Smokey Chipotle Sausage Casserole

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As Autumn is upon us in Sydney, and even though it was 25 degrees today I still do love a hearty casserole, and to be honest all of you that follow my blog have probably got to understand this!!!! Tonight I raided the shelves at Gourmet Grocer HQ and came home with some La Morena chipotles in adobo sauce.  Even better I discovered that Vic’s Meats on the Sydney Fish Markets were open all day Easter Monday, so of course a trip to their amazing store was in order.  Having browsed their astounding selection, I eventually got to the sausage department,where they have a huge array of every sausage possible, being brought up in the UK couldn’t go past the good old british banger so tonight we are having Smokey Chipotle Sausage Casserole which I am serving with brown rice and a nice bottle of red!!! Happy Monday!!!! ;0)

Ingredients

1–2 tbsp olive oil
12 good quality pork sausages
6 rashers rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½–1 tsp hot chilli powder or smoked paprika
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 chipotle chilli’s in Adobo sauce
2 tbsp Adobo sauce (the sauce that the chilli’s come in )
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup( I love Noble Handcrafted)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
100ml red wine
1 x 400g tin mixed beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.

Fry the bacon pieces in the frying pan until they begin to brown and crisp then add to the sausages.
Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil.Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more until the onions turn pale golden-brown, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle over the chilli powder or smoked paprika and cook together for a few seconds longer.
Stir in the tomatoes, Chipotle chilli’s, adobo sauce, chicken stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup and herbs.
Pour over the wine and bring to a simmer.
Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer very gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with rice or slices of rustic bread.

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