Sausage Meatball Stroganoff

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meatba 12/06/2017

After going meat free for so long, I was craving a meat fix. What better way to get it than with sausages?! This recipe uses good quality sausages to create a really simple meatball dish that packs a ton of flavour and satisfaction.

If you can find it, shiitake mushroom powder is so good to use in recipes like this. It delivers a real umami punch to dishes. The savoury flavour is perfect with the creamy mustard sauce but if you can’t find it, the dish will still be really lovely.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 4 sausages, skins removed (I used Lincolnshire)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 heaped tsp mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Shiitake powder
  • 300ml water
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Linguine, or any pasta and fresh herbs to serve

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Method:

  1. Grind the fennel seeds and rosemary in a pestle and mortar until well ground.
  2. Add the sausage meat to a bowl along with the spring onions, breadcrumbs, seasoning and ground herb mix. Stir really well with a fork to combine.
  3. Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll out into little meatballs.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs off until browned all over.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add the flour and shitake powder and crumble in the stock cube. Stir to coat the meatballs and mushrooms before adding any liquid.
  7. Once this is done, add a splash of water along with the sour cream and mustard. Stir everything together then add the remaining water and let the meatballs bubble away on a medium low heat while you cook the pasta.
  8. Once the pasta is ready, stir the spring onions through the meatball sauce and serve.
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Poor Man’s Wellingtons/Posh Sausage Rolls

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sasss 29/12/2016

I’m not really sure what to call these. Whichever way you look at them though, they’re tasty.

You can make them as fancy as you like and add whatever you have. They are great layered up with mushroom, meat and caramelised red onion chutney or even with a layer of stilton or goats cheese crumbled in between the sausage and flaky pastry. You can add different flavours such as bacon, chestnuts, garlic, apples or cranberries too. They are just a really lovely warming and comforting snack that is great to have on hand at this time of year to use up your leftovers and add major kudos to the buffet table.

I have made my own rough puff pastry here as I love getting hands on in the kitchen and making everything from scratch but if you really don’t have time, ready-made puff pastry is absolutely fine. I won’t tell anyone. Either way, you’ll have something that is way better than anything you can buy.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

For the shortcut puff pastry:

  • 600g/1lb 5oz plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300g/10½oz butter, 100g/3½oz chilled and cut into cubes, 200g/7oz frozen

For the filling:

  • 300g/10½oz chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 300g/10½oz good-qualitysausage meat
  • ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ nutmeg, finely grated
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze

Method:

  1. For the shortcut puff pastry, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub in the chilled butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add enough water to form a dough (about 4-6 tablespoons of water).
  2. Roll the dough out into a rectangle on a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Coarsely grate the frozen butter over the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Fold down the top third and fold up the bottom third as if folding a letter.
  4. Turn the folded dough 90 degrees on the work surface and roll out into a rectangle again.
  5. Fold again in thirds, wrap the dough in cling film and set aside to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, folding and turning process a further two times, chilling in between each turn. In total you will have done four turns. Rest the pastry in the fridge while you make the filling.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  7. For the filling, put the mushrooms in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the mushrooms are broken down to a rough paste. Add the thyme and give the mix a final pulse.
  8. Put the mushroom mixture into a dry frying pan set over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until all the moisture has evaporated from the mushrooms. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  9. To assemble, roll out the pastry into a 60x45cm/24x18in rectangle, and cut into 12 squares.
  10. Divide the mushroom mixture into 12 portions and spread a portion down the centre of each square of pastry, leaving a 2cm/1in gap at the top and bottom.
  11. In a bowl, mix the sausage meat with the onion, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mould into 12 sausage shapes. Place on top of the mushroom paste.
  12. Make two small diagonal cuts from each corner of the pastry, to remove a small triangle. Then fold the top and bottom ‘wings’ over the ends of the sausage meat. Cut a 1cm/½in fringe all the way down the pastry on each side of the filling. Bring one strip over the filling from one side, then one from the other and so on, crossing the strips over to form a plaited effect. Tuck the ends of the pastry under the plait, trimming off any excess if necessary.
  13. Repeat with the remaining squares of pastry until you have 12 mini sausage plaits. Place the plaits on a baking tray, brush with beaten egg.
  14. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack then serve hot or cold.

sass sassssss

sasssss sassss

 

Nduja and Mozzarella Gozleme

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Screenshot_2016-05-29-22-52-07-1[1] 30/05/2016

Nduja (pronounced en-du-ya) is a spicy spreadable Italian salami. It’s available from delicatessens and specialty grocers. Some supermarkets stock it too. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with finely chopped spicy salami. It has a lovely chilli kick and the oozy mozzarella adds a creamy respite to create a variety of flavours in your mouth.

Gozleme is a Turkish flatbread that is cooked on the griddle. Traditional fillings include minced meat, spinach and white cheese such as feta but I am slightly obsessed with nduja at the moment. Feel free to add what you like.

This is a really simple and tasty recipe that is fairly quick to put together. Making your own dough to encase a warm, spicy, gooey filling is definitely worth the little extra effort.

This recipe makes 6 breads but can easily be divided for fewer.

Screenshot_2016-05-29-22-47-56-1[1]

INGREDIENTS:

  • 600g plain flour
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 95g Natural Greek-style yoghurt
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180 Nduja
  • 240g Grated vintage cheddar
  • 300g Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

METHOD:

  1. Place the flour, oil, yoghurt, water, oregano and salt in a large mixing bowl and knead to combine for 3–4 minutes or until smooth. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2–3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  2. Place in a large lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat a lightly greased char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Place each portion on a lightly floured surface and roll into 20cm x 28cm ovals.
  4. With the shorter ends facing towards you, spread the bottom half of the ovals with the nduja and sprinkle with the cheddar and mozzarella, leaving a 2cm border. Fold the top half of the dough over and press the edges to seal.
  5. Brush the gozleme with the oil and cook, in batches, for 2–3 minutes or until charred. Turn over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until charred and cooked through. Sprinkle with pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Sausage Plait

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IMG_20150814_095445[1] 14/08/2015

Here is a really good recipe to prepare ahead. It can be served hot, warm or cold and packed as a picnic item or plated up with salad or vegetables, potatoes and gravy as a winter warmer.

Play around with the flavourings you like in the sausage mix. Add different sausage meat such as Toulouse, Cumberland or Linconshire. Add fresh herbs, spices, berries, dried fruits, apple, nuts, chestnuts, mustard, bacon… anything!

The addition of lean pork with the sausage makes the plait a little less greasy than a standard sausage roll and takes on the added flavours well.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 pork sausages of your choice, skinned
  • 200g lean pork mince
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 block frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Beat 1 of the eggs and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix remaining egg, sausage, pork mince, bread crumbs, onion, rosemary, fennel and cinnamon with seasoning in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. Carefully roll the puff pastry out and place on lightly floured work surface. Cut lengthwise into 2 rectangles. Create strips by making 1½-inch long cuts 1 inch apart down both long sides of each pastry rectangle.
  4. Spoon ½ of the sausage mixture down the centre of each pastry rectangle.
  5. Dampen the edges of the pastry strips then fold 1 pastry strip at a time over the sausage mixture, alternating sides, overlapping the prior strip to enclose the sausage mixture. Place on the prepared baking tray.
  6. Lightly brush the braided pastry with the beaten egg and water mixture.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the sausage meat is cooked through. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Cut each pastry into 3 pieces to serve.

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  1. the sausage meat is cooked through. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Cut each pastry into 3 pieces to serve.

Sausage Casserole

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IMG_20150507_210731[1] 07/05/2015

This casserole is so simple to throw together and the oven does all the work. You can add whatever vegetables, beans and herbs you like. You can even change the sausages and sauce flavourings to make it your own. Everything cooks down together to create a really satisfying meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 good quality sausages.
  • 1 tin of beans (I used butterbeans)
  • ½ butternut squash
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 5-6 Tbsp Tomato puree, double concentrate
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 25g red lentils
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and prep all the vegetables how you like.  I like my vegetables nice and chunky.
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron pan over a medium high heat. Place the sausages in the pan to colour for a minute or two then remove and set aside.
  3. Pop your chopped onion, squash, carrot and garlic in and gently sweat the vegetables until just beginning to soften and colour.
  4. In a separate jug, mix the tomato puree, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, Worcester sauce, cider vinegar, honey and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Mix until it forms a nice paste.  Add the stock to the paste and mix to combine. Add this stock paste to the veggies in your dish and mix it until it covers it all evenly.  It should look like there is way too much liquid in there.  If it doesn’t, add more.  Add the lentils and beans.
  5. Give it a quick mix.  Before putting it in the oven, pop the sausages on top and pop the lid on the dish.
  6. Leave it in the oven for roughly 2 hours.  When you take it out, give it a quick stir.  It should be a lot thicker in consistency, with the veggies being nice and soft when pricked with a fork.  Yum. Squeeze lemon juice over and add more parsley for freshness and it’s done. Serve with bread and butter to mop up the tasty tomato sauce.

IMG_20150507_210816[1] A big pot of bubbly, rich and warming sausage goodness. What’s wrong with that?

Sunday Roast

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IMG_20150302_203624[1] 08/03/2015

This is not a traditional Sunday roast as my oven is not big enough to fit a whole chicken and all the trimmings in but it is certainly a good hearty British meal that incorporates all the sides we know and love with a bit of a twist.

Opinions are strongly divided when it comes to the perfect British roast.

Beef and horseradish? Pork and apple sauce? Chicken and cranberry? Lamb and mint sauce?

Mashed potatoes? Roast potatoes? Boiled potatoes?

What’s the perfect Yorkshire pudding?

Which vegetables should be served?

What makes the perfect gravy?

Everyone has their favourites and it’s usually their mum’s!

This take on a roast incorporates some of the old favourite sides such as pigs in blankets, stuffing balls and thick beefy gravy with crisp, golden roast potatoes, fresh, steamy greens and perfect homemade Yorkshire puddings. All of this is served with garlic and herb chicken wrapped in bacon and as I’m sure you know, everything is better wrapped in bacon!

What’s even better is that this roast dinner can come together in about 1 hour. No need to spend all day in the kitchen and plenty of time to collapse in a food coma in front of a cheesy afternoon movie after all those trimmings!

Serves 2 generously

Ingredients:

For the chicken: 

  • 2 rashers smoked bacon
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 20g butter

For the potatoes:

  • 4 small potatoes
  • Rapeseed oil

For the Yorkshire puddings:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaped Tbsp plain flour
  • Milk

For the stuffing balls:

  • 1 sausage
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 30g dried breadcrumbs
  • Milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary, chopped

For the pigs in blankets:

  • 1 sausage
  • 1 rasher smoked bacon

For the cheat’s gravy:

  • 1 heaped Tbsp beef gravy granules (I used Bisto)
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
  • Boiling water from the vegetable pot

For the greens:

  • A big handful of curly kale
  • ½ mug of frozen peas

Method:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 200C. Add enough rapeseed oil to a baking pan to just coat the bottom and place it in the oven to heat up. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut in half. Place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes until slightly softened but not completely cooked. Drain the potatoes then shake them in the pan so you roughen up the edges slightly. Allow them to steam dry for a couple of minutes. Do not cover with a lid.

Place the potatoes in the tray with the hot oil and shake to coat. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken and Yorkshire pudding batter.

For the chicken: Butterfly the chicken. Put your chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly. Cover with cling film and pummel with a rolling pin to create an even thickness.

Soften the butter in a small heatproof bowl in the microwave for a few seconds. Add the garlic, parsley and salt and stir to combine. Spread half of the butter mixture on the sliced side of the chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast up and wrap it in a rasher of bacon to secure. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast and place on a foil lined tray. Season and set aside.

Check on the potatoes and give them a turn. Place a 4 whole giant Yorkshire tin in the oven with a little rapeseed oil in each section.

For the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets: Remove the sausage meat from the casing of 1 sausage and mix it together in a bowl with the onion, herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Add a splash of milk to bring the mixture together then shape into four balls and place on a foil lined baking tray.

With the remaining sausage, twist it in half and cut to form two tiny sausages. Cut a rasher of bacon in half and wrap one half around each mini sausage. Place on the same tray as the stuffing balls and place in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.

For the Yorkshire puddings: Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the flour and a splash of milk then stir with a tablespoon until a really thick ‘gloop’ is formed. Add a little milk at a time and beat well between each addition to remove any lumps of flour. Once the lumps have gone, add enough milk to create a loose, pourable batter that is not too runny. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.

After about 30 minutes of the potatoes being in the oven, add the chicken to the oven too. The potatoes will need about 1 hour in total and the chicken will need 30 minutes.

Remove the Yorkshire tray from the oven and pour the batter evenly between the four sections. Return to the oven to bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown.

Baste the chicken and turn the potatoes again. Note: It is important not to open the oven door straight after the Yorkshire puddings are in there or they will not rise.

For the greens: Add a little water to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the kale for 2 minutes then add the peas for a further 2 minutes.

For the gravy: Unfortunately there are no pan juices from cooking chicken in this way to make a traditional gravy hence the cheat gravy but it is still pretty yummy. Add the granules, cornflour and thyme to a jug. Once the greens are cooked, drain the water into the jug. You just need enough to make a nice thick gravy (approx 300mls). Make sure the vegetables are completely drained even if you don’t need all the water for the gravy. Stir really well.

Divide everything out between two plates with your gravy on the side.

This meal is quite dependent on timing so get ahead by preparing elements such as the Yorkshire pudding batter, chicken and stuffing balls in advance if it helps.

Just to clarify, the timings needed to cook each element are as follows:

Roast potatoes: 50-60 minutes

Chicken: 30-35 minutes

Yorkshire puddings: 25-30 minutes

Pigs in blankets: 25 minutes

Stuffing balls: 25 minutes

Greens: 4 minutes

Gravy: Just add water 😉

Toad in the Hole

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IMG_20150126_084613[1] 26/01/2015

Yes you heard right. But have no fear – no toads were harmed in this recipe. I actually have no idea where the name comes from. This is just a classic British dish of sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter. Warming, satisfying comfort food!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4oz plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 4 sausages

Method:

  1. To make the batter, add the flour to a mixing bowl with the egg and a splash of milk. Beat together to form a stiff dough. Gradually incorporate a couple of tablespoons of milk at a time to the mix until it starts to loosen to a thick batter. Beat well in between each addition of milk to achieve a smooth, lump-free batter. This is far easier to do while the batter is thick so don’t add too much milk to begin with. When the lumps have gone, add enough milk to make a loose but not runny batter and leave it to stand for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C and add the oil to a small baking tray (7×11”). Place the tray in the oven to heat up.
  3. Choose your favourite sausages (I used herby garlic sausages) and when the oven has reached temperature, add the sausages to the hot oil in the tray and cook for 10 minutes turning occasionally to brown.
  4. Working quickly, remove the tray from the oven, pour the batter around the sausages and return it to the oven to bake for 30 minutes or so. The trick here is to keep the rapeseed oil and sausage fat hot as this helps to create a puffy, airy batter.
  5. Remove from the oven when the batter is dark golden and set with a slight wobble. Serve with plenty of vegetables and lashings of thick onion gravy.