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Christmas sausage and mushroom stew

This hearty dinner is warm, comforting and easy to make – perfect for the in-between days of the festive season.

The recipe

Brown 500g of cocktail or chipolata sausages in 4 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil in a wide, high-sided pan. Peel 3 medium-sized red onions then cut them in half, then cut each half into 6. Remove the sausages from the pan, then add the onions and let them soften and lightly brown.

Roughly chop 200g of carrots and add to the onions. Cut 200g of button mushrooms in half, add to the pan and let them brown lightly. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour into the pan, then stir in and continue cooking for 2 minutes to lightly brown the flour. Pour in 1 litre of chicken stock and bring to the boil, then stir in the sausages and season carefully.

Simmer the sausage stew for about 20 minutes then serve. Serves 2.

The trick

Soften the chopped red onions in the same pan in which you browned the chipolata sausages. That way they will pick up all the sweet, caramelised meat juices. If you have a few minutes to spare, warm the chicken stock before stirring it into the aromatics. Even better, make some thick toast on which to serve the stew. The juices will soak down into the toasted bread.

The twist

When you are cooking the red onions, introduce a few woody herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, the leaves removed and chopped. At the end of cooking, when you are checking the seasoning, stir in 2 tbsp of redcurrant or cranberry jelly.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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