Picnic recipes

/ 18 August 2016

Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls

Rough puff pastry:
250g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
250g plain flour
120ml ice cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp fennel seeds

Pork and fennel filling:
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fennel seeds
80g stale breadcrumbs
700g pork mince

  • Method:

    To make the rough puff pastry, place the flour, salt and paprika into a large bowl and mix together. Tip in the diced butter and use two knifes to cut into the flour, the resulting butter should be in irregular sized lumps about the size of large peas.
  • Drizzle in about a third of the water and use a knife to stir together. Repeat until all of the water has been added and the mixture is forming clumps. Tip the mixture out onto the work surface and use your hands to gently bring together into a dough. Form the dough into a rectangle, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured work surface into a long rectangle, roughly 20x30cm. Brush off any excess flour and fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.
  • Turn the dough through 90 degrees so the open ends of the dough are facing you. Repeat the rolling process a second time before wrapping in clingfilm and refrigerating for a further 30 minutes. Once chilled repeat the rolling and folding twice more before chilling for a further 30 minutes before using. At this point you can chill the dough for up to three days before using.
  • To make the filling drizzle a little olive oil into a frying pan and over medium heat sweat the onion, fennel seeds and garlic, seasoning with a little salt, until the onion is soft and golden. Tip into a bowl with the breadcrumbs and allow to cool. Add the pork mince to the bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to really mix the pork mixture so that everything is well combined. Set aside for the moment.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan).
  • Take the chilled pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured work surface roll out into a rectangle, about 25cmx45cm. Cut the pastry through the middle into two long strips. Divide the filling into two equal portions and form into a long sausage shapes, along the middle of each piece of pastry. Brush one side of each pastry strip with the beaten egg and fold the pastry over the pork mixture, using the egg to seal the pastry together.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut into sausage rolls (it will make 16 large sausage rolls or 8 large). Place the rolls onto a parchment lined baking tray and brush the pastry with the egg, sprinkling with the fennel seeds. Bake the sausage rolls for about 30-40 minutes or until a deep golden brown. I prefer to serve these warm but they are delicious for up to three days after baking.

Classic Scones

340g plain flour
20g baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g unsalted butter, diced
80g caster sugar
100ml milk
3 large eggs
60g raisins or sultanas

  • Method:

    Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the diced butter and using your fingers or a pastry blender rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar then make a well in the middle and pour in the milk, two of the eggs and the raisins. Using a wooden spoon mix together until it just comes together to form a soft wet dough.
  • Tip the dough out onto a well floured surface and gently knead by folding the dough in half and then turning through 45 degrees and repeating until the dough is smooth. Be careful not to overwork the dough, this is a light very brief action, you are not kneading the bread, it is more of a fold.
  • Lightly flour the surface of the dough and roll out to about 2.5cm inch thick. Using a 7cm round cookie cutter cut out as many scones as possible. Very gently bring the scraps of the dough back together and cut out more scones. Place the scones on the prepared baking tray and allow to rest for about an hour.
  • Beat the remaining egg together and brush over the tops of the scones (avoid getting any egg on the sides as this will prevent the scones from rising properly). Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  • Best served warm with clotted cream and jam.

Spinach, Bacon and Pea Quiche

Shortcrust pastry
280 g plain flour
Pinch of salt
140 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
6-8 tbsp ice cold water
1 large egg yolk

100 ml double cream
100 ml whole milk
4 large eggs
50 g cheddar cheese, grated
150 g cubed pancetta or lardons, cooked until crisp
150 g spinach, wilted and roughly chopped
50 g peas, frozen or fresh

  • Method:

    To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse until the butter is in small pieces, no bigger than a small pea. Add 6 tbsp of ice cold water and pulse to combine. At this point check the consistency of the dough. If you can squeeze some of the dough together and it holds its shape then it is ready, if it crumbles add the remaining water and pulse to combine.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently bring together into a uniform dough. Press into a flat disc and refrigerate for about an hour before using.
  • To make the filling, preheat the oven to 200°C (180C fan) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the cream, milk and eggs into a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the peas and stir together the combine, seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
  • Once the pastry has chilled roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a round large enough to line a loose bottomed 9-inch tart tin. Gently drape the pastry into the tart tin and carefully press into the pan, pressing into the corners so the pastry sits flush. Trim off the excess and chill the pastry case in the freezer for 15 minutes. Line the chilled pastry case with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes before removing the beans and the parchment and baking for a further 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the tart shell from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C (160C fan).
  • Brush the inside of the pastry case with the egg yolk and place back into the oven for a couple of minutes to seal. The egg yolk creates a barrier so that the filling doesn’t make the pastry soggy. Pour the filling into the tart shell and sprinkle with the peas. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has just set and is very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool fully before serving.
  • Best served on the day made.