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Neil’s ‘cook at least once a week’ challenge – week one – Sausage Casserole

Last Monday I was out and about in London town. Whereupon I was told that the fact I lived off take-away food and microwave meals wasn’t very healthy. So whilst the rest of the Lib Dem blogosphere is worried about what is going down with the reshuffle I was busy as I have been challenged to actually cook a proper meal once a week. Well I’m not one to run away from a challenge…well in fact that is a huge lie as I always run away from challenges as I like my nice quiet simple life but still this one I haven’ yet.

So today on week one and I sit here having eaten a meal that I cooked myself. One that involved more than stabbing plastic with a knife to ensure a meal doesn’t explode in a microwave. One that involved more than opening up a take-away carton and placing it in a bowl and yes even more than bunging something in the oven and taking it out when cooked.

Tonight I cooked…sausage casserole.

However I can’t just say I did it as apparently I could lie so I needed photographic evidence of the adventure. So we’ll start with my raw ingredients:

raw ingredients for sausage casserole
What I started with…

So as you can see I have six Sweet Chilli Sausages, a casserole pack that consisted of leeks, onions, potatoes, swede and carrots as well as some stock. What I did first was brown off the sausage in a frying pan like thus…

frying sausages frying pan
Frying sausages in a frying pan…

As this was working I put the contents of the packet mix into 3/4 pint of cold water. If you don’t believe me look below…

sausage casserole packet mix
See. A jug with a vile looking liquid in it.

Once this was I put all the ingredients together in an oven-proof dish. I am feeling semi-confident at this point but it should be noted I decided not to boil the casserole mix first. In retrospect this may have been a mistake…

uncooked sausage casserole
What it looked like before oven time…

45 minutes later after that length of time with 170 degrees of heat it looked like this…

cooked sausage casserole
This was the look of love…or the sausage casserole if I wasn’t doing a bad music related pun.

On my plate – well in my bowl – this was my dinner…

sausage casserole
Sausage Casserole Dinner

Not sure Gordon would be very pleased with the stock drips on the bowl though I must say…

My conclusion is clear. It was a decent dinner and relatively cheap at £3.66. Apparently it would serve four but I’m not sure how. Some of my vegetables were still hard – clearly those that weren’t covered by stock in the oven. This really dragged down the taste for me. Also I remembered that I’m not a big lover of leeks so I really had to force them down.

Overall I’d give the meal at six out of ten and that might be generous. Will I continue and cook again in week two? Will I get overly excited and cook again tomorrow? Will I blog every single proper meal I cook and turn this from a semi-interesting blog to one that drives people away in their droves?

So many questions and so few answers as I type but at this juncture I know this. I gave it a shot and I should be praised for trying!

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