We have Brunch With A Difference on the blog today! Sausages, Bacon, Beans…all the beauty of a cooked breakfast baked in a pie! Start the ingredients off in a pan, then chuck them all in pastry and bake until golden and delicious! The Crumbs Family Cookbookby Claire & Lucy McDonald (aka The Crumbs Sisters) is full of fantastic recipes like this, taking all the hard work out of cooking so that you can get down to the serious Sunday Morning business of reading the papers! (And if pie for brunch sounds like a bit much, you can't beat Breakfast-For-Tea…just saying…)
This is the ultimate cooked breakfast… baked in a pie. A proper fry-up, although delicious, is the roast dinner of the breakfast world – it is all about timing. First thing in the morning that can be a bit much, so this takes the pressure off. Housed in shortcrust pastry (shop-bought obviously!) are the usual suspects of bacon, sausages and even baked beans. It can be made in advance, meaning you can enjoy the Sunday papers and a Bloody Mary while it cooks. Children love this.
2 x sheets all-butter shortcrust pastry (215g/7½ oz each sheet)
1 large onion, chopped
1 x 400g (14 oz) tin of baked beans
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
6 good-quality sausages
6 rashers/slices of streaky bacon
200g (7 oz) black pudding/blood sausage
200g (2¼ cups) grated Cheddar cheese
20cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin
Start to finish: 20 minutes prep + 50 minutes in the oven
Take the pastry out of the fridge an hour before you need it, otherwise it is difficult to work with and will crack when unrolled.
In a large saucepan, gently fry the chopped onions until they are browned. Drain the beans and give them a quick rinse. You want some of the sauce to stick to them, but not too much, otherwise your pie may end up with a ‘soggy bottom’. Add to the onions with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and heat through.
In a separate pan, fry the bacon and sausages (don’t use oil, as they should be fatty enough) until they are browned. Chop the bacon into small pieces and slice the sausages. (Don’t forget, this can all be done the night before, and it is also a good way of using up leftovers.) Stir the cooked meat into the bean mixture and season – go easy on the salt as the meat will be salty enough. Crumble in the black pudding.
Put the cake tin on one of the pastry sheets and cut around it with a knife. This is your pie lid. Grease the cake tin, line the base with baking paper, and then place the remaining pastry sheet inside. Gently push it down, so it is nice and snug round the bottom and the edges. It won’t fit perfectly, but if you trim some of the overhang off you can add it where needed. Smooth out any joins with your fingers. It may look like a patchwork quilt, but don’t worry, it will still taste delicious. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Sprinkle on the grated cheese. Place the pie lid on top, and pinch to the sides of the pastry case. Beat the egg and brush the lid with it. Either bake straightaway or put in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
Bake for 50 minutes. If you made it the night before, then try to remember to take it out of the fridge an hour before cooking. If you don’t, you will need to up the cooking time slightly.
When cooked, remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes, then take the pie in its tin to the table. Balance it on a tin of baked beans (or something similar) and lower the cake tin. People should start to applaud at this point. Transfer to a plate and cut into wedges. It is nice with eggs on the side.
The Crumbs Family Cookbook by Claire & Lucy McDonald is available here.