A warming dish the whole family will love
350g (12oz) dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
350g (12oz) smoked streaky bacon, rinded and cut into strips
350g (12oz) smallish onions, quartered
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons tomato puree
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 Toulouse or other French sausages
Chopped fresh parsley
1. Drain the beans and put them in a pan with plenty of water to cover. Bring to the boil, then adjust the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquor.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the bacon until just beginning to crisp. Stir in the onions and continue to cook until the pieces start to brown around the edges. Sprinkle in the flour, stir and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves and thyme.
3. Add the cooked beans and 250ml (8fl oz) of the reserved liquor. Bring the mixture to the boil and add a little more bean liquor if you prefer, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
4. Pour the bean mixture into a large shallow baking dish, and arrange the sausages on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, turning the sausages once until the sausages are browned and the beans piping hot. Scatter with parsley and serve.