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sausage

Serves 4 to 6

6 Louisiana Cajun Sausages
12 whole king prawns
750 ml water
1 large onion, ½ cut into quarters, the other half finely chopped
2 ribs of celery, one cut into thirds, the other finely chopped
sunflower or vegetable oil
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
To garnish: fresh basil leaves and lime wedges

Remove the shells and heads from the king prawns. Rinse the meat, pat dry and put in the refrigerator. Rinse the heads and the shells, put in a medium sized sauce pan. Chop one of the celery ribs into three and add to the pan along with the onion quarters. Cover with water, bring to a light simmer, and cook for 15 minutes to a half an hour. Strain the stock and reserve. Discard the solids.

Add a light coating of oil to a frying pan and brown the sausages over medium heat. Remove the sausages from the pan, and pour away all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Return the pan to the heat, reduce to medium low, and add the chopped onion, cooking slowly until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped celery and green pepper and sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and stir, softening. Add the thyme, salt, cayenne, black pepper and bay leaf and stir for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and 200 ml of the prawn stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go. Return the sausages to the pan and cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, turning the sausages half way through the cooking time.

If you are making this in advance, you can put the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve – it will benefit from a day to mature.

When ready to serve, bring the sauce to a simmer. If it is a bit thick add some more prawn stock. Just before serving, add the prawns and cook until the prawns are pink and firm. Serve over rice, grits or Southern biscuits. Garnish with torn basil leaves and a wedge of lime.

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