Three cheers for the humble British Banger! Quick, tasty, economical and versatile Sausages deserve to be celebrated. Now in it's 18th year, British Sausage Week runs from the 31st October to the 6th November 2016 and does just that. Despite scare stories, the majority of sausages being produced today by British pig farmers are made from fresh pork rather than processed meat. To ensure that your sausages are up to scratch just look for the Red Tractor when you are shopping. Sausages that depict a Red Tractor logo are traceable from farm to fork and have been produced responsibly by the nation’s skilled butchers and producers. Put simply, you can Trust the Tractor when it comes to choosing a superior sausage.
Sausages are versatile enough to be eaten for practically any meal or occasion. You can't go camping without them and a cooked breakfast most certainly isn't complete if they don't put in an appearance. Not only can they be enjoyed in traditional ways with mash or in casseroles, they also lend themselves to being transformed into dishes from other cuisines. Personally I absolutely adore Toad in the Hole and for a convenient family meal sausages are ideal to throw in the slow cooker. My sausage and croissant wreath proves immensely popular every Christmas. I've had the chance to have a go at making my own sausages with a couple of local butchers and suffice to say it's a lot more tricky than it looks! (Check out my experience at The Store and HM Sheridan)
There are over 500 varieties of pork sausages available in the UK which include almost every conceivable flavour combination. I've tried some weird and wonderful creations including Shortbread and Irn Bru and Strawberry and Champagne (both really good!) Suffice to say whatever your taste there's a sausage out there that will match it. Kid's love them which means they're perfect for the whole family and provide a quick, easy and tasty option for mid-week meal. The recipe I'm sharing below showcases the sheer versatility of sausages. They don't necessarily have to be cooked whole and can be chopped up or squeezed from their casings. This pie has somewhat of a Mediterranean feel about it with basil, tomatoes and feta. Even picky girl loved it! I've a feeling it may become a new family favourite.
To discover new ways to enjoy sausages visit britishsausageweek.com or follow @LovePork on Twitter or Facebook.
Sausage, Feta and Tomato Filo Pie
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
8 pork sausages
3tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
200g cherry tomatoes
2tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
Salt & Pepper
500g passata (sieved tomatoes)
6 sheets filo pastry
200g feta cheese, cubed
• Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a roasting tin (21cm x 25cm, 4cm deep), and line it with baking parchment.
• Brush a frying pan with a little oil, heat to a medium heat and add the sausages, turning frequently until they are browned all over, then remove from the heat.
• Whilst the sausages are browning, heat the oil in a separate large pan and add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft.
• Add the smoked paprika, cherry tomatoes, chopped basil and passata to the cooked onion and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper.
• Slice each sausage in to quarters and add to the sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
• Lay a sheet of filo pastry on the work surface and brush with olive oil. Repeat until you have three sheets on top of each other and transfer them to the lined roasting tin.
• Spoon the sausage mixture into the tin, on top of the filo sheets. Add the cubes of feta all over the filling.
• Fold the edges of the filo over onto the filling. Brush three further sheets of filo with oil, fold them in half (with oiled side on top) and place on top of the sausage mixture, to form a lid.
• Place in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, and the filling is bubbling.
Check out what some of my food blogging colleagues have been cooking up for British Sausage Week
- Toadies with Onion Gravy from Jo's Kitchen
- Creamy Sausage Soup with Buttered Breadcrumbs and Sage from Kitchen Sanctuary
- Beer-Glazed Roast Pork Sausages from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary