smoked paprika
a tbsp of mushroom ketchup (or Worcestershire sauce)
a tbsp of tomato ketchup
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. 


Method :


1.  Pre-heat your oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas4.


2.  Taking a non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil and cook the sausages just to colour them.  You aren't looking to have them cooked through at this stage.


3.  Place the sausages into an oven proof dish to keep warm.


4.  Place the onion and pepper into the frying pan and cook on a medium heat until softened and just beginning to colour.


5. Add the passata, barbecue sauce, mushroom ketchup, smoked paprika, tomato ketchup and season to taste.  Stir well until mixed thoroughly and heated through.


6.  Pour onto the sausages, then bake in the oven for some 30-35 minutes until the sausages are cooked through.


7.  Serve with buttery mashed potato, peas and sweetcorn.


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