For dinner with minimal effort, make this sausage, red pepper and Italian herb tray bake. Just dump the ingredients in a pan, stick it in the oven, then walk away.
One of Mischa’s primary duties as my husband is to sit next to me as I scroll through Instagram, periodically looking at photos of puppies I shove in his face and nodding in agreement every time I exclaim “SO CUTE”. This is no small job given that 80% of the accounts I follow are dedicated to puppy pictures. I’ve been even more pup-occupied than usual this week since signing the lease on a new house with a garden. While there are no plans to become dog-parents immediately, it does take us one step closer to it becoming a viable option. This means Mischa must now also put up with me repeatedly asking “can we have this one?”, and breaking my heart every time he reminds me they already belong to someone else.
For a taste of what it’s like to be married to me, please look at a few of my recent favourites and tell me how cute you think they are.
SO CUTE RIGHT? As you can see, my preferred Insta-pup is the miniature dachshund, and luckily there is no shortage of accounts to follow. In honour of these little sausage dogs, today’s recipe is for a sausage tray bake. This recipe is for days when you don’t have the energy to spend an hour prepping and cooking and you JUST WANT DINNER TO PLEASE COOK ITSELF. These sausages know you’ve had a long day at work, so they’re thoughtful enough to make their own jus in the pan while you look at internet puppies on your phone for half an hour. What considerate sausages.
This tray bake would be the perfect match for a potato mash to soak up all the juices, but if the thought of chopping and boiling potatoes is simply too exhausting, just throw a couple of whole potatoes in the oven 20 minutes before the sausages go in (prick them a few times with a fork first). By the time the sausages are ready, you’ll have baked potatoes ready to accompany them.
- Using a large enough roasting tray is key, because you want the first round of stock to almost evaporate during cooking, allowing for some caramelisation on the bottom of the pan.
- Look for high quality sausages with a good proportion of meat and not full of carb-heavy fillers.
- 8 pork sausages
- 2 onions
- 3 red peppers
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 6 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 3 tsp dried Italian herbs e.g. oregano, thyme, sage
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 500ml liquid chicken stock
- fresh basil leaves to serve
Preheat oven to 180ºC fanbake. Peel onions and slice into eighths. Slice peppers in half, remove seeds and slice each half into thirds. Prick each sausage a couple of times with a fork. Slice the bacon into large bitesized pieces.
Arrange onions, peppers, sausages, bacon and unpeeled garlic cloves evenly in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle over dried herbs and cracked pepper. Pour half the stock into the pan.
Bake for 20 mins, stirring the vegetables and turning the sausages half way through so they brown evenly. Bake for a further 20 mins, then remove from the oven.
Transfer the meat and vegetables into a separate dish and cover to keep warm. Pour the remaining stock into the oven tray and scrape up all the brown caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan.
Bake for a further 10 mins to reduce the sauce. Remove from oven and return meat and vegetables to the pan. Squeeze out garlic from the cooked cloves, discarding the skins. Mix everything together to coat in sauce.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately with mash (potato or cauliflower) and steamed green vegetables.