March 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm #1428
Some five years ago, my wife was in hospital and was concerned that I wasn’t eating well. She searched through the magazines that she had and found your recipe for spicy sausage stew in the Sainsbury’s magazine of March 2008, and suggested that I tried it. Being a complete beginner to cooking I was very relieved to find that your recipe was simple and easy to understand. Even better it tasted really good, and I was quite proud of myself when I managed to get a tasty meal on my first attempt. Over the next few weeks I tried it again a few times, and (surprisingly) was always successful. On researching recipes a bit more, I found that the majority were too complex for me and required a substantial knowledge of cooking terms – of which I had almost none. Your recipe has now become one of my basic ones – one of the few that I can do from memory.
Unfortunately my wife died in hospital and she never got to try what I thought was a wonderful achievement. Nevertheless I have persisted with your recipe and of course it has changed over the years. I grow my own beans, but they need soaking overnight before cooking, and one time I started cooking and found I had no soaked beans (and no tins either) – so I found out that it is fine without beans. Your recipe has now been substantially adapted, with much more garlic, a whole scotch bonnet, and a large amount of wine which I then boil down. I have an allotment (inherited from my wife) and we have a few barbecues each year, and your sausage stew is always successful – and this is from a pensioner who has a minimal talent for cooking!
The reason that I am writing this is that you may not have realised that such a simple thing such as a well–written simple recipe could have helped me so much when I had no confidence in being able to achieve anything. I am in the process of cooking it now but you wouldn’t recognize it! The origins are in your article of five years ago, but now I have my own version which I have to tone down for visitors! If you were ever to republish this recipe, my secret is to start with the garlic, chilli and sugar, mix them well, and leave them for at least 30 minutes. With the right sugar this turns into a wonderful slop (there is no other word for it) as the sugar absorbs moisture from the air.
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