A Beautiful Broccoli Belter

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Broccoli is bang in season during summer time and all too often gets left to being an afterthought on a Sunday roast. There are several ways you can cook this nutrient-packed vegetable to make it more interesting and the main attraction rather than an accompaniment.

Hearty Broccoli, Bacon and Sausage

Bacon and sausage are usually the highlight of a good old English fry-up but this recipe turns simple ingredients into a satisfying and filling main meal. Always use the best sausage you can afford as budget ranges do tend to have higher fat and rusk contents and are not as tasty, but just a couple of decent butcher’s bangers go a long way in this dish which serves 2 as a main meal. The store cupboard additions mean that this is a great dish for the end of the week before you go shopping. You could make it stretch further by adding rice or another grain as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

Broccoli florets (as much as you like)

2tbsp olive oil

2 butcher’s pork sausages

140g button mushrooms, (you could get away with a can if you have one lurking in the back of the cupboard)

4 roughly chopped rashers of smoked back bacon, (try a pack of bacon mis-shapes which are usually far cheaper and great for cooking in this way as you’re chopping it up anyway)

1 roughly chopped clove of garlic 

1 large sliced leek 

Large tin of tomatoes

4tsp tomato purée

500ml beef stock, (use Oxo cube)

1 or 2 large cans mixed beans, drained, (2 if you can as they are great for fibre and filling power)

1 baguette or some crusty bread, thinly sliced, (slightly stale works fine and is a good way of using it up)

200g cheddar, (if mature you can get away with less as the flavour packs a good punch and stores like Aldi are far cheaper than major supermarkets)

A handful of chopped parsley to garnish, (if desired)

Method

Heat one tbsp of oil over a medium flame. Cook sausages and mushrooms for 10 mins until browned. Remove from pan and cut sausages into thick slices.

Heat remaining oil in same pan. Fry bacon and garlic until bacon is cooked and garlic is soft. Add leeks, fry gently until leeks are soft.

Stir in tinned tomatoes and purée. Simmer for 5 mins; add beef stock. Return sausages and mushrooms to pan. Simmer for around 5-10 mins until sausages are completely cooked. At the same time, cook broccoli in boiling salted water for around 3-4 minutes until al dente. 

Stir in cans of beans and warm through.

Preheat grill and toast bread on one side. Turn over, sprinkle grated cheese on other side, reserving a little. Return to grill ‘til bubbling.

Spoon sausage and bacon mixture into serving bowls, place broccoli on top and sprinkle with reserved cheese and a finely sliced chilli (if desired,) for a little kick. Garnish with parsley, (if using.) Have the cheese toasties ready to dunk.