The word ‘hearty’ gets thrown around way too much, when it comes to reflecting on a meal. ‘That’s a hearty stew,’ your grandfather might say from across the table. ‘That’s a really hearty sauce,’ your auntie might comment the next day. And then, before you know it, the newborn in the family is trying to say something from his crib; everyone gathers around, with bated breath, awaiting lil’ Johnno’s first word; and then, from the silence, Johnno makes his spoken debut: ‘hearty.’
Us human beings are cursed by a limited vocabulary when it comes to describing our culinary experiences, but as it happens, even a stationary clock will be right once a day. In the same vein the word ‘hearty’ will occasionally be appropriate.
We’ve done our best to cobble together a feast to which that word actually applies, because ultimately a little bit of warmth and comfort and nourishment – all those deputies of ‘hearty’ – is really what you need during a brisk Aussie winter.
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 2 people
- 8 sausages
- 400g of cannellini beans
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 400g can of diced tomatoes
- 200mL beef stock
- Minced garlic
- 200mL beef stock
Find yourself a large pot, ideally big enough to accommodate the eight sausages on the bottom so that you can cook them as you would on a barbecue. Add a layer of oil to the bottom of the pot and get it going over your camper’s strongest burner or alternatively over a fire (if the pot is made for campfire cooking). Once the oil is sizzling chuck the sausages in and cook them properly until they are edible, but on the underdone side. Then, remove them from the heat by tongs and put them on standby on a spare plate.
Next, skin and then dice up the onions and the carrot and put them in the same pot, which should already be nice and hot by this point. If you really want to soften up your carrots you can put them in a microwave proof container and zap it, if you have a powerhouse camper that can handle high-draw appliances like that; otherwise you can boil them lightly first (this will be easier to do on your burner than on the fire).
Let the carrot and onion soften up, chucking in a tablespoon garlic too. Once the veggies are about ready, add in the stock, tomatoes and already cooked sausages. Chuck a ventilated lid on and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally so that is it all getting even heat. The sauce should level out and not be watery by this time. Finally, drain and rinse the beans and then add them into the mix, keeping them on simmer for two minutes so that they heat up.
It’s unlikely you’ll have a grill handy, but if you do – say you happen to be staying at a tourist park – then you can add some breadcrumbs and cheese to the top to make a nice crunchy top layer.