|Ready for the oven. Lots of colors and textures.|
Update: This became my number one recipe of 2020. I always say that a good recipe is like a good date. It is inexpensive, fulfilling, you want to do it again and you want to tell everyone about it--even your family. Thanks to my Face Book friends who suggested I add the green beans. I have also made this with Kielbasa. I think it is the blend of dried herbs that sets this apart from other similar recipes. And don't forget the sour cream!
AUTUMN is certainly casserole season. Hearty meals of humble ingredients that are easily assembled and easy on the wallet. Often, they can be prepared the day before and are on the table in no time. Usually baked in one pan or dish, clean-up is not complicated. They are comfy and filling. What's not to like?
I have been making this casserole for the past week. Day after day. Honestly, I have not tired of it. I love the flavor. I love the long slow cook in the oven and smell of the sausage and seasonings as it permeates my apartment. Every ingredient just naturally complements each other: potatoes, carrots, onions, string beans.
The first time I made it, I couldn't get the seasonings right. The first try was awful. I was out of Italian seasoning, so I used Herbes de Provence. Big mistake. After a few tries, I think I got it just right. Of course, feel free to add your own. But don't skip the celery salt.
Look for sausage when it is on sale or BOGO. And stock up/freeze. My preferred brand is Hillshire Farm smoked beef sausage. I prefer it to Ecrich. A pound of sausage with veggies can satisfyingly feed several people. But this is also a simple dish to prepare for just one or two. Or, in addition to making a larger dish, make a smaller one, too, to share with a friend or neighbor.
This is really more of a process than a recipe. Add how many veggies you would like. Go easy on the dried seasonings. A little goes a long way and remember it will bake for two hours, so that is a long process for the tastes to mingle. Avoid slicing your sausage too thin. You don't want it to dry out while it cooks.
And this is important. Use tin foil to really seal this tight. I recently made this in a dish I don't normally use. I was not able to fasten the foil as secure as I would have liked. I noticed a real difference. The sausage was not as juicy. In fact the dish lacked moisture. The veggies were a bit underdone. By sealing this tight, you create a steamed environment.
- 12-16 ounces smoked beef sausage
- 3/4 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3-4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into chunks
- 1 cup baby carrot pieces
- 1 cup fresh string beans, cut in half or thirds
- White wine, (optional)
- Sour cream for serving (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- A good pinch or two of each: dried thyme flakes, rubbed sage leaves, dried marjoram leaves
- A shake or two of garlic powder (not much)
- A shake or two of celery salt
- A few grinds of pepper
Cut the sausage into 2-inch rounds. Add to a bowl. Add the vegetables and seasonings. Mix to coat. Add to a 11x 7-inch baking dish or pan. Dot with butter. If desired, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons white wine. The onions will tend to break apart and as they bake they almost disappear into the sauce, so keep that in mind.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil or lid. Bake for two hours at 300F degrees (I've also baked for three hours at 200F). Remember, the sausage is already cooked, you are really just cooking the veggies and creating a sauce.
|If your butter is soft, just add to the mixture to coat. That's what I did here.|
Remove from oven. Keep covered for up to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil avoiding any steam that may escape. Stir. Serve, if desired, with a bit of sour cream on the side.
|Here is a "small" version where I only used potatoes and onions. Delish!|