I used to be such a diligent baker/cook, always refuting the slightest chance of using ready made ingredients. Having said that, this all changed over the last year as I slowly spend less time in the kitchen and more time completing other tasks.
Having bought myself a packet of puff pastry sheets from the frozen aisle, it did not take long until I give in to buying shortcut pastry sheets, all for the enjoyment of close family and friends to sink their teeth into.
Inspired by Gourmet Traveller's bangalow pork and caramelized apples sausage rolls recipe, I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit what I had in the pantry and although I can only imagine what GT's version is like, I wouldn't mind giving this recipe another go:)
Caramelized Apple and Pork Sausage Rolls
2 pink lady apples, chopped into the smallest size possible
Handful of sage, roughly chopped
Handful of thyme
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 golden shallots, finely minced
500g minced pork
200g minced veal
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute the garlic and shallots with olive oil until they are golden in colour.
2. Add chopped apples, sage and thyme and allow to cook for about 7-10 minutes or until apples have softened.
3. If the mixture appears to be dry, toss in two small cubes of butter. Season to taste, tossing in 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to taste if the flavours are a bit dull.
4. Allow cooked apple mixture to cool before mixing in with the minced meat.
5. Roll puff pastry out, align filling mixture in one corner and tightly roll it together.
6. Cut into desired lengths and brush with egg wash.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes or until cooked.
8. Best served with tomato chutney!
On another note, I was game enough to attempt making a bourguignon pie which heavily reminded me of my days traversing around France, sampling tasty treats all throughout the journey. Again, my own interpretation of an original recipe using available products.
Beef Bourguignon Pies
Ingredients for bourguignon beef:
Half a bottle of good quality, drinkable shiraz
600g of beef casserole/shin meat (whichever you can find from the butcher)
Maple flavoured bacon, chopped into small pieces
200g button mushrooms
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt butter in a saucepan and quickly brown the beef on all sides. Ensure beef pieces are cut into, preferrably, 1cmx1cm or bite sized pieces, a tedious but rewarding process. Set beef aside, evenly coating them with flour.
2. Melt a small knob of butter again and saute garlic and onions until they are golden in colour before adding in the bacon pieces. Cook the bacon until they are almost crispy in consistency before adding in chopped button mushrooms and thyme. Allow to simmer for a good 10 minutes before seasoning adequately.
3. Add the above mixture to the beef. Deglaze cooking pan with the wine and allow to bubble for a few minutes before incorporating it with the beef mixture in a slow cooker.
4. Add chicken stock and allow to slow cook for a good 6 hours (best to leave overnight).
5. Roll out pastry sheets into pie tins and puncture a few holes at the bottom.
6. Fill pie cups with the meat filling and cover with pastry sheet. Using leftover pastry pieces, carve leaves or whatever shapes you want and place decoratively on the pies.
7. Use a fork to poke holes into the pie and brush with egg wash.
8. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes or until done.