To whip up a quick Sausage & Bean Stew, begin by sweating down a large onion in some Olive oil and a knob of butter to avoid burning. Add to that some lardons or chopped, smoked Bacon. When the bacon has cooked a little, add a touch more oil and some Sausagemeat. I recommend popping two types out of their skins; a rough-textured, herby one - such as Lincolnshire, and then a spicy one; any Tuscan, Merguez or Chilli sausages will do. Split out into little balls, and cook them until they brown. Finally, add some chopped Mushrooms.
When the Sausage is cooked, add a couple of tins of Chopped Tomatoes, 2 tins of Butter Beans (or indeed any beans you like) and stir well. Add 5 large cloves of minced or pressed Garlic, a squeeze of tomato puree, salt, black pepper, and some chopped Sage. Simmer until the sauce has thickened to your liking and serve with some suitably Rustic bread.
To drink, we put away a couple of bottles of Pelforth Brune (6.5%abv). Pelforth were founded in 1914 in France, but now resides comfortably in Heineken's stable, alongside the likes of Affligem and Zagorka. Get past the impossibly-cute 25cl bottle and the even-more-impossibly cute Pelican label, and you've got a sweet Belgian Brown ale, with Vanilla, Oak and Roast coffee on the nose. It's a smooth, very sweet beer, with the same hints of oak in the taste but with a slightly drying, black-cherry note at the end of the sip. It's not massively refined by any means, but a pleasant enough beer and more than a match for the robust flavours of the stew. There's a Blonde in the range too, but I found that incredibly thin and bland; not The Good Stuff at all!