A hearty tray bake for fall

If like me you’re in love with fall you’ll totally get the desire to shut away the world on the darkening evenings and have something really hearty to warm your body & soul.

Now I just happen to believe that there are few things which do that better than a huge plate of winter vegetables, and after I found these beautiful heritage carrots at Borough Market I was inspired to find something to do with them, this is the result of that experiment.

Heritage carrots, Kent farm potatoes and some stock veggies


Hearty Sausage & Veg tray bake 

The lazy among you will be glad to hear that although the list of ingredients for this dish looks fairly long, the prep work is reassuringly short: I’d say confidently that even the most hesitant cook could get this all together in under fifteen minutes – I certainly wasn’t hurrying and had finished all the prep work in ten minutes or so.

I start by preheating my oven to 350°f or 180°c – I cook using a convection oven, so if you’re not make sure you set your oven appropriately higher, somewhere around the 390°f or 200°c range.

Get your vegetables together, if you’re using large carrots you’ll need to chop them into smaller chunks, same with the parsnip into chunks or batons, just so they cook evenly. Mince the garlic, and top and tail your onion before cutting it into quarters and finally cut the potatoes into halves – they should be a comfortable fork full in size.

Now I use a large metal bowl for this, the reason for which I shall reveal shortly, if you have one – use it – if not you’ll just have a little more washing up to do after. Toss all the veg in the bowl and coat with the thyme. oregano, salt and pepper so they’re evenly covered, then tumble them out into a deep baking tray. Then throw your sausages into that same bowl to coat them in the remaining herbs and seasoning, once they’re evenly coated with what remains place them on top of the veg in the center of the tray.

I used pork and apple sausages in natural skins for this dish, but any good quality sausage will do so experiment! Make sure your broth is ready to go – I use two jellied capsules of vegetable and beef stock combined with water in a two cup cup to make my broth, they don’t need to be separate, just make them together.

Now, here’s the reason I used a metal bowl, you need to melted butter for your roux. I gave my bowl the quickest blast of heat from the hob to melt the butter before I tumbled in the flour whisking it into a roux (which if you’re not sure is just a combined ball of flour and butter), once that’s combined keep whisking as you add your broth, it will combine and start to thicken and become smooth – as soon as it does pour into the tray being careful not to get it on the sausages so they brown properly, make sure the liquid is distributed evenly throughout the pan and once done you’re ready for the oven.

I cooked mine for 55 minutes turning the sausages after 25 minutes, check the thickest potato with a knife to make sure they’re all done (they should be!) and demolish with big chunks of bread and a nice wine, I guarantee this is a meal you’ll return to for seconds.

Serves 2 very hungry people or add 2 extra sausages to serve 4.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 butchers sausages
  • 1.5lb small potatoes
  • 2 large carrots or equivalent volume of smaller carrots
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2½ tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Photo Credit: Neil A. Evans © 2019
Photo Location: At Home, Bankside, London, England.