i ate three of these...

cowgirl tea


My girls call sausage, mash and beans ‘cowboy tea’ it’s a great name, right?  Being the terrible mother that I am however, I don’t make cowboy tea for them, for the one and only selfish reason that I’m not a great fan – stone me, shoot me, but I’m just not.  I confess to not even owning a potato masher.  My mum makes the most amazing cheese and potato pie – that’s mashed potato, butter, salt and a family pack of cheese grated in and on it.  Now, I can eat the whole pot of that, and lately, I have done.

Cowgirl tea, as Lil named it, is something totally different, but it has two of the components – sausages and beans, so it kind of fits the bill.  I cook sausages at the same time as peppers and onions – it’s a good one to use up that random green pepper that’s getting wrinkly at the bottom of the fridge.  You know the one, the one you get in the pack of three, that you look at with pity knowing you do not want it but it’s cheaper to buy the pack of three than it is a red one and a yellow one on their own, so you’re stuck with the bitter little bugger, a pepper pity party for one.  I cook them in loads of smoked paprika and finish the dish with smoked cheddar (lots) and bake until it’s all melted, so it’s got that amazing smokey taste that’ll make you feel EXACTLY like you’re on an extended stay on a dude ranch is southern Texas, cooking on an open fire with a bunch of hot cowboys in damn fine denim. Or maybe not.  Probably not.  Actually definitely not.  It will do none of those things.  Shit, I really, really need to listen to my friends and get out more.  I would probably just talk about green peppers though.

But it’s really good nonetheless and it hits the comfort food button that I am, weirdly, ALL OVER at the moment, like in the depths of winter I can’t get enough of stodgy carbs, almond croissants, cake and anything with melted cheese on it – like an anti-getting-bikini-body-ready-for-the-beach poster girl.  I hate that term by the way. If you have a body and you’re going to the beach then you’re body ready for the beach, right? Right.

Slightly cowgirl-ish and beachy, I have just bought a SPECTACULAR bikini that’s covered in long horn cattle skulls, so I probably should reign it in a bit because I cannot wait to wear that bad boy and I’d be gutted that come the time I can’t get my ass in it.  There’s only so much stretch that those skulls will allow before they start actually looking like a road map of Texas.  Also, I’m in an office of salad grazers and I’m standing out like an, err, vegetarian middle-aged mum who’s scared of cows and pretty uncomfortable around horses too, at a dude ranch in southern Texas.

Sausage, cheese and bean bake

Serves 2-4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour

What you will need

  • 6 sausages (veggie or meaty - your call)
  • 2 onions (1 chopped finely, 1 chunky)
  • 2 peppers (cut into thick chunks)
  • 1 tin beans (kidney bean, butter bean, black eye - any you like)
  • 2 Tins tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 stock cube
  • smoked cheddar (as much as your arteries will allow)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)


Step 1 Add the sausages, thick cut onion and peppers to a large baking dish. Cover in olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and cook in an oven as per the instructions on your sausages. Keep giving it a little shake to make sure everything's cooked evenly.
Step 2 While this is cooking make a tomato sauce. Soften the remaining onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil. Add in the tinned tomatoes and stock cube, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked.
Step 3 Add the drained beans to the tomato sauce, mix well and pour over the sausages and roast veg. Cover, and I mean, cover, in grated cheese and bake just until the cheese melts. Corrrrrr.

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