The journey towards a better diet for my family has been a long one. And this dish represents a lot of the small steps I have taken on that journey.
Curried Sausages is a firm family favourite in a lot of Australian households. And in a lot of those households, some kind of packaged meal “helper” in a sachet or box is part of the preparation of that family favourite. It always was for me. My mum had always cooked curried sausages using a Continental Hot Pot box that you mixed with water to rehydrate the powder and dried veggies to make the sauce. So that was the way I had always made my curried sausages, too. It was familiar and it was easy.
As I began to make changes to our family diet, one of the first things I did (because I was in weight-loss mode) was look at how to bulk out meals with more veggies, since they were “free” foods that allowed me to eat a greater volume of a dish without using up my allowances on the components that did “count”. So I started to add grated veggies to the slow cooker whenever I made this. I found if I grated the veggies, they just disappeared into the sauce as it cooked and made it more substantial.
After a while of working on improving our eating, I really started to look at packaged foods and what was in them. By then, I had a baby who was eating with us, and I wanted to give him the best start I could with real foods instead of processed ones. So one day I decided to just not use the packet for the curried sausages. I had stopped using packet mixes for other dishes – like chilli con carne – relying on spices instead, so why couldn’t I do it here? Since the sauce was mostly made up of veggies anyway, I didn’t need to add the dehydrated veggies in the packet mix, and surely I could just use curry powder for flavour without needing thickeners, flavour enhancers and whatever else was lurking in there.
And you know what? It worked. It tasted great. Very similar to the packet, in fact. But better, because I knew exactly what was in there and how it had been made. This was the last of the packet recipe mixes to disappear from my kitchen. I don’t miss it.
Another step I took along our journey to a more wholefoods diet was improving the quality of the meat we ate. So when I make this dish now, the sausages are not standard supermarket sausages, but grass-fed beef sausages that my local butcher makes gluten and preservative free. Whilst our family has no particular issues with gluten, most of us do suffer from asthma, so anything we can do to avoid exposing us to asthma-triggering preservatives is a win in my book.
So here you are – the dish that represents loads of small steps taken towards better food for my family. And even better – it’s absolutely delicious!
1 large brown onion
1 -2 tbsp curry powder
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock paste (recipe here – thermomix or non-thermomix method)
2-3 cups water (use less if you prefer a thicker sauce)
1kg beef sausages (grass fed, preservative free if you can)
handful sultanas (optional)
- Blitz all vegetables and apple in batches a food processor until they are chopped finely. (Alternatively you could grate them by hand with a box grater.)
- Add the vegetables along with curry powder, stock paste and water to the slow cooker. Stir to mix.
- Place raw sausages into the mix, pushing them down to ensure they are submerged.
- Cook on low 8 hours.
- Optional steps: remove sausages and slice into rounds, then return to the sauce. (I find the meal stretches a bit further this way, and more of the veggie sauce gets eaten along with the sausages). Add sultanas if you like a bit of sweetness.
- Serve with rice or mashed potato and steamed greens if desired.
As with most of my recipes, this makes loads, so pop the leftovers in the freezer for an easy meal on a busy night .