Fennel and pork sausages with cannellini beans

Fennel and pork sausages with cannellini beans

Grill Smoke BBQ
Kris Kirkham

This is a real hearty breakfast for the cooler months and is inspired by the gutsy, no-holds-barred cooking of Tuscany. You could use any sausage you like here, but pork and fennel is quite an authentic choice and works really well with the rich, tomato-y beans. Grilling the sausages first and then finishing their cooking in the beans not only keeps the sausages plump and moist, but also lets the porky-fennel-infused juices meld with the sauce to create a sublime pot of goodness.


Quantity Ingredient
150g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
or 400g cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
50g smoked pancetta, diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
8 large good-quality pork and fennel sausages
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
olive oil, for cooking
sea salt
black pepper
crusty bread, to serve


  1. If you are using dried beans, place them in a medium saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring slowly to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 1–1½ hours until the beans are soft and tender, then drain.
  2. Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
  3. Place a large ovenproof saucepan over the indirect heat zone, add a lug of olive oil and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes to soften. Add the pancetta, fennel seeds and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes, then tip the beans into the pan, along with the tomatoes. Season well and bring to a simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, place the sausages on the grill in the direct heat zone and cook until nicely browned all over.
  5. Transfer the sausages to the pan of beans and tomatoes, then cover and move it right to the edge of the indirect heat zone and close the lid of the barbecue. Cook slowly for 10–15 minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the tomatoes have reduced to a thick, rich consistency. If the tomatoes seem to be reducing too quickly, just add a little water.
  6. Stir in the parsley, check the seasoning and serve with some crusty bread.
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