Despite this weekend being super warm and sunny in London, after being reminded by a friend of the joys of homemade baked beans and having some sausages to use in our ever-packed freezer this was the dish of the day on Sunday.
I am currently studying for a diploma in Nutrition and this weekend was completing the Protein module. Beans are an excellent source of protein which is essential for the growth and repair of cells including muscle, skin and hair. Protein is made up of essential amino acids (there are 9) and whilst beans don’t contain all 9 amino acids (they are an incomplete protein), when mixed with another incomplet protein, for example grains or brown rice, both become complete. So for vegetarians out there reading this, I would advise you substitute sausages with high protein vegetables including brocolli, kale, peas, spinach and serve the beans alongside some brown rice or with a wholewheat tortilla.
4 Good Quality, low fat Sausages
1 tin Borlotti Beans
1 tin Plum Tomatoes
1 red onion – finely sliced
1/2 red chilli – diced
1tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Paprika
1tsp dark brown sugar/molasses
2 Bay Leaves
1 sprig Rosemary – leaves chopped
Salt for seasoning
Start by browning the sausages in a large pan in the olive oil. When browned on all sides, take out of the pan and leave to one side. Pop the onions into the pan and cook to soften for 5 minutes or so, add the chilli and stir together for 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes and stir, slowly bringing to a simmer. Mix in the rosemary, paprika, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves and continue to simmer the mixture for a few minutes seasoning with salt if you think it is needed. Add the sausages back into the pan, pop the lid on and leave on a low heat for a further 30 minutes. Keep checking on the sauce, it will reduce and thicken to a rich ragout-type mixture, keeping the sausages moist. Don’t let it over-reduce as this will become dry and dry out the sausages so add a little water if necessary.
I served my sausages and beans with roasted cauliflower and asparagus.