Forkful's speedy suppers
Is there a better comfort than a sizzling sausage for supper? This week, I'm offering a Mediterranean take on our sausage and carbs with my Merquez sausage and butter bean salad.
Merquez sausages are usually made from lamb or beef, spiced with paprika and garlic.
I buy mine at the butcher counter of Fallon & Byrne in Dublin.
I've also gone for a classic sausage and mash recipe this week, with my quick caramelized red onion recipe to top it all off.
Alternatively, if meat isn't your thing, your favourite vegetarian or vegan sausage substitute will sit quite happily within these recipes.
Merquez sausages with butter bean salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
2 to 4 merquez sausages
1 x 400ml tin of butter beans
10 cherry tomatoes
1 preserved lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint
1.. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the sausages for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and sizzling.
2. Drain the butter beans and add them to the pan with the cooked sausage. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan. Chop the preserved lemon into chunks and add to the pan. Fry everything for 3 minutes, until the butter beans are warm and the tomatoes and lemon have started to blister. 3. Remove the sausage and set aside. Transfer everything else to a large serving bowl. Pour in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly chopped mint and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Slice the sausages in half. Serve the salad with the pieces of sausages and some crusty bread on the side.
Sausages and Mash
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
3 red onions
1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 thick sausages
1 tablespoon of butter
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1. Peel the celeriac and chop into chunks. Place in a saucepan and fill with water. Bring to the boil and bubble for about 20 minutes, or until the celeriac pieces are soft.
2. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the red onions. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over a medium to low heat. Add the red onions and fry for 3 minutes. Now add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Gently fry on a low heat for another 15 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized.
3. Cook your sausages, either in a frying pan or under the grill. 4. Drain and mash the celeriac with the butter, along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the mash with the cooked sausages, caramelized onions and a few leaves of fresh thyme.
This week's storecupboard essential:
Muscovado Sugar: This molasses heavy unrefined sugar lends a complex caramel taste to savoury dishes. I prefer the flavour it brings to tomato sauces or caramelized onions over that of a simpler white sugar. It's great for carrot and coffee cakes too and it's a good idea to have a bag or two of it in your pantry.
Photos: Mark Duggan