On a whim, I decided to search for sausage pie on Flickr. I wanted to see how high up the list the photos of my sausage pie would be. I was kinda surprised at how many sausage pie photos appeared. My sausage pie photos appear fairly high in the list now. Score! Anyhoo, I saw a photo of a Sausage, apple and leek pie in the list and said to myself, I must have this pie!. Fortunately, the photographer linked to the recipe at Making Light. This morning, I attempted to make it myself. It is good.
So here’s the recipe as I’ve adapted it. In particular, I left out the saffron because that stuff is expensive. For the original, follow the link. Pictures follow.
2 large leeks
2 large Granny Smith apples
¼ pound celery root
1½ pounds bulk sausage (mixture of bulk breakfast sausage and leftover mild Italian bulk)
4 tablespoons fine gauge tapioca
4 tablespoons butter
all purpose flour
top and bottom crusts for pie (however you like to make/buy these)
Peel and core apples
Slice apples to even ¼ inch thickness
Wash leeks (I actually found it easier to wash the leek after cutting lengthwise in next steps)
Cut leeks lengthwise, then into ⅓ inch pieces
Pare celery root
Preheat oven to 425 °
Brown sausage, breaking it apart into small pieces
Put leek and celery root in just enough water to cover the vegetables
Bring to a boil and cook just until vegetables are wilted
Drain, reserving broth
Toss 3 tablespoons of tapioca with vegetables
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan
Add 4 tablespoons flour
Stir until thick/done (i.e., make a roux)
Add in vegetable broth, a splash of sherry, and salt to taste
Give it a quick stir
Add in vegetables
Set aside to cool a bit
Assembling the pie
Lay bottom crust in pie plate
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons tapioca on bottom crust
Dredge apples in flour
Layer apples in compact circles, two levels for my deep pie
A few years ago when I worked at Ye Olde Chaine Bookstore, Sasquatch Books pimped out Greg Atkinson’s West Coast Cooking to us. Or had us pimp it out. The deal was, whichever store sold the most copies would get a prize. Or something. That’s how the book came to my attention. I did buy a copy using my employee discount at some point. I haven’t been inspired to use it all that much, though I’m not sure why. I don’t recall getting any bad results from using it, other than his version of rice pilaf which I thought was pretty bland.
One recipe I did like was his meat loaf recipe, and I got a hankering for meat loaf this week. So I made it last night.
This is my adapted version. For the real version, you’ll need to find your own copy.
As always, recipe below is what I made, not exactly what was in the cookbook.
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless chicken breast halves
2 sweet onions
3 granny smith apples
1 teaspoon marjoram
1+ cups apple cider
Cut onion vertically, into thin wedges.
Core and slice apples
Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a freezer bag.
Add chicken and shake to coat.
Brown chicken on medium high head in olive oil, then set aside.
Sauté onion in olive oil until lightly brown.
Add apples and marjoram.
Sauté 5 more minutes.
Add chicken and cider.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
This was flavorless and mushy. I think where I went wrong was a) using mayan sweet onions instead of regular yellow onions, b) using too much cider, and c) not paying attention until it had been boiling for a while.
I think it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked with marjoram too.
No picture, because the fail was just too much. It doesn’t even look tasty.
Recipe is what I made, and does not exactly match what’s in the cookbook.
1½ pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
½ chopped sweet onion
6 teaspoons minced garlic from jar
16 ounce package hot roll mix
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ of a 15 ounce carton ricotta cheese
½ of a 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
2 4 ounce cans sliced mushrooms
1 more egg
shredded Parmesan cheese
Thaw spinach and drain
Preheat oven to 350°
Cook sausage, pepper, onion, and garlic in large skillet over medium heat until sausage is browned
Prepare hot roll mix according to package directions through the kneading step (my hot roll package mix required another egg, as well as margarine)
In a large bowl, beat five eggs
Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella
Stir in ricotta
Stir in spinach (I forgot this step, and had to sorta mix it in later)
Stir in sausage/pepper/onion/garlic mixture
Stir in drained mushrooms
Grease a 9 inch springform pan
Roll ¾ of the dough into a 15 inch circle on a heavily floured surface
Lay it into the springform pan, pressing the dough into the sides
Sprinkle bottom of pie with ½ cup of the mozzarella
Add sausage/cheese/egg/etc. mixture into pie
Add remaining mozzarella to the top of the pie
Roll the rest of the dough into a top pie crust
Place top crust on top, then fold edges over and pinch to seal
Beat last egg slightly
Combine 1 tablespoon of water with egg
Brush egg on top of pie and let dry for 5+ minutes
Score the top of the pie in a diamond shape, but don’t cut all the way through the crust
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, remembering first to take your oven off pre-heat
Cool on a wire rack for 20+ minutes
Remove springform pan side, cut into wedges, and eat
Overall the pie worked out pretty good, though it was a bit soupier than I expected. I forgot to take the oven off pre-heat status (I have an older range), so that may have affected this. It probably could have used a spice or two added, though I’m not really sure what spices go well with sausage.
Trying a new recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. There’s another Pastitsio recipe in the book as well, but I didn’t notice it until I’d bought everything for this one. The other recipe appears to be made with fresh ingredients as opposed to the pre-made spaghetti sauce etc. called for in this recipe. Which means it’s probably better and has less salt. I’ll try that one some day.
The following ingredients are what I used. Recipe does not match exactly what’s in the cookbook.
8 ounces (2 cups) dried elbow macaroni
8 ounces ground beef
14 ounces spaghetti sauce with onion and garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 cup milk (lactose free)
1 envelope white sauce mix
2 slightly beaten eggs
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°
Brown hamburger (I did not drain)
Stir spaghetti sauce, cinnamon, and fennel seeds into meat
Combine milk and white sauce mix in saucepan
Cook white sauce on medium until thickened
Mix half the white sauce and the eggs, then return all to saucepan
Put half the macaroni in 2 quart casserole dish (supposed to lightly grease it, but I forgot)
Spread meat mixture over macaroni
Put remaining macaroni in next
Spread white sauce on top
Sprinkle Parmesan on top of that
Bake uncovered at 350° around 35 minutes
Verdict: Fairly tasty. Not gourmet by any stretch, but pretty good. I’ve never had cinnamon with meat that I can remember and it works out pretty good. I can’t really taste the nutmeg in it, but that could be for any number of reasons not related to the recipe. I’ll have to try a real pastitsio recipe sometime and see how that works out.