Seasonal local food recipe No 72: A casserole of artichokes and pork for deepest winter

The gentle, smoky flavour of this heart-warming recipe by Nigel Slater comes from the Jerusalem artichokes. It’s a perfect antidote to the cold winter weather we’re having in Cornwall at the moment. Find it in his cookbook Tender Volume 1.

Preparation / cooking: one hour

Serves: 4

8 really good pork sausages
olive oil
4 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
250g small mushrooms
500g Jerusalem artichokes
1 large lemon
1 tsp fennel seeds
light stock or water to cover – about 500ml
a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Steamed cavolo nero, spring cabbage or purple sprouting broccoli, to serve

Brown the sausages all over in a little oil in a deep casserole. Set aside. Peel the onions and cut them into thick segments, then add to the pan in which you browned the sausages, pouring in a little more oil if you need to. Let the onions soften over a moderate heat till they are tender enough to crush with a wooden spoon. Don’t hurry this; it should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Peel and finely slice the garlic and add it to the onions. Halve the mushrooms and add them too.

Peel or simply scrub the artichokes, then cut them in half. Add them to the pan, pushing the onions aside, and let them colour slightly. Now tip the sausages back into the pan. Cut the lemon into fat chunks and tuck them in along with the fennel seeds and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper.

Pour over enough stock or water to cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are truly tender. If there is too much liquid, turn up the heat and let it reduce a little. Stir in the parsley, check the seasoning and eat with the greens.

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