Sausage pie

This comforting recipe is ideal for a late summer picnic or cold day's walk, says Tamasin Day-Lewis
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Sausage pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 30 mins chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 170 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches sea salt
  • 85 g chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 450-500 g good plain pork sausages
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 walnut-sized knob butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, with leaves, strings removed, finely chopped
  • about 12 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • about 18 prunes, preferably Agen, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 slices stale bread, crusts removed, blitzed to crumbs
  • 2 oranges, finely grated zest only
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Tips and Suggestions

You can leave out the prunes if you prefer.

Method

1. For the pastry: preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Sift the flour and salt into the food processor, add the butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon water through the feeder tube and process briefly until the dough forms a ball, adding more water as necessary. Wrap in cling film and put it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large round and use to line a 23cm tart tin. Line the pastry case with a piece of greaseproof paper abd a layer of dried beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then prick the pastry with a fork and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

3. For the stuffing: slit the sausage skins and tip the meat into a large bowl; set aside. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the onion, celery and chopped sage. Cook over a medium-low heat until the vegetables have begun to soften and turn translucent.

4. Throw in the prunes and remove from the heat a couple of minutes later; do not stir them around too much as you don't want them to turn mushy. Let cool slightly, then add to the sausage meat with the breadcrumbs and orange zest. Season lightly, as the sausages will be seasoned already, then add the beaten egg and gently turn the mixture until it coheres.

5. Pile the stuffing mixture quickly and gently into the pastry case, smoothing it down with a spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is browned and the filling is cooked; it should not have dried out.

6. Leave the pie to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. It goes very well with home-made tomato sauce, or just a dab of English mustard. If serving cold, cool completely on a wire rack.

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