Search our Archive


Gingergirl: ‘A tasty and quick Christmas meal’

Feed the mass without losing your mind with this quick and easy sausage and chickpea stew
Welcome to all about food. Feeding the troops on Christmas Eve? Here’s a delicious and easy dinner to keep both chef and guests happy!

Welcome to all about food. Feeding the troops on Christmas Eve? Here’s a delicious and easy dinner to keep both chef and guests happy!

Ask gingergirl

Hi gingergirl,

It’s our first time doing Christmas dinner this year and although I seem to be organised for the day itself, I have just realised that I will need to feed my family the night before too! Do you have any suggestions for a tasty dinner that won’t mean I’m stuck in the kitchen all evening!

Thanks and Happy Christmas,

Olive, Dooradoyle.

Hello Olive,

Fear not! I have the perfect recipe for you! This delicious stew can be made in the morning or the evening before and, because it tastes great with crusty bread you don’t have to allow time for boiling potatoes or preparing vegetables (there’s enough of that to be done for the big day itself).

I do suggest you buy the best quality sausages you can get – a butcher is your best bet, particularly one who makes his own, as you are guaranteed a high pork content (75%-80% is perfect).

The orange zest transforms this dish from something very tasty to something absolutely delicious so please don’t forget to add this in at the end.

Sausage and Chickpea Stew

(serves 5-6 but can easily be doubled)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

12 good quality sausages

1 onion, sliced

410g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tins of tomatoes

150ml chicken stock

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

The zest 1 small orange

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

Crusty bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and gently fry the sausages for five minutes or mins until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Cook the onion in the same pan for another five minutes until softened, adding a splash of water if it starts to catch. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Return the sausages to the pan, lower the heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Scatter the garlic, orange zest and parsley over the stew and serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

And finally

Happy Christmas!

May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read my column throughout the year and for all the emails, letters and kind words. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and here’s to the very best in 2015.

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.