This recipe came about because there were four Morrisons best sausages that had been sitting in the fridge for a few days. Every evening I would ask Pete if he wanted the sausages for his supper, and every evening, without fail, he would end up eating something else. I was getting daymares (as opposed to nightmares) about Pete getting food poisoning because I cooked and served him sausages that had expired. He kept assuring me that they were okay, but I’m extremely suspicious of any non-vegetarian items. They just seem too prone to making people ill – undercooked chicken, stale fish, meat past its eat-by date… all of these can give one severe food poisoning. And I’m extra wary of them because they look innocent enough even if they’re teeming with deadly bacteria – they smell and look the same to me. On the other hand, undercooked vegetables won’t make you severely ill – they just won’t taste good…
But no, I’m here to get over my fear of non-vegetarian cooking, so I’ll continue with the saga of the sausages. I looked up some jambalaya recipes on the internet, but they mostly required shrimp and chicken and something called Andouille sausages (which I know nothing about), so I didn’t bother with them. Then I came across a recipe by Gordon Ramsay, and that turned out to be JUST the ticket – I had almost everything on the ingredient list, bar a 1/2 cup of white wine. What you don’t have, you gotta do without – so I did.
Squeezing the sausagemeat out of the skin was possibly one of the most unpleasant feelings ever – at least it was to me. It just didn’t feel right… however, I persevered and crumbled it into small pieces. I say “crumbled”, but what I really mean is “pinched off bits”. If you can get over that, this is a very simple one-pot dish. Smells pretty good, and apparently the smell didn’t lie.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 bell pepper (any colour)
2 cloves garlic
4 sausages (spiced or plain)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 spring onions, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 boiled egg, quartered/1 fried egg, for garnish (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole pan and fry the onion for about 5 minutes, or till soft.
2. Add the garlic and chopped pepper and fry for another 2 minutes.
3. Slit the sausage skins and peel them off. Discard the skin and crumble the sausagemeat into small pieces.
4. Add the sausagemeat to the pan and cook it over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and black pepper powder and mix in it well.
5. Now add the rice and stir well to mix thoroughly. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and stir well again, scraping loose any bits stuck to the bottom.
6. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pan tightly with the lid (I placed a clean tea towel under the lid first, so that it would absorb the steam) and turn down the heat to the lowest point.
7. Let the mixture cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the pan sit undisturbed for another 10-15 minutes. After this time, you can take the lid off and fluff the rice with a fork. Gently mix in the chopped tomato, spring onions and parsley. Serve the rice hot with the boiled egg segments or a fried egg on top as garnish.
Verdict: Pete loved it enough to go for seconds.