Nigel Slater’s recipes for sausages and beans, and panna cotta with blood orange

It was the form of winter night time when solely sausages would do, and I got here house with each my favorite butcher’s selection and a packet of plump Italian ones – coarse textured and seasoned with fennel seeds and dried chilli. I cooked the lot slowly, in order that their skins have been shiny and sticky as Marmite.

For need of potatoes – which I forgot to choose up on the grocer’s– I crushed white haricot beans with a bunch of steamed spinach leaves and turned them right into a mound of fluffy, green-freckled mash.

I need to say that just about any sausage and mash is welcome at my desk, however the most effective will at all times be these whose meat is coarsely floor and open-textured, cooked with care and a watchful eye. The mash might be something that’s tender and silky – pumpkin, potato, chickpea or cannellini bean, or perhaps a combination of roots, resembling parsnips or swede – the latter being welcome solely when served with copious quantities of salted butter and coarsely floor black pepper.

I’ll generally mash chickpeas to go together with merguez sausages (I additionally stir in somewhat za’atar), and creamed haricot with garlicky Toulouse sausages. Rosemary-spiked cannellini mash is beautiful with Italian fennel sausages.

Final winter a puddle of buttery parsnip purée sat particularly properly with a plate of black pudding and I think it can once more this 12 months.

Baked sausages with spinach cannellini

In case you are mixing your sausages, then I counsel you place the plumper type in to prepare dinner first earlier than including the thinner ones. (These with a superb girth want a decrease warmth if they don’t seem to be to separate.) You may add cream to the spinach and haricot bean mash – not a lot, however it’s good as it’s. A knob of butter stirred in on the finish is a pleasant contact, however higher nonetheless can be sizzling juices from the sausage pan.

Sufficient for 4

groundnut or vegetable oil 3 tbsp

assorted sausages 1kg

rosemary sprigs 8

garlic 8 cloves

bay leaves 3

For the beans:

spinach leaves 200g

hen inventory 200ml

cannellini beans 2 x 400g cans

Wash the spinach leaves and discard any thick stems. Put the leaves, nonetheless dripping moist, in a deep pan, coated by a decent lid, over a average warmth. Allow them to steam for a minute or two, then flip the leaves over with tongs and steam for an additional minute till they’re collapsed and brilliant inexperienced. Take away from the warmth and rinse the spinach briefly in chilly water, squeeze firmly, then depart to chill.

Put the spinach within the bowl of a meals processor or blender.

Pour the hen inventory right into a deep pan. Drain the cannellini beans, add to the hen inventory and convey to the boil. Decrease the warmth and let the beans simmer for about 5 minutes. Add them and their inventory to the spinach and course of briefly, till you could have a rough purée. (Take care to not overprocess or it can grow to be gluey in texture.)

Prepare dinner the sausages: put a big frying pan over a average warmth. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to which you could have a lid over a low to average warmth. Add the sausages, beginning with the fats ones first earlier than including the thinner, smaller ones a couple of minutes later. Tuck within the rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves and bay leaves, then let the sausages brown flippantly. Hold a detailed eye on them, turning when the underside is a shiny, golden brown.

Spoon the spinach and bean purée right into a small saucepan and heat over a average warmth, stirring so it doesn’t stick, then serve with the sausages.

Panna cotta with blood orange and pomegranate

‘The proper wobble’: panna cotta with blood orange and pomegranate. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Pomegranates and deep carmine blood oranges make a cracking accompaniment for panna cotta. The dessert is on the excellent wobble after about 4 hours within the fridge, however will come to no hurt if you happen to depart it longer, even in a single day. The portion is small – I exploit a reasonably mould that holds 175ml, which I discover is simply sufficient for one.

Makes 4 small dishes

For the panna cotta:

inexperienced cardamom pods 12

double cream 400ml

full-cream milk 125ml

caster sugar 90g

gelatine 2 sheets

For the fruit:

pomegranate 1

blood oranges 2

Crack open the cardamom pods and extract the seeds, then crush them to a rough powder utilizing a pestle and mortar. Put the cardamom in a small, nonstick pan with the cream, milk and sugar, and place over a average warmth. Convey the cream virtually to the boil, then take away from the warmth, cowl with a plate and depart to infuse for half-hour.

Soak the gelatine in a bowl of chilly water for 10 minutes or till it has grow to be tender. Heat the infused cream gently, stirring repeatedly, for two or 3 minutes, however in no way let it come to the boil. Carry the gelatine from the water and drop into the cream, stirring with a picket spoon till it has dissolved, then take away from the warmth.

Pour the cream by a sieve suspended over a jug. Pour into 4 small ramekins and refrigerate for 4 hours, or till flippantly set.

Halve the pomegranate, take away the seeds, discard any with pith, and save as a lot juice as you possibly can. Slice the peel from the oranges and take away any pith. Slice into segments, eradicating the pores and skin as you go and blend with the pomegranate.

Heat the ramekins briefly by dipping them for a number of seconds in sizzling water, then prove the panna cotta into small dishes. Spoon the pomegranate, orange segments and their juices over the little puddings on the final minute.

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