Friday 18 November 2011

Friday Feast - Sausage Cider Hotpot

I'm a great fan of 'bung it in the oven' dishes, especially as the days are colder, and there's nothing nicer than the smell of a hotpot cooking. My step-mum calls it 'pimpering away', which sums it up so well. Mind you, our postman seems to be able to smell a sausage roll from about a mile off when I'm baking in the run-up to Christmas - he often trolls happily off with warm sausage rolls to sustain him on his round :)

Sausage Cider Hotpot
Eeek, look at the state of that casserole dish just from cooking this. No wonder the recipe itself used a black casserole dish for their photograph! Thankfully it always cleans off right away but I do use a baking tray underneath to save the oven floor:)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
8 pork and leek sausages
About 1 tablespoon thyme leaves or a few thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
600ml (1 pint) dry cider
2 dessert apples, cored and cut into slices (don't peel them)
500g (1lb) potatoes, unpeeled and cut into very thin slices
About 30g (1oz) butter

Set the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190 degrees C.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan with the onion slices and cook over a medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until really soft but not brown. Put the onions into an oven proof dish.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and brown the sausages all over for about 5 minutes. Put them in the dish with the onions. Add the thyme, bay leaf and seasoning.

Heat the cider in the pan, add the apple slices and cook for 1 minute, then take them out with a draining spoon and arrange them in a layer in the dish. Arrange the potato slices in not more than 2 layers on top.

Pour the hot cider over. Dot the top with butter. Season well. Cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove lid or foil, turn the oven temperature up to Gas Mark 7 or 220 degrees C and cook for another 30-45 minutes until the potato is cooked and browned. If you want to speed up the cooking, put the dish under the grill but watch it doesn't burn. Serve with green vegetables - although spiced red cabbage is a lovely accompaniment either.

Things I do:

I let the oven do all the work, I can't be trusted with grilling things! If you don't want to use cider then I've made a very similar recipe using apple juice, which was just as nice.

You could use a mix of sweet potato, swede and such with the potato slices for variation - but good old potato on its own is lovely. Dumbo here peeled the potatoes this time but a good wash before slicing them is enough. Do leave the apples unpeeled so they hold some of their shape during the long cooking process (sorry Sarn, this is a 'long cooking' dish....but at least it isn't tuna!)

I have used dried thyme in the past, again it's just as good but obviously  you only need about a teaspoon at most in that case. The sausages don't have to be pork and leek either, normal, Cumberland or Lincolnshire sausages are fine - but the hint of leek does add a little 'Je ne sais quoi' to the dish. Sheesh, bit of posh French speak there :))

I do urge you, dear readers, to try this one - it's absolutely delicious and your whole family will be most enamoured with your culinary skills. (That's just what I would expect Mrs Beeton to have written - in other words, give it a go, I think you'll love it!!).

Happy Friday - the weekend beckons......and so does a load of ironing unfortunately :((



  1. I will try your recipe if you will do my ironing :-)
    I actually have some sausages in the fridge that are calling out to me so all I need now is some cider :-)
    A x

  2. Mouthwatering Di . . . this looks great . . . I don't mind long cooking times if the dish can be left to its own devices in the oven and I can go and make a card while it's doing its thang!

    Good idea about the apple juice alternative, as the husband is allergic to alcohol! SEE, I do read right to the end

  3. PS: I am MOST ENAMOURED with your cooking skills! xxx

  4. My mouth is watering just reading the recipe! Yum. x Jo

  5. Hi Di, This looks mouth watering and l'm going to give it ago so will come back and let you know the results:) Sandra H

  6. Well I did start off visiting the WOYWW blogs I didn't get round to earlier but then I saw this and have to say you know how to make a hotpot, and how to get my tastebuds going.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Ann B #39

  7. Hi Di, firstly l'd like to say thank you for sharing these fabulous Recipes with your blogger friends, todays meal was fabulous l know because l made it ..........had all the ingrediants in and hadn't anything else planned so away to the kitchen and prepared this fabulous dish it turned out beautiful hubby and l just love it and l'll be tuning in for my next lesson next Friday many thanks Di for intruding me to your cooking on a more serious note it was gorgeous thank you:) Sandra

  8. Rather concerned that Sandra had a pint of dry cider in the house already, lol.
    Well I feel that you won't ever be inviting me for a meal as there is always something that I don't like.
    Sausage - has to be nearly burnt for me to enjoy it, my Daughter does a sausage casserole, which is sort of nice but I don't like soft sausages.
    I will try this recipe but I will try it with pork loin instead of the sausage.

    Kath x

  9. Thanks so much Sandra for hopping back - glad it was a hit!

    Yup, Kath, I think it would be a good idea to try pork loin - bet it'd turn out lovely and tender.

    Di xx

  10. I think we were on the same wavelength yesterday - one-pot/dish cooking for the colder days. This looks absolutely delicious - and one my DH would love too. I love dishes topped with crispy potatoes so will be trying this one out, using the apple juice, toot sweet :) Hope you enjoy the DH's pottage - considering the lack of effort on his part it does taste surprisingly good. I checked out the original MPW recipe the DH used and noted that it was illustrated with a photograph of the uncooked dish - so that's how they do it! They don't actually cook the dish so no burned on splashes to clean off!!! Spotted on the morning news programme this week Mrs Beaton's toast sandwich - one slice of buttered and seasoned toasted white bread sandwiched between two slices of untoasted white bread - and she is a revered cook :) Elizabeth x

  11. OK....this is a keeper! I'm goona try this one for sure as I have a weakness for taters! Love-em!

    You are just too kind Di - I bet the Postie adores you and can't wait to drop mail off at your home!

  12. This looks yummy Di! I must try this recipe. Thankyou for sharing.
    Diane xx


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