It's freezing here! I'm typing this while sharing a blanket with our furbaby Jade on our sofa. Jade has settled for a nap almost entirely covered with the blanket, even her nose is tucked away, hidden under the blanket and (what little of her can still be seen) looks adorable!
This is exactly the kind of day when thoughts turn to fluffy blankets, sofa snuggles and comfort food :) I thought today I'd share a super easy, super yummy, super fast dinner that Hubby adores :)
Shall we take a closer look at one of Hubby's favourites then honeys?
Sausage & Vegetables in Gravy With A Pastry Crust
Ingredients:One package of sausages - Choose your favourites honeys, for Hubby I buy the large, thick pork sausages but this would work equally well with beef or turkey sausages.
one onion - again choose your favourite. Usually I would use a brown onion but I had a lovely red onion on hand so I used that. Red onion and sausage is (according to Hubby) really lovely :)
A little oil
One - two stock cube(s) - depending on how strong a flavour you prefer.
Vegetables - Not important which, I use whatever is on hand ie: carrots, turnip/swede, celery, leek etc
Gravy granules or a little cornflour to thicken and make gravy.
Puff pastry - I prefer to make my own but it can be handy to keep a pack of frozen in the freezer to save time.
1. Slightly heat a little oil in a pan. Don't allow the oil to get too hot.
2. Separate and slice the sausages into smaller pieces. Depending on the size of your sausages, cutting them in half or into thirds should do.
4. Add roughly chopped onion to the pan with the sausages. Allow to simmer turning to prevent burning until sausages have browned.
5. Break your stock cube into a jug or bowl and add hot water. Stir until combined. I usually use oxo cubes and I add roughly 3/4 pint of hot water to two oxo cubes but use whichever stock cubes you prefer honeys.
Tip: Want to open an oxo cube without getting your fingers all icky? See how here :)
6. Wash, peel and roughly chop your vegetables.
7. Once your sausages have browned add your stock and stir through. Add your chopped vegetables and stir through again.
8. When vegetables are cooked (soft enough to split or break easily in the pan with a knife) then remove pan (carefully honeys!) from the heat.
9. Either sprinkle in gravy granules and stir until your stock thickens OR use a little cornflour mixed to a paste with water. Remove a little stock and add to the paste and mix until smooth. Add a little more stock until the cornflour paste is no longer a paste. Pour the cornflour & stock mixture to your pan and stir through until it starts to thicken. Either method works honeys, just choose your favourite.
10. Once your stock has thickened into a gravy, pour the sausages and vegetables in their gravy into an ovenproof dish.
11. Place the ovenproof dish carefully to avoid burning yourself, to one side while you prepare your puff pastry.
12. If using packaged puff pastry roll out on a flour coated surface.
If you'd rather make your own puff pastry:
250g of white flourPinch of salt - optional. I've never added salt but it's up to you honeys.
250g of butter at room temperature - yes we all try to avoid using full butter for health reasons but for puff pastry it works better.
150ml (approx) of cold water.
1. Sieve flour (and salt if using) into a large bowl.
2. Add butter which has been roughly cut into chunks. Make sure it's not too warm, you want it to be room temperature but not runny or melting.
3. Rub the butter through the flour until combined. You should still be able to see the butter a little. I use my little hand mixer with the bread hooks to do this because I'm incredibly squeamish about getting my hands icky :)
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture and pour in around 2/3 of the cold water. Make sure the water is cold so that it doesn't raise the temperature of the butter and cause it to melt.
5. Mix until you have a thick, firm dough, adding a little extra water if needed. Be careful though because it's easier to add than remove it again!
6. When you have a firm dough cover your bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and place into the fridge to rest for approximately 15-20 minutes.
7. Roll out on a flour coated surface being careful to handle it as little as possible to avoid raising the temperature of the pastry.
13. When puff pastry is rolled out, cut to an appropriate shape and size to cover the top of your oven proof dish.
14. Lay the puff pastry across the top of your dish.
Tip: Do this by placing the rolling pin under the pastry (so that the pastry is draped over it) to lift it instead of your hands. This prevents the heat from your hands increasing the pastry's temperature.
15. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3
16. Either mix one egg in a cup or place a little milk into a cup.
17. Cut a small X into the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
18. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire top of your pastry with either a little of the egg or the milk.
19. Carefully place the ovenproof dish onto a baking tray and place the tray onto the middle shelf of your oven for 15-16 minutes until the puff pastry has risen or "puffed" and is whichever shade of brown you prefer. Golden brown is lovely but as you can see....
20. Serve with potatoes, A creamy fluffy mashed potato, made by mashing through butter & milk, is perfect! Why not add crunchy steamed vegetables as a side dish :)
What's your favourite dish to serve puff pastry with honeys? Do you have a favourite comfort food to chase away the Winter chills? Why not share the recipe or leave a link?
Stay safe and warm dear ones. Wear lots of layers and hug your furbabies, remember they can suffer from the cold too, so keep them warm & safe. Till next time honeys, huggles always xx