Being on the go, lunchtime is always, a sandwich, the same old same old. Just how many times can you have ham, Chicken and so on?
Today, I was chilling my heels a bit so decided with the rubbish weather and a little time to spare, Picnic pie was required. This delicious pie doesn’t take long but will keep you going for hours at a time and bursting with flavour too.
Picnic pie is quite simply, sausage, egg and bacon. Now, I am a bit of a sausage snob. I’m not sorry, too often people buy awful supermarket cheap sausages, the taste? There isn’t any! Have a read of the ingredients on a pack of cheap sausages, The meat contents will be around 30% if you are lucky. I make my own sausages several times a year, it’s not a difficult process and you know what you are getting. If you aren’t ready to make your own then visit the butcher. Sausages from the butcher will have a meat content of at least 65%. A sausage should contain at least 50 %.
Bacon? Again, supermarket bacon is ok but, put a couple rashers in a dry pan. Within 2 minutes you have masses of white liquid, that’s the water and added salt (brine) added to make the bacon look bigger than it actually is. The butcher will have delicious dry cured or good quality bacon which won’t shrivel up and leave you with a pan of white water. I know the price is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind but why skimp on flavour? At the end of this post, I will tell you the cost of this delicious pie and you can decide for yourself if it is expensive.
Can there be any reason to write about eggs? YES! Egg quality varies greatly. If you want to buy the cheap eggs, then yes, you will have eggs. The hens have had a horrible existence and likely never seen the natural light yet alone the outdoors. Barn reared hens are better, they tend not to be caged constantly. BArn reared hens at least get to move about a little and you can taste and see a difference in the egg.
The best eggs by far are free range. Free-range status is very questionable as the regulations to be classed as free range are ridiculous. I could really delve into the criteria for free range but I won’t, I will save that for another day. If someone local has hens, buy some from them, Butchers, farm shops, they all sell eggs, the colour and taste are so much better.
Enough rambling, time to make a pie. For the pie, we will need
a pie dish.
2 packs of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
9 Chipolatas or 6 sausages
6 rashers of smoked bacon
I promise you, I would never win master chef. Saying that, I certainly wouldn’t starve either. I like good quality food and the taste takes precedence over presentation.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Whilst the oven is heating, take the pie dish and line it with the greaseproof paper, I cut a piece for the base of my dish and cut two strips to line the sides.
Next up, you need to unroll the first pack of pastry. Work swiftly though as pastry can become quite a menace if it gets warm. Lay the pastry in the dish and form it to the sides, it doesn’t need to be perfect and any tares can be repaired and sealed with an egg wash brushed over it. Any pastry left at the top can just be left in place for a minute.
Once you have the pastry in place, check for anywhere the pie could leak, and repair with bits of pastry fixed with egg wash. Line the bottom of the pie with as much bacon as you can fit, I love bacon so plenty goes in the pie. If you have a little too much, pop it in the fridge to make something else which I will Show you later.
Once the bacon is in place, you need to add the sausages. Today, I used chipolatas. Chipolatas though smaller pack as much flavour as the bigger brothers, I find you can fit more in than with full sausages. Having twice as many gaps mean more places for the egg to go. Every cloud and all that.
If you aren’t the biggest fan of eggs, leave now. I love eggs, chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, turkey eggs, all eggs. Crack as many eggs as needed to fill all the gaps in the pie. Today I used 10 in the pie, 1 for the egg wash and one just in case. don’t be afraid to pile the eggs in there, they will settle out and believe me, the end result is worth it.
So, we are ready to put the lid on. Start by brushing the egg wash along the top edge of the sides. Now, unroll the second pack of pastry, lay it over the top of the pie and trim away the excess whilst leaving around 10mm all the way around. Once this is done you need to simply pinch the two together all the way around. I like to just tease the top away from the dish to ensure it doesn’t stick. Have a knife and just put a few tiny slits in the top, this allows all the steam to be released whilst cooking. Give the top a good brushing with egg wash and then pop it straight in the oven for 35 minutes.
It’s Done, Right?
35 minutes later or if golden brown its time to take it out. Another easy way of telling is to poke a skewer in the pie if it comes out clean, the eggs are good. Now it needs to cool slightly, you will burn your lips otherwise! I take this time to turn it out on a rack but you really don’t have to. Oh and just take in the smell from this delicious pie.
As I have said, I go for taste, not presentation so I’m sure you will make the pie look much better. Just take a look at this for a slice of pie though, doesn’t it make you hungry?
Picnic pie can be eaten hot or cold so perfect for the lunchbox. This very pie makes 6 me size portions, that equates to about 8 plus normal servings! The cost for all the ingredients totalled £9 That’s less than a pound a slice if you have a standard serving. The taste? well, I can’t even begin to explain how good it is. You will need to make this and tell me what you think! I hope you will take the time to make this delicious pie. Maybe you would like to read one of my other foodie posts here.