Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Balconies Again, Bowling, Duck Fat,

Not a heck of a lot going on in our lives at the moment. I am preoccupied with watching the contract workers. Matt couldn't be less interested. Don't understand  that. They worked until dark today and are definitely taking advantage of DST because they started work at 7 a.m. whereas recently they have been starting at 8. I also discovered why they have drilled semi circular holes in some balconies, including ours. It's because of the struts as you can see here underneath the balcony. With the holes they have drilled, they can insert the struts into the walls so they don't have to move them as they did before. I didn't realise they were going to use the same method as before as they seem to have  been using the hoists lately.

Bowling today of course and I am delighted to say we took all 7 points from the top team. How much that has helped our position I don't know. Not really sure why I bother about it, we are not really a competitive bunch but it's nice not to be near the bottom just the same.

Having posted a recipe for Cassoulet yesterday,  I spent a little time today trying to locate rendered duck fat for the cassoulet, I did find it at Olive Nation, but didn't order it as the recipe calls for 2 tbs. optional, and the jar is certainly more  than that. Not sure how it would keep. I thought my local deli store might have it but they didn't. I came across the following recipe which is a possible copy of the cassoulet but much simpler plus it doesn't have chicken. Mind you, English sausages are really good too. The only sausages I have come across which really compare are the Jimmy Dean pork sausages I used to buy in the States although last time we were in the Carolinas I couldn't find them anywhere. Decided to google. The duck fat will keep 6 months in the fridge and 6-9 months in the freezer. I would still have to make a lot of cassoulet to use up the jar though I think. I couldn't find out just how much was in  this jar. However, I have just asked them out of interest.

Sausage Casserole

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly
before serving.

1 tbs olive oil
8 thick sausages
1 onion, peeled and cut into slices
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, washed and cut into thick slices
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (approx 450g)
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 400g tins plum tomatoes
Splash of red wine
200 ml beef stock
350 g cannellini beans (drained weight)
Salt and pepper
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley or chives, chopped
Crusty bread, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the sausages for 8-10 mins, turning frequently until browned all over. Remove from the pan, cut in half and set aside.

2. Drain any excess oil from the pan then add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Add in the leeks, potato and smoked paprika and cook for 4-5 mins.

3. Pour in the tomatoes, red wine and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and return the sausage pieces to the pan, along with the cannellini beans. Cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 mins over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 5-10 mins.

4. Season to taste, and scatter with parsley or chives. Serve with crusty bread.

Servings: 6

Source: Good to Know

Author Notes
Make the ultimate sausage casserole with our classic sausage casserole recipe - it's easy! Give sausages a smoky flavour by braising them in a tomato and paprika sauce with warming cannellini beans and potatoes. This recipe serves 4-6 people and is perfect if you're got a lot of people to feed. Cook your sausage casserole in just 50 mins for smoky, tender sausages every time. This recipe is certainly a classic that you'll want to make time and time again. This hearty casserole takes only 15 mins to prepare and then it cooks itself which is ideal if you're looking for something easy for dinner. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, make sure you reheat thoroughly before serving. This casserole is perfect served with rice, potatoes and crusty bread for dipping.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - can see their methodology ... but a noisy nuisance. Love cassoulet ... but not sure I'd go to the expense of duck fat - I'd probably have some duck and render the fat off that ... cheers Hilary

    1. I'm glad you can Hilary, I certainly can't. Well I have a duck of course, sitting in the freezer.

  2. The website says over 11 ounces in the jar. That's a lot of duck fat. They suggest frying potatoes in it too. I hardly think you would want to use the entire jar if you are trying to lose weight.

    1. How did you find that Denise, I couldn't. Duck fat is absolutely delicious, but you are right, not for dieters. Not really trying to lose, just not gain it back.

    2. I clicked on the image on the link you sent. Check out their suggestions for using the contents.

    3. I tried to find it and didn't Denise. So I emailed them and they replied anyway but....

  3. Maybe they'll finish your balcony before winter.
    Duck fat in a jar. Now I've seen everything.

    1. I don't think so Alex. Unfortunately.

      If it would keep, I would get some.

  4. My hubby would understand all about the balconies and how they are constructed. I have no desire for duck fat and sausage is a big no for me.

    1. Maybe I need to talk to you hubby to ask what the heck they are doing Birgit. The duck fat was for the Cassoulet. It is delicious actually. I like good sausages too.

  5. Maybe your true calling was as an engineer. I agree with Matt... unless of course the builders are really, really good looking and that's why you're so interested, Jo.

    1. Don't get close enough to tell Pinky. I do hope you finished your fall out shelter.

  6. I bet my husband would love that casserole.

    1. Just made it tonight JoJo without potatoes. It was delicious.