Sausage + bean stew

I can’t remember how I came across this Hairy Bikers recipe, but I’m really glad I did – it’s wonderful, warming, simple, filling, and we’ve had it almost weekly for a while now. Omit the bacon and use veggie sausages & stock and that would work too. Did I mention that I once danced with one of the Hairy Bikers at a work Christmas party many moons ago? No? Well I did, and it was fun. Serves 4 with leftovers if eaten with some bread for mopping up the sauce, or 6 easily if served with rice, mash or a jacket potato.


1-2 tbsp veg oil of choice

8 pork sausages, halved

6 ish rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 sliced onions

2 garlic gloves, crushed

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp dried thyme

300ml chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 x 400g tin beans (cannellini, pinto, whatever), drained and rinsed


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large cast iron pan or wide saucepan that has a lid, and fry the sausages for about 10 minutes until browned on all sides, then remove to a plate.
  2. Next up fry the bacon pieces until crispy, then plonk them on the plate with the sausages.
  3. Now fry the onions with a pinch of salt for at least 5 -10 minutes until they soften (add in more oil if you need it), then add in the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.
  4. Add in the paprika, tomatoes, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and herbs, and mix well.
  5. Pour in the stock and 100ml of water, stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Add back the sausages, bacon, beans, and bay leaves, mix well, and leave to cook for 20 minutes with the lid on, giving it an occasional stir to make sure it’s not sticking.
  7. Allow to continue to cook uncovered for a few minutes more if the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like it to be.
  8. Season with black pepper and more salt if needed, and serve.

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