Porkfect Sausage, Fennel and Bean Supper

By Esther Boateng

You’ll need three main ingredients, one pot, and a steady hand to make this rustic looking stew. If you’re a stickler for detail, you’ll be in your element when you prepare the fennel. If you like to improvise, aka “wing it,” you’ll have a field day preparing the sauce and sausage meat.

There are a few main ingredients in this straightforward sauce: tomato puree or paste, vegetable stock or bone broth, and white wine, which is optional. A modest amount of wine certainly heightens the taste, as does smoked paprika powder (as opposed to regular paprika).

If you go for the rustic look, as I did, your supper will take less time to prepare. I prefer to randomly slice the fennel and red onion and get it on the stove, pronto. If you have the skill and patience to slice these ingredients paper-thin without causing harm to yourself, firstly, I’m jealous, and secondly, your finished recipe will look more pleasing to the eye. A mandoline is an efficient tool if you want a precise thickness. Paper-thin fennel takes less time to cook than chunky, wedge-like pieces. Fennel is quite fibrous and will retain much of its crunch, especially when eaten raw in a salad, for example.

Lastly, there’s the sausage- and tomato-based sauce to prepare. If you buy unseasoned sausage meat, you have the benefit of adding your own seasoning. Sometimes I like to be creative and use whatever seasoning I have available; fresh oregano leaves, Dr. Cowan’s Garden Wild Ramp Powder, and garlic are favorites. Thyme and lemon pepper also taste great.


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