I have to admit, although I always hear rave reviews about slow cookers (Mrs Thrifty is always sharing the slow cooker love), I don't use ours as often as I would like but I am always on the lookout for new recipes. In theory I should be all over the 'throw it all in and let it bubble away' method of cooking but I have always been a bit paranoid of leaving it all day (despite it being perfectly safe) so I only tend to use ours when one of us is around. This sausage casserole recipe came about (no jokes please!) due to a long day working from home and it was absolutely delicious! The best bit is, this would taste equally delicious with vegetarian sausages or even without any meat whatsoever... This takes between 6 and 8 hours to cook so make sure it is on by 10.00 if you want to eat at 6.00 pm!
You will need; sausages, a tin of chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, tomato puree, pureed chilli (optional but a kick of spice does add that special something, a large onion, new potatoes, a couple of cloves of garlic and a slow cooker sachet (my mother-in-law always seems to find the best ones!) Obviously any of these items can be replaced with anything else you have in your cupboard too- have some rice or pasta that needs using up? Chuck it in! I added in some mushrooms and frozen veg as it was cooking too to bulk it out and this did us for 6 large meals...
Stab your sausages (ouch) and sear in a hot pan until they are browned. It is very difficult to make raw meat look appealing so I apologies to those of you that are squeamish!
Chop up your potatoes into small chucks and cover the base of your slow cooker.
Drain your chickpeas (I usually swill them in some water too to get rid of the excess starch covering them)
Add the chickpeas with your sliced red onion to the potatoes in your cooker. The best bit is just adding layers of delicious veg and pulses to your slow cooker, it looks so healthy!
Mix your sachet to the instructions given (it is usually 250 ml of water) and a dollop of tomato puree- I also added the chilli puree at this point as I wanted it to be mixed in properly. I also mix in my tin of chopped tomatoes at this point...
Chop the sausages into chunks and add to the mixture- you can obviously leave them whole but chopping them means that each portion should end up with some in...
Add your liquid mixture to the slow cooker and ensure it covers the entire pan. Although this doesn't look like enough liquid, try and resist the temptation to add more as otherwise you end up with a very runny sauce!
Turn onto high and leave to cook- warning, this will smell absolutely delicious so you will want to eat it ight away!
As you can see, there is more than enough liquid to go round! I had added some extra hot water so had to use some frozen veg to soak it up (oops!)
Serve in a deep bowl with some crusty bread and enjoy!