Sausage Pie (Vegan, Vegetarian)

I originally got this recipe from a cooking programme well over ten years ago and it has morphed over time into what you see here today. No photo because it was gone before I had a chance!

Serves 6-8

 

You will need:

10-12 sausages, cooked (to make this a vegan dish I used Linda McCartney sausages which I baked in the oven)

1kg potatoes, chopped into chunks

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin baked beans

150g frozen peas

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh basil, torn

1/2 tsp Herbamare or salt (optional)

Black pepper (optional)

1 tsp oil

100g cheese, grated (violife works well for a vegan version)

15-25g margarine or butter

1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

 

1. In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and enough water to cover.

2. Bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes or until soft.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan and add the onions.

4. When the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, beans, peas and seasoning. Bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. While the potatoes and veggies are cooking, slice each cooked sausage in half lengthways and lay each slice in the bottom of a large, oven proof dish.

6. On top of the sausages pour the tomato mixture and spread evenly over the whole dish.

7. Drain and mash the potatoes. You will need a small amount of liquid to mash properly. Add margarine or butter and mix thoroughly. You may wish to add some salt or herbamare for extra flavour.

8. Layer the mashed potato over the sausage and tomato and spread to the edges.

9. Mix the grated cheese with the nutritional yeast (if using) and sprinkle over the potato.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the topping is golden.

11. Enjoy with a green salad or on its own. Our family likes to add ketchup, mayonnaise or BBQ sauce.

 

TOP TIPS

This can be prepared in advance up to step 9 and then stored in the fridge until needed. Very useful for those of us with limited energy and/or spoon-counters!

Try adding a stock cube to the tomato mixture. Omit the herbamare from the tomatoes but not the mash.

Try different herbs in place of the basil, e.g. oregano, parsley or rosemary.

Try using 2 or 3 teaspoons of your preferred herbs.

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Slow Cooker Bacon, Broccoli and Potato Soup

I have been experimenting with vegan cooking lately, but this is decidedly not veggie friendly. It is, however, very simple, inexpensive and spoonie-friendly.

Serves 6

You will need:

2 onions, chopped

2 tins potatoes

300g frozen broccoli

1kg cooking bacon

Handful of fresh rosemary

Handful of fresh thyme

Black pepper

1 vegetable stock cube

Water, boiled

Splash of vegetable oil

 

1. First, remove the fat from the cooking bacon with a very sharp knife, then place in a frying pan with a splash of oil. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. It will become a greyish pink when it is cooked thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the broccoli, boiling water and potatoes in the slow cooker along with the herbs, stock cube and seasoning.

3. When the bacon is cooked, drain off the fat and and discard. Add the bacon to the slow cooker.

4. In the same frying pan heat the chopped onion until waxy, then add that too to the slow cooker. Top up the slow cooker with water to cover by a centimetre or two.

5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

6. When cooked, blend until smooth.

7. Serve with warm, freshly baked bread and a sprig of parsley.

 

TOP TIPS

  • Make use of all the functions of your food processor, if you have one. I used mine to chop the onions and later to blend the soup. For spoon-counters like me a food processor is a real blessing!

Apple Turkey Lurkey (for those ubiquitous turkey leftovers lurking around after Christmas)

This is a risotto with an English twist, ideal for using up leftover turkey (or roast chicken or pork). Serves 6.

You will need:

300 – 500g cooked turkey meat (ours was a free range, local turkey – still festive, but more eco-friendly)

1 litre pure apple juice

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 litre chicken stock

500g Arborio rice (if this is too expensive, use long grain rice)

1 small onion, chopped

1 leftover cooked sausage/chipolata/small chunk of haslet (optional), chopped into small chunks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

200g frozen peas

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large-bottomed pan and add the onion and rice. Heat through until the onion is soft and the rice is glistening, stirring gently.

2. Add a ladle-full of apple juice and heat through gently. Meanwhile, tear the turkey into bite size pieces.

3. Add the turkey, tomato puree, sausage/haslet (if using) and peas with another ladle-full of apple juice. Stir gently.

4. On a medium-high heat, continue adding a ladle of apple juice every couple of minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Once you have added all the apple juice in this manner, add the chicken stock using the same technique.

6. Continue stirring until heated through and all the liquid has been absorbed.

7. Bueno! Serve and enjoy.

TOP TIPS

Try serving with dollops of leftover cranberry sauce. 

Venison and Bacon Casserole

This is not really a budget recipe, though it is still cheaper to make it than to buy it. This is more of a special occasion dish. We’re just about to move house so I was trying to use up what’s left in the freezer. I discovered bacon and some venison. I defrosted them in the morning, and in the evening prepared this dish. Who knew that using up what’s in the freezer could be so tasty?! I served it with instant mash (trying to use up what’s in the cupboard – I keep instant mash for ’emergencies’) and used up the last of the mixed vegetables that were lurking in the freezer.

 

You will need:

500g venison pieces

300g smoked bacon (I used oak smoked bacon from a local farm where the pigs are free range – the bacon is delicious)

1 onion, chopped

300ml red wine (any old red wine will do)

2 stock cubes (I used free range organic chicken stock cubes which I picked up for next to nothing as they were past their best before date)

2 heaped tablespoons potato flour/cornflour (wheat flour will work fine but will need more stirring to prevent lumps forming)

1 teaspoon garlic granules

Black pepper,  to taste

500ml water

1 bouquet garni sachet or 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provençe (dried mixed herbs will do if you don’t have these)

1 tablespoon oil

 

1. Using a clean pair of sharp scissors, cut the bacon into strips and then cut into small pieces about 1cm x 2cm each.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the venison and bacon. Cook over a gentle heat until the meat has browned, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the onion and cook gently for a few more minutes until softened.

4. Add the garlic and the flour and stir to coat the meat mixture,

5. Add the red wine and stock cubes and stir gently until a smooth, thick liquid/paste has formed.

6. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well, and top up with 500ml water (or more, if necessary).

7. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

8. Transfer to a large casserole dish, cover* and place in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour.

9. Serve with potatoes and mixed vegetables.

 

TOP TIPS

*If you have a large ceramic or glass dish but no lid, use aluminium cooking foil. Simply place it over the top and scrunch it up around the edges. It doesn’t need to be air tight, just secured enough to stay in place. Make sure the foil is not touching the heating elements.