1. Place a frying pan or casserole dish on a medium heat. When warm, add 1 tbsp oil and 4 sausages. Fry for 8 mins, turning over half way through. They should be golden brown. Lift them out into a bowl and repeat with the remaining 4 sausages (you shouldn’t need to add any more oil).
2. While the sausages brown, peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim and slice the celery. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into 3cm cubes. Peel and finely grate or crush the garlic. From this point on, follow the instructions for the slow cooker or hob method.
3. Slow cooker^
Place the cooked sausages into a 3½ ltr slow cooker with all the prepped veg. Drain and rinse the mixed beans and add those. Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes. Add 2 tsp fennel seeds and 1 tsp dried oregano with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in 300ml warm water. Stir well.
4. Pop on the lid, set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 6-7 hrs. For a faster stew, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hrs, or set to low and cook for 8-10 hrs.
5. When the sausages and beans have cooked, taste and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Serve in warm bowls, finished with a good crack of black pepper.
6. On the hob^
Place the casserole dish you cooked the sausages in back on the hob. Add the onion and celery to the pan and cook gently for 6 mins, stirring often, till softened and lightly coloured.
7. Add the garlic and fennel seeds to the pan and fry together for 2 mins. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the mixed beans.
8. Add the sausages back to the pan along with the sweet potatoes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and the drained beans. Add 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp dried oregano and plenty of salt and pepper. Pour in 400ml warm water and stir. Pop a lid on the pan and bring to a bubble, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 mins till the sweet potatoes are tender.
9. When the sausages and beans have cooked, taste and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Serve in warm bowls, finished with a good crack of black pepper.