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John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

Sausage meatballs and dumplings with a cider sauce

John and Lisa are preparing some family feasts in their Weekend Kitchen - big dishes to enjoy together!

They start with a roast chicken stuffed with orzo and served on a bed of new potatoes and butterbeans.

Next it’s warming sausage meatballs and dumplings in a cider sauce. John has Lisa’s favourite prawn fideuà made with a cheat’s lobster sauce.

And for dessert it’s a decadent hazelnut brownie with chocolate sauce & toffee popcorn.

Sausage meatballs and dumplings with a cider sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 sausages

Olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp red onion marmalade

3 - 5 thyme sprigs

400ml chicken stock (or alternatively vegetable stock)

250ml cider

Salt and pepper

2 - 3 tbsp chicken gravy granules

For the cobbler dumplings

150g self raising flour

70g vegetable suet

2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

Pinch salt

1 tbsp mustard powder

100ml cold water

Milk for glazing


Method

Sausage casserole method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Take the sausage meat out of the skins, and then roll each piece into similar sized balls (each sausage should be able to make four meatballs).

2. Heat a splash of oil in a casserole pan, add the sausage balls and brown all over (don’t be tempted to move them too early, if they are sticking to the pan the meatballs aren’t cooked enough on that side). Then add the thyme sprigs, your sliced onions in the middle of the pan and use the fat from the sausages to fry for a few minutes.

3. Add your onion marmalade, cider and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Once at the boil, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes.

4. After 20 minutes remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the gravy granules to thicken before adding your dumplings on top.

Dumpling method

1. Whilst your casserole is cooking in the oven, make the dumpling mixture by combining all of the ingredients apart from the milk in a large bowl (adding any extra water if the mixture is too dry).

2. Using a teaspoon, scoop out similar sized portions from your dumpling mixture and roll them into balls. Drop the dumplings on top of the casserole dish, brush the top of them with some milk, and return to the oven with no lid for a further 15 minutes (or until the dumplings are beautifully golden and puffed up).

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John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen