Sausage, veg & mashed potato bake

 

 

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Crispy mash top

 

I have just come in from being in the garden ( yes, sowing already )!  And even though we had glorious sunshine this morning in Leicestershire, it now has turned somewhat dull, and cloudy with a nip in the air still, due to the changing of seasons.

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Looking “Spring – like” in my garden. That is my rocket that has gone to flower in the background.

 

I’m starting off the week with a recipe that I have made twice now in our household and both times we have gone back for seconds, in fact one house guest actually had thirds!

We had this yesterday for our Sunday dinner as I had currently bought some reduced pork sausages and my leeks were only 21p too, bargain. The first time I made it was on a Friday night when a friend of ours stayed for the weekend. I wouldn’t have normally cooked something like this on a Friday but I’m glad I didn’t do my first choice, which was a fish pie…as it turns out, he wasn’t keen on fish! I was meant to write about it then, but it went down so good that muggins here forgot to take photographs.

This dish is great for a family midweek meal. By all means, if you don’t want the wine in it, take it out. It’s such a frugal recipe that will stretch far for portions and has lots of hidden veg inside too. I have used frozen peas and sweetcorn in this so for families who have the frozen mixture with carrots in also, use that if you like.

What a  great way to make sausage and mash that little bit more special. A real, rustic bake that you will have your family wanting more.

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Not the greatest photo, I admit, but I can assure you, this is comfort at its best.

Ingredients:

( Serves up to 6 people or 4 very generous portions )

  •  1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  •  1 pack of 8 British pork sausages ( not with a lot of herbs )
  •  2 onions sliced
  •  1 leek sliced
  •  A good splash of red wine ( I used a French full bodied ) about 125ml * Optional *
  •  1 tbsp tomato puree
  •  dash of Worcester sauce
  •  1/2 tbsp of Damson jam or any thing such as red current jelly to a similar taste
  •  Fresh herbs ( small sprig of each ) rosemary, thyme and sage
  •  handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn ( defrosted and drained )
  •  1/2 pork stock cube
  •  2 tbsp of chicken gravy or pork ( good quality )
  •  Salt and cracked black pepper to season ( may not need salt )

Mashed potato topping 

  • 8 good sized potatoes ( I use Marfona from a local farm )
  •  2 good knobs of unsalted butter
  •  1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  •  dash of double cream ( 100 ml )
  •  Salt and cracked black pepper to season if needed.

 

Method:

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Pretty self explanatory really…some sausages cut up!

 

  •  Boil your potatoes. Mash with the other ingredients or use a potato ricer like I did, then add in the ingredients.

 

  • Preheat your oven to 180c

 

  • Fry off your sausages until starting to turn golden brown.

 

  • Cut your sausages into 3 and place into your chosen oven proof dish.

 

  • Fry your onion until starting to soften and turn colour. Add in the red wine, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, Jam or jelly, stock and gravy and stir together. Add 300ml of water or until consistency is correct for a thick sauce. Taste to see if you need anything else more.

 

  • Add in your leeks and herbs. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Adding water if need be. Pour the gravy mixture over the sausages.

 

  • Scatter your peas and sweetcorn over. Cover with the mash and fork the top to create lots of crispy bits.

 

  • Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with green veg such as cabbage, Spring greens or broccoli.

 

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Layering up

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That crispy top again. You’ll fight for this corner/ end bits! 

Pork and prawn crispy spring rolls

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It’s Chinese New year this weekend, the year of the Rooster and what better way to celebrate the coming of a new Spring with these lovely Spring rolls. They also are meant to represent wealth by looking like “Gold bars”.

I started to create these recipes by using one wrapper per spring roll which they do work like that, however will either break or go a little soggy after a short period of time. So because I have done smaller sized ones, I simply doubled up on the wrappers and they work wonders!

If you are celebrating the Chinese new year or want to be involved these are incredibly so simple to make.

If you wanted to do a vegetarian version, simply leave out the prawns and pork (obviously) and then add in maybe some beansprouts and chestnut mushrooms.

I don’t normally deep fry a lot of food so this recipe is a true treat. It makes a great starter to a meal or just simply a great snack for other times of the year.

Here is a link where you can hear me on BBC Radio Leicester with Ben Jackson and simply going through how to make them for you! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04qz7r3

Ingredients:

( Serves approximately 24 spring rolls )

Filling:

  • 250g Pork Mince chopped/bashed down again with a meat cleaver or strong knife.
  • Half a bag of 225g Frozen king prawns ( defrosted ) and then chopped as fine as you can get them. – These are still great flavour to fresh but cheaper in price.
  • 1/2 227g tin of water chestnuts chopped
  • 1-2 carrots depending on size, into strips using a veg peeler.
  • 2-3 leaves of Chinese cabbage/lettuce or you could use pak choi shredded.
  • 2-3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 thumbnail size amounts of fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tsp of Chinese five spice ( I used Spice Kitchen’s blend )
  • a handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • a good pinch of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce.

– 1 packet of spring roll wrappers/pastry, defrosted. ( I used 250g weight ones but any other size, you can cut them down.

– 1ltr bottle of vegetable oil or groundnut oil.

– 2 tbsp of cornflour mixed with a little water for your “Glue”

– A wok to deep fry in!

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Method:

  • Place a damp towel over your spring roll pastry to keep them moist.
  • Put all ingredients for the filling into a mixing bowl and mix through.
  • Heat your oil in the wok. Pop in a piece of bread to see when it is ready for deep frying.
  • Onto a plate take two of your wrappers and place the square into a diamond shape, so as a corner is facing you.
  • Take a tablespoon of your mixture and place it in the centre of your parcel, making a rectangular shape.
  • Fold the corner into the middle which is nearest to you, then fold in the outer corners to the centre of the spring roll. A bit like an envelope.Tuck in and roll to the centre. Place some of your cornflour mixture around the top corner to form a ” glue” and roll into your spring roll.
  • Pop into hot oil and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Take out with a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper.
  • Simply serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

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Chinese spiced meatballs with seasonal veg and wild rice





Meatballs don’t always have to come in tomato sauce, around pasta or in a Sub Roll. Being a little more creative with your dishes by a slight change can create a dish so different and fantastic, you’ll never want to turn back. 
 You may not always associate a meatball with Chinese food, but it’s allowing your food to go a little further, using a cheaper meat alternative and to get your taste buds tingling to new flavours.
  This weekend, why not get the Children involved in making the meatballs to create a meal together. 
  I have teamed this dish by using ribbons of seasonal Courgettes and carrots, again, so easy for the children to make as you just use a potato peeler. 
  This is my take on that takeaway classic thats normally swimming in a heavy sweet and sour sauce. It’s healthier, cheaper and if you make too many Meatballs at the raw stage, just freeze down for another meal.




Chinese spiced meatballs with seasonal veg and wild rice:





Ingredients:
(Serves 4 approximately)
(Meatballs):
–    1-2 Tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 5oog Pork Mince
  • Salt and cracked Black pepper to season
  • 1 heaped Teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice I used Spice Kitchen’s own blend
  • 1/2 a large Green chilli ( mild) diced finely or 1 small one
  •   1 clove of Garlic finely chopped d or 2 if small
  •   2x Thumbnail size amount of fresh ginger finely grated
  • 3-4 spring onions chopped as finely as you can get them
  • Small handful of chopped coriander 
(Veg mixture):
–    1-2 tbsp of Rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1-2 carrots ( depending on size )ribboned with a potato peeler
  • 1 Courgette Ribboned with a potato peeler * Don’t peel the skin away, thats the best bit!
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced lengthways 
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Thumbnail size amount of grated fresh ginger ( Wang Fung Hong )
  •  
  • 1 -2 tbsp superior light soy sauce ( Mine was from the Chinese supermarket Wang Fung Hong in Leicester )
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
  •   1-2 tsp of Chilli Bean sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
  • 1-2 tsp of honey ( I used the non clear )
  • A good spritz of lime juice
  • a handful of chopped coriander to finish 
Wild basmati rice to serve.
Method:
Cook rice to packet instructions.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl for your meatballs together and form meatballs, place aside.
  • In a frying pan fry off your meatballs turning after a few minutes. They should take about 10 minutes in total approximately or when cooked through.Pop aside when done.
  • In a separate wok , start to stir fry your onions and peppers, then after a minute or two add your courgettes, tossing the vegetables around the Wok continuously. 
  • After about a minute, add the carrots, garlic and Ginger, be careful the ginger doesn’t burn. 
  • After a minute or two add your soy sauce, Chilli bean sauce, oyster, 1 tsp of honey and a small spritz of lime. Stir and taste to see what sauces you need to add more of.
  • Add in your meatballs and coat them with the sauce. They need to be fully warmed through.
  • When you are happy with the taste of your sauce, add in chopped coriander and serve on a bed of hot Wild rice.
NB: If you didn’t want to add in too much chilli bean sauce then reduce the amount, if you want more spice add in extra fresh chilli to your sauce.




Spicy Pork and pumpkin pie

So I’ve decided to post this recipe I did for my weekly column as it was a real winner on Halloween and there are still Pumpkins around. However you can still make it at any time, You could even substitute the Pumpkin for Butternut squash. 

  Here is what I wrote:-
Halloween is upon us so I wanted to show you a great dish that is hassle free for you if you are having a party. 
 Every Halloween when I have a party I want to be able to spend time with my guests and not be in the kitchen all day making fiddly buffet food.  I think sometimes one can feel a little pressured to be able to make an edible “Brain” or witches fingers. 
 So today I have done a recipe that still has a halloween theme by using pumpkin, its quick, simple and very tasty for your guests.
 I’ve used Pork mince in this as 1, its economical so will stretch further for any unexpected guests for you and 2, it goes really well against the Pumpkin however you could use Beef mince or lamb if you don’t eat Pork.
  Another point to make is that I was using leftover mashed potato from the day before, another time saver. 
  Serve this up in bowls to your guests and it will leave them spooked of how good it is.
Spicy pork and pumpkin pie:





Ingredients:
Pumpkin and potato mash:
  • Leftover Mashed potato, (enough to fit your dish you are using, there was about 4 potatoes worth left in mine) 
  • 1 small pumpkin chopped into chunks ( I bought mine from a local farm called Cattow’s Farm)
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Pork pie mixture:
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion diced finely
  • 1/2 leek thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • A thumbnail size of fresh ginger grated
  • 1-2 green chilli’s finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp of mild curry powder or madras, whatever heat you like it.
  • 1/4 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 small chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • handful of frozen spinach defrosted and drained
  • handful of frozen petit pois peas defrosted and drained
  • few sprigs of fresh chopped coriander to finish


Method:
–  Preheat oven to 180-200c depending if fan oven or not.
  • In boiling water, cook your pumpkin until soft. Mash with a hand potato masher, pop in your butter, nutmeg and seasoning then stir in the potato mash together. Leave aside.
  •   Fry off your onion for a couple of minutes until starting to soften.
      Add your leek and cook for a couple of minutes also. Add your garlic, chilli, ginger and curry powder and stir.
  •   Add in your pork mince and continue to cook until the pork mince is almost all cooked through. Pop in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in your peas and spinach, stir, take off the heat and pop to one side.

  •   In an oven proof dish of your choice put in your Pork mixture, level off and sprinkle with fresh coriander.Top with your Pumpkin mash and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until crispy and brown on top.




Sausage, vegetable and apple traybake

This oven-roasted meal really is incredibly easy to make. Not to mention how inexpensive it is also.
 After a long day the last thing you need is to be slaving over the oven or even waiting a long time for something to cook. Plus, now that Autumn is making more of an appearance and becoming darker in the evenings this is the perfect comfort, pick me up food and with a little cheekiness from the cider I’ve popped in there.
 Ive used apples in this recipe as it just adds an extra burst of sweetness against the sausages and sage in there. Plus lots of people are giving them away due to bumper crops this year. 
  If you have a family get-together coming up or you just want to do a Sunday lunch thats a little easier, this is a perfect choice for that. Leftovers can be chopped up and put into a spicy tomato pasta bake.
 With the lovely colours it gives off, it truly is Autumn in one dish really.




Sausage, vegetable and apple traybake:






Ingredients:
(Serves 2)
–    1-2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 6 British sausages ( I used a Pork and chive variety)
  • 2 red onions sliced into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 chicken stock cube crumbled over or half a gel pot
  • 1-2 parsnips roughly diced
  • 1 red pepper roughly diced
  • 1 orange pepper or yellow diced roughly
  • 2 apples, something like a British cox 
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped into inch size chunks
  • a good sprig of thyme
  • a few fresh sage leaves
  • 200ml Apple cider
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season
  •  
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 190c. In a frying pan, brown off the sausages.
  • Coat all vegetables in oil, ( not the peppers or apples yet )and pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
  •   After 15 minutes coat the vegetables with the honey and mustard, add the peppers, thyme, garlic, stock and seasoning.
  • Place the sausages in between the veg and pour into your frying pan the cider to get all the sticky juice from the sausages.then pour that into your traybake.

*  Pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes. After that put your apples and sage in-between the sausages and veg and pop back into the oven for approximately another 15 minutes or when all golden and cooked.



I couldn’t help diving in with a knife and fork before even serving it up, it was THAT nice!