I am a bit of a Hairy Bikers fan, and was very pleased when the current series of "Hairy Dieters" started a few weeks ago. After a few too many croissants and pains au chocolat last week, I also have a few pounds to shift. DH and I loved the look of the sausage cassoulet in Episode 2, so today I gave it a go. The recipe is freely available here on the BBC website.
Cassoulet is basically a casserole of sausages, gammon and chicken thighs. Like many people I try to shop frugally, but I also try to shop ethically, with the result that my shopping trolley has a bizarre mix of value supermarket goods alongside free range chicken, bacon, eggs and sausages! The recipe calls for sausages which are at least 85% meat, so I dutifully stood in the meat aisle reading sausage packaging. I was very surprised and quite shocked to find that the standard supermarket sausages are less than 50% meat! I eventually found some which are 90% meat and Freedom Food certified. The chicken thighs were free range, but relatively cheap as they needed skinning and de-boning. It would be difficult to buy the small amount of gammon needed, but I had a larger joint in the freezer so saved a small amount of that when I roasted it.
It was a simple recipe to follow, even if it has a daunting list of ingredients. The lovely smell had us salivating all morning, and the result was very tasty. There was quite a lot of chilli in it, which suited me, but others might prefer it a little milder. I forgot the orange for the garnish but parsley by itself was fine.
|The finished product!|
It worked out at about £2 a portion, not including the store cupboard ingredients, which is more than I would normally spend on a meal, so it will be a special treat. I suspect it would be cheaper if you bought dried beans. I also bought small packets of fresh thyme and parsley, which I very rarely do. I grow mint, chives and rosemary but I have plans to plant more herbs next year which should make all my cookery cheaper.
I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I also love "The Great British Bake Off", but might have to resist those recipes for a while!