Here at The Madhouse, I've been loving trying out the different herbs and spices that Schwartz have been kindly sending through for review (you can see all my Schwartz reviews by clicking on the Schwartz label here), and I was over the moon to discover that they have created a range of spice mixes specially designed for slow cookers. Schwartz have done some research which shows that while 45 per cent of homes across the UK have a slow cooker, only 14 per cent of them use them, so they have developed a range of Slow Cookers recipe mixes to make slow cooking easy and tasty.
I received a fabulous pack comprising a wonderful Morphy Richards slow cooker, which I will be passing on to a very excited friend because I've already got one (you may remember, I have already reviewed the Morphy Richards Flavour Savour slow cooker here) and some of the Schwartz Slow Cookers spice mixes.
Today, we tried out the Slow Cookers Sausage & Bean Casserole mix. I often make the classic Sausage Casserole using their mix so I was keen to see how this would compare. Well, as you'll see below, the answer is very well indeed !
At 8.30 this morning, I was busy frying sausages so that the dish would be able to happily bubble away for a few hours and still be ready by lunchtime when Madhouse daddy Mike popped in from work.
I prepared the rest in the slow cooker within a couple of minutes. All I needed to do was empty a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of beans (the recipe suggests cannellini beans but I went with baked beans, as it was what we had in the cupboard), a chopped onion, the sachet of spices and a bit of water.
A quick stir, add the sausages (having drained off the excess fat) and pop the lid on for a few hours.
Fast forward several hours (as many as you like - the joy of slow cooking is that a couple of hours here or there makes no difference at all !), and here is what you get. I purposely added more water than the suggested amount so that we'd get lashings of lovely sauce.
This would be absolutely lovely with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes but, as I was cooking twice baked stuffed potatoes for tea, I decided to serve it with coucous, which also worked very well.
One happy smiley face ...
Two happy smiley faces (even though she was feeling ill with her cold and wanted a pyjama day) ...
Three happy smiley faces (well, kinda, he was too busy stuffing sausages in his mouth to smile for the camera !)
To be honest, I wouldn't really have been able to tell the difference between the sausage casserole I usually cook and the one in the slow cooker, but the added bonus is that I didn't need to keep checking back to see if it was drying out too quickly, I just let it get on by itself while I had fun playing with the kids !
If you want some more inspiration for slow cooking, you might like to look at my other slow cooking posts here
The Schwartz Slow Cookers recipe mixes include Beef & Tomato Casserole, Chicken in Red Wine, Sausage & Bean Casserole. I'll be back blogging about the others in the range once I've tried them out ! The Sausage & Bean Casserole mix contains nothing but a mix of herbs and spices with no hidden nasties : Wheat Flour, Modified Maize Starch, Tomato Powder (11%), Dried Onion, Flavourings, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Red Bell Peppers (4%), Sugar, Oregano (2%), Chilli Powder (Chilli Pepper, Cumin, Salt, Oregano, Garlic), Marjoram, Salt, Black Pepper.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : 99p for a 35g sachet
for more information : http://www.schwartz.co.uk/productdetail.cfm?ID=11576
for more information about Morphy Richards, you can check out my Morphy Richards Innovator posts here.
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