Friday again and the fast food challenge continues. Tonight we are doing hamburgers.
I discovered these breakfast sausages when we lived in Texas, they make a great change to our usual beef burgers and certainly feel like a lighter option.
They are very adaptable, I happily swap them between burger buns and corn tortillas for the gluten free option. They also work well as a stuffing in sausage rolls and as part of a breakfast taco.
The sausage meat can be frozen uncooked.
Traditionally bacon is not included but you need quite fatty minced pork, around 20%, so, when the minced pork has been too lean in the past I have added minced bacon, I think it adds another element to the sausage meat.
1kg minced pork
500g minced bacon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.
Shape into patties.
Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat.
These do not require oil in the pan.
Cook the patties for 4mins then flip and repeat on the other side.
Ensure that up the meat is fully cooked before serving.
This is a great meal to pop in the oven in the afternoon and have a delicious dinner come evening.
I always use 2kgs of meat to allow for lots of leftovers, this stew makes an absolutely brilliant pie filling and the boys love a pie!
As I make this gluten free I don’t flour the meat before browning it, instead I thicken with cornflour towards the end. Double check your cornflour if you are cooking for a coeliac, one popular brand here in Australia is made from wheat!!!
Serves 8 and gives leftovers for 14-16 pies, see below.
100mls olive oil
2kgs diced beef, I use blade
300g pancetta, diced
500g mushrooms, halved or quartered
14 large shallots, peeled and broken into bulbs
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
150g tomato paste
750mls red wine
400mls beef stock
bouquet garni, thyme, parsley and rosemary tied with cooking twine
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons cornflour
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.
In a large oven proof pan, I use a 6l casserole, heat the oil over a high heat.
Once the oil is hot, brown the meat in batches, set aside in a large bowl.
Once the beef is all browned and removed add the pancetta and cook until crispy and releasing its fat.
Remove to the bowl with the beef.
Now throw the whole shallots in and brown over a high heat.
Remove and add to the beef bowl.
Lastly throw the mushrooms and garlic into the pan and brown a little.
Return the beef, pancetta and shallots to the pan.
Add the wine, stock, tomato paste and bouquet garni. I tie one end of the bouquet garni string to the pan handle, makes it so much easier to fish it out later!
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the top of the pan with a piece of baking parchment and top with a lid.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours.
By this point the meat should be very tender.
In a jug, combine the cornflour and a little water to make a cream like mixture.
Remove the casserole for the oven, while stirring, pour in the cornflour mixture mix until the meat sauce thickens.
Check seasoning and remove bouquet garni.
Serve with spinach or buttered cabbage and potatoes.
This casserole is fabulous in a pie, cook a few extra potatoes when making this meal, cut them up and add them to the meat mixture.
Take pastry sheets, cut to shape, line pie cases, fill, brush edges with beaten egg, top with pastry, seal edges with a fork, trim excess pastry, brush with egg and cut a slit in the lid to allow steam to escape.
At this point I freeze most of the pies and keep a few out for dinner.
This recipe manages to sneak some spinach into fussy kids with the flavours of bacon and cheese disguising a vegetable.
I make two pies at a time and freeze one, great for lunch boxes and picnics. Using a cake tin allows for more depth so I use a 20cm fixed base tin.
The pies in the picture have been made with home made pastry, only because I didn’t have any frozen at home! Frozen butter puff pastry works well and usually I have some in the freezer, frozen spinach is very handy too.
Over time I have changed the layering depending on what the boys aren’t eating at the time so feel free to mix it up, bacon on top, cheese through the spinach mix, whatever works for your family!
500g block of puff pastry, defrosted
150g bacon, diced
125mls sour cream
1 egg beaten
150g frozen spinach, defrosted and all water squeezed out
Freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
50g finely grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
Heat a pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon, set aside.
In a jug, combine the sour cream, milk, spinach, 3 eggs, grated nutmeg to taste and salt and pepper.
On a floured surface, cut 2/3 of the pastry off and roll out until it fits the tin including the sides, leave any overhang.
Spread the bacon on the pie base, pour over the spinach mixture.
Gently crack the four remaining eggs on top, try to keep them a little separate.
Sprinkle the cheese on top.
Roll out the remaining pastry, until slightly larger than lid required.
Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the pie base, top with the lid.
With a fork, gently press all around the pie to seal.
Take a sharp knife and gently remove any excess pastry, giving you a smooth edge against the tin.
Make two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.