Now, I know this is not the way that normal people do things, but the other night I had a dream in which I was cooking something along these lines, so after a bit of thought I decided to try it out! The dream did also includeC hristopher tap-dancing on the kitchen worktop, but I thought we'd give that a miss - he has school tomorrow and that sort of accident could be hard to explain! I based the recipe loosely on my regular recipe for a Sausage Supper, but tinkered with it a little to get the effect I imagined. I used some cocktail sausages which were still languishing in the freezer after Christmas, but I think next time I'll do this with some well seasoned coarse bangers, perhaps cut into chunks after browning. Regarding the stock, use what you like; chicken, vegetable or beef all work well with the sausage supper, so I should think they'd all be equally good here too. If I have any leftover gravy from a beef stew, I like to save it, and freeze it, to use in dishes like this. It's a big "if", though, having married a man whose familial reaction to leftover gravy is to fetch a mug and a hunk of bread
Sausage Suppertime Bake
1 large onion, halved and sliced
500ml stock (and see above)
mixed dried herbs
1 heaped tsp cornflour
4-6 potatoes, depending on size
Heat some oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions over a low heat until soft and just golden. Turn up the heat and add the sausages, browning them a little all over. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Add a good pinch of mixed dried herbs and grind over some black pepper, then remove from the heat . Remove a little of the gravy to a measuring jug and blend with the cornflour. Stir this mixture back into the sausage-and-gravy mixture, then transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Cover with slices of potato (I didn't bother to peel them) and bake at 200°c for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and crisp on top.
It tasted great. I rather love the way it looks, too, with the overlapping potato slices just scorched and crunchy at the edges and the gravy bubbling up around them. The children, particularly, couldn't wait to get stuck in, and I'm pleased to report clean plates all round this evening. We had a big, gorgeous head of grey-green broccoli delivered in the vegetable box this morning - and we all adore broccoli - so I cut that up and steamed it to go with the bake. The cabbage we also got would have been just as good, I'm sure - but I have other plans for that...