A tin of beans are not only great as a lightning quick meal served on toast with a fried egg on top – or ‘egg-on bean-on’ as it’s known in our house, but they’re also fantastic thrown into a casserole for an extra tomatoey dimension with some pulse goodness to boot.
Branston Baked Beans are celebrating their 10th birthday this year, and have also been rated the best tasting beans by the Good Housekeeping Institute – lots to celebrate. So to bang the drum for all things beans they’ve set a bunch of food bloggers a ‘Round-The-Clock-Challenge’ to show that a tin of beans makes a good ingredient no matter what time of day you’re cooking. I’ve been assigned lunch….
This comforting autumnal stew of vegetarian sausages, sweet potato and protein-rich beans is the perfect meal to come home to after the round of music and swimming lessons are done with on a Saturday.
We tend to have our main meal at lunchtime at the weekend, so this slow cooker recipe is a pretty robust one-pot meal. The Branston Beans are really tomatoey, so lend plenty of flavour to the pot. I’ve also used molasses sugar, which gives the sauce a tangy barbecue-sauce vibe which goes oh-so-well with sausages and is ridiculously good mopped up with crusty bread.
I’d recommend using the firmest veggie bangers you can find – Quorn were my brand of choice as they hold together well. I think others might have disintegrated in the slow cooker.
The kids are usually sniffy about casserole… they’re suspicious of what’s lurking in it. When I told them there was a tin of beans in it they seemed to warm up to the idea. They really loved the sauce so it wasn’t too much of a battle.
We had plenty of sauce left at the end of the meal, which served as a thick soup for a couple of lunches through the week. Very thrifty. Very pleasing.
Veggie Sausage and Bean Slow Cooker Casserole
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 45 mins
8 quorn sausages
400g sweet potato
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin baked beans (Branston)
300ml vegetable stock
1 tsp porcini mushroom paste
1 tsp roasted garlic paste
2 tbsp molasses sugar
1 tbsp sage
1. Brown the sausages either under the grill or in a pan
2. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 2cm dice and combine with the remaining ingredients and browned sausages in a slow cooker and bring to a simmer on the quick setting. Check the balance of flavours and then turn it onto a a slow cook setting for 1.5 hours. You may need to stir it every now and again to stop the sauce from catching on the bottom of the pan as it has sugar in it which is prone to burning.
3. Serve in a dish scattered with herbs in the middle of the table with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up those sweet and sticky juices.
Tip: For meat-eaters just substitute the quorn sausages for pork bangers, and you could also use chicken stock.
Sponsored Post: I have been commissioned to develop this recipe and share it with you here on my blog. As a genuine fan of Branston Baked Beans all opinions are my own.