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Sunday, 24 November 2013

CHRISTMAS "TO DO LIST" ~ SAUSAGE, ONION AND CHILLI PIE

Good Morning to you,


I was checking my Christmas To Do List,  and I am almost at the end. I just have three more things to complete before I can sit back and relax and enjoy the other pleasurable things associated with Christmas, such as sorting out the Christmas decorations.... a job which I love.

The first of those three things, which I am ticking off my list is,  



this Sausage, Onion and Chilli Pie.  So I am giving this pie it's red tick. One down and two to go.

This is a savoury pie, which is lovely to eat warm on Boxing Day with potato mayonnaise and a crisp green salad.  It also goes well served hot, with mashed potato, vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots, with a splash of gravy.  This is George's favourite way of eating this pie.... well other than cutting a slice and eating it fresh from the oven.

This is a pie I have been making for many, many years.  When I say many, many years, I mean about 40 years.  Actually, it was one of the first pies I ever made.  I have racked my brain trying to remember where I found the recipe, but I just cannot remember. When I first got married, I used to make this pie using sausagemeat and Paxo, Sage and Onion Stuffing.  I used to make up the stuffing with water and add it to the sausagemeat. George's father loved this pie and whenever I visited George's parents, I would always take this pie, along with Bob's favourite Fruit Cake ..... and when Bob used to visit us, both the Fruit Cake and the Sausage and Onion Pie had to be on the menu during his stay, as he loved both so much.  I have to say I am very proud of the fact that Bob liked both my Sausage and Onion Pie and my Fruit Cake, as he was a very good pie maker himself. When George was a child, Bob used to bake plate  pies for the family and if you speak to George's brothers and sisters they all remember Bob's plate pies with much affection. He had what Sadie called "a good pastry hand".

So the years have rolled by and the pie has changed slightly, but not the essence of the pie. Here is my up to date version of Sausage, Onion and Chilli Pie. But first, I need to put on my apron and organise the Christmas music.

The music I have chosen to listen to today is,





the very fabulous crooner, Bing Crosby. His voice is smooth and just beautiful to listen to...... and as much as I love listening to choirs and traditional Christmas hymns, Christmas would not be Christmas without listening to Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas", which funnily enough I am listening to right now. One of the Christmas films which I enjoy watching is "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.... I love it's feel good factor and of course the song, White Christmas.

So with Bing singing White Christmas, I am ready to organise the ingredients I need for the pastry.  I have decided not to take  any photographs of the process of making the pastry, as we have made pastry so many times before, that I imagine, by now, you can make it standing on your head and with one eye closed (only joking). 


INGREDIENTS

THE PASTRY

350g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
50g lard
1 teaspoon salt
enough cold water to bind the pastry


THE FILLING

500g of sausagemeat
100g of breadcrumbs..... made with day old bread
2 tablespoons of dried sage
1 teaspoon of chilli
(or more if you prefer)
1 onion finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
olive oil


METHOD

A round, buttered 10 inch pie dish
Pre-heated  oven to 180C


When you have made the pastry, 
 wrap  it in clingfilm and
place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes

While the pastry is resting in the fridge,


brown the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil
and
set aside to cool.

Meanwhile,


Make your fresh breadcrumbs,

and add


the Sage and the Chilli

also the


sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
and mix together.

Add the cooled, browned onions
to the, 


sausagemeat
and give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients.
(I use my hands as it makes the job a lot quicker)


Remove the pastry from the fridge
and cut one third, for the pie lid
and the remaining two thirds,  for the base of the pie.


Roll out the pastry for the base of the pie
and ease it gently into the pie tin.
Do not trim the pastry just yet.


Place the sausage mixture into the pastry case
and then
trim the edges of the pastry.

Brush the edges with milk

and


Roll out the pastry top
and 
place on the pie.
Trim and seal the edges.
Brush with either
milk or  an egg wash.

Using a knife,
place a couple of slits into the centre
of the pastry lid,
to allow the steam to escape.

Bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes
or until the pie is golden brown
and thoroughly cooked.


and enjoy this pie warm
or
cold

Now do you remember last week I showed you what I did with my leftover pastry,  well guess what, as usual, I had some left over,


but I am not going to tell you what I did with the pieces today, I am going to share that with you on Wednesday.  I really don't think you will be disappointed..... in fact I think you will be quite pleased with the little treat I have made.... they are certainly  a hit with us.

You will see that in the photograph of the finished pie I have added spinach...... well, this spinach was supposed to be in the pie, not beside it. Normally, I would put  half, the sausagemeat into the pastry case and then I would layer cooked spinach on top and cover the spinach with the rest of the sausagemeat. The reason the spinach is not in the pie is because a friend of mine popped around to see me,  which I was really pleased about, but it meant that I had to stop what I was doing, as I could not chat and take photographs at the same time. So by the time my friend left, the light had started to fade, (it starts fading at 3.30pm  in my part of the world) so I thought I had better get the pie into the oven quickly, otherwise I would not have been able to take any decent photographs..... but in my haste, I forgot to add the layer of spinach. So I had intended there to be a layer of spinach in the middle of the pie, but to be fair  I do sometimes make this pie, as I have done today.  To give you another alternative,  I sometimes add a layer of cranberries, which also works really well with the sausagemeat.

Today, I gave our Christmas Cake it's final drink of brandy.  I will leave the brandy to continue doing what it does best, and that is, rewarding me with the most beautifully, matured  Christmas Cake. Then next Sunday, you will see a change in  our Christmas Cake as it will be changing from a rather Plain Jane to a Princess Jane, and then the following week, to a Queen Jane.  First things first though, the first transition will be it's covering of marzipan.  I will leave the marzipan to dry and then the party dress will be put on..... the icing...... and all the decorations.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,








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