This recipe first appeared in my Guardian column in 2013, where the prices have been helpfully preserved for posterity – and comparison. It is not a vegan recipe, for the purposes of accurately comparing the rise in prices in basic food products over the past five years, but can easily be made vegan by using your favourite brand of vegan sausages. I hope that readers understand why I am choosing to do this – I no longer eat pork sausages, but there are plenty of people who use my old recipes who do, and I cannot accurately demonstrate the rising cost of food without doing it across *all* of my recipes from that particular period of time.
(Serves 4) was £1.92
1 tbsp sunflower oil, 3p (£3/3l – unchanged)
1 onion, chopped, 11p (was 5p)
6 basics sausages, £1 (was 80p)
400g tin baked beans, 25p (was 22p)
400g tin chopped tomatoes, 35p (was 31p)
142g double concentrate tomato puree, 35p (was 35p, no change – but important to note it is from the mid-range own brand section, not the Basics range)
220ml bitter, 14p at £1.10/440ml (was 13p)
1 tsp mixed herbs, 12p (was 3p at 14p for Basics herbs. These were discontinued around 2015 and are now £1 for 14g. I use plain thyme from Natco or KTC range at 80p/100g now, found in the world foods aisle.)
1 stock cube, 3p (was 1p)
Heat the oil in a large saute pan and add the onion.
Add the sausages and cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until they start to brown.
Thoroughly rinse the beans and pour over, then add the tomatoes, puree and booze.
Add the herbs and crumble in the stock cube, and stir well to combine.
Turn the heat up high to bring to the boil for five minutes, then reduce to a medium simmer for a further 15, or until the sausages are cooked through.
This is one of those dishes that improves if left in the fridge or freezer for the flavours to develop – so freeze leftovers and enjoy them even more the second time around.
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