Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage Pinwheels

The original point of messing around with sausages was to try out a gluten free sausage I’d not had before, and to come up with some ideas for Mum’s birthday BBQ/hog roast menu.

Gluten free sausagesThe trying out of the sausages went very well – they were delicious, good quality pork with well balanced seasoning.  Highly recommended if you live in the UK and can get hold of them.

I can’t say for certain whether it was the brand or the cooking method, but the mouth-feel of these sausages was much better than the coarsely ground meat texture I’ve come to associate with g/f sausages; I’d need to try them simply grilled to make a fairer comparison with others I’ve sampled.

Regardless, they were perfect for this dish.

Cider, honey and mustardThe glaze, made of cider, mustard and honey, couldn’t really fail to be amazing…let’s face it, that’s some kind of holy trinity of flavours there, isn’t it?!  The sticky goodness was the perfect foil for the pork sausage – truly delicious.

However, in terms of whether it’s suitable for Mum’s BBQ, I’m not sure.  Without doubt, she and her guests would love these sausages, but I’m not sure how to pull it together without a frying pan and stove.  Any suggestions or guidance would be welcomed and gratefully received 🙂

Assuming you’re going to cook these using indoor facilities, I can confidently show you how:

To serve two

10-12  linked gluten free chipolata sausages, divided into 2 ‘chains’ (or gluten containing ones, as suits you)
A little olive oil
Approx. 250ml dry cider
3-4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
4-5 dessert spoons runny honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Humming happily?  Hands clean?  Excellent!

Whisked cider, honey and mustardWhisk the cider, mustard, honey and seasoning together until the honey has completely blended with the cider.  Set to one side.

Sausages - linkedIf you don’t fancy messing around making pinwheels, just cut your sausage links into individuals and skip on to the frying pan stage.

sausage - untwistedStill with me?  Want pretty sausage spirals?  Fab!  Let’s do it…

First, gently untwist the sausage casing all along each link.

Sausage - twisted endNow you need to seal up the cut ends of the sausage links, otherwise you’ll be losing your filling at the next step.  Simply pinch about 2cm of sausage meat out of the ends of each link and twist the casing tightly.

Sausage - starting to mergeNow start gently smooshing and smoothing the sausage meat along the casing.  You can be firm, but not rough – you don’t want to tear the casing.  You might feel a little pervy doing this part 😀

Sausage - giantKeep pressing and rolling until you have one gigantic, skinny sausage.

Ignore the fact that when laid out like this it looks like someone’s innards.  I said ignore that!

Sausage - curled and pinnedWrap each sausage into a spiral and secure with wooden toothpicks or skewers.

Sausage - brownedHeat a tiny amount of oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat.  Cook sausages for 14-18 minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure both sides are lovely and brown.

TIP:  make sure your pinwheels are flat before skewering them, otherwise it’s really hard to get them evenly coloured. 😉

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard liquidTurn up heat a little and pour cider mix over the sausages.

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard reducedSimmer for 10-15 minutes, regularly basting and flipping sausages, until liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze.

Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage PinwheelsShown here served with triple baked potatoes, green salad and grilled cherry tomatoes.  It would be equally good with a zingy, yoghurt dressed, crunchy coleslaw and potato wedges.

Do you fancy a BBQ now? 😉

Herb crusted pork with apple and dried plum stuffing

Some experimenting took place on the 10th and final day of the Cupboard Challenge when I needed to use up pork chops, apples and cider, but didn’t want to go the obvious (and for us, usual) route of pork in apple and cider sauce.

Plated chopsDeeper cupboard digging and a bit more thought produced these rather tasty herb encrusted, fruit stuffed pork chops.  Not the prettiest dish ever, but fine tasting!

CognacSoaking the dried plums in brandy or cognac isn’t entirely necessary, but I felt it added a welcome extra flavour dimension.  If you haven’t got any hanging around, don’t worry, just skip the first step of the recipe.

To serve two

2 boneless pork chops
5-6 soft dried plums (prunes), chopped
3-4 tablespoons brandy or cognac
A splash of olive oil
A knob of butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 eating apple, skin on, chopped
Small sprig of fresh sage leaves
1-2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
Packet of dried gluten free sage & onion stuffing mix (or you could mix gluten free breadcrumbs, chopped herbs and a little grated cheese – or you could use wheaty versions if gluten doesn’t hurt you)
Approx. 150ml dry cider
150ml (ish) single cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set the oven to preheat at gas mark 5/190°C/375°F

Dried plums

If using brandy/cognac, place chopped prunes into a shallow bowl and sprinkle over alcohol.

Sage and onionAppleHeat olive oil and gently cook chopped onion and apple.  Don’t brown them, just soften them.

Apple, onion and dried plumsAdd chopped dried plums and brandy; continue to cook, stirring, until liquid has cooked off (if you haven’t soaked the plums, you obviously won’t need to do this step!)

Wholegrain mustardRemove from heat.  Stir in wholegrain mustard then set to one side until cool enough to handle.

Pork chopsUsing a sharp knife, carefully cut slits into the pork chops to create pockets for the stuffing.

Stuffed chopsFill pockets with cooked apple, dried plum and onion mix.  There will be mixture left over…keep this for making the sauce.

I didn’t feel it necessary, but if you’d like to quickly brown off each side of your chops in a hot frying pan, now’s the time.

Gf stuffing mixMake up the gluten free stuffing mix using slightly less water than indicated on the packet, and adding in a good knob of butter.

Topped chopsPress mix onto stuffed chops, cover loosely with tin foil and pop into preheated oven to bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on the size and stuffedness of chops).

Baked chopsRemove tin foil for last 10-15 minutes of cooking to allow topping to crisp up and brown.

Single creamWhile the pork is baking, make the sauce:

Add cider to the remaining cooked apple, plum and onion mix, simmer until liquid is reduced to around half.

Tip into a food processor/blender, add cream and blitz.

Return to pan and cook down until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Plated chopsSpoon a puddle of sauce onto the plate and place pork chop on top.  We had ours with mashed potato and broccoli, which was ok; however, I think a mixed root mash and mangetout would have been even better.  What do you think?

The food week that was – 16/02/15

It’s been another busy week in the day job arena for the entire Renegade household so most meals were made based on existing stocks and following the line of least resistance.  We also took a fair degree of inspiration from other bloggers this week – thank you for helping keep tummies full, taste buds tantalised and faces smiling.
Veg chilliMonday: Chilli-non-carne made using left overs from Medieval’s birthday meal: the remnants of both sweetcorn and tomato salsas, jalapeños, fire roasted chillies, chilli ketchup and a whole heap of diced onion and peppers went in, along with tinned tomatoes, kidney, black-eyed and haricot beans, mushrooms and a little vegetable stock.  Left doing its thang in the slow cooker all day, it came out with the flavours beautifully melded and with the perfect degree of ‘kick’.

Dressed with plenty of grated Monteray Jack, a good dollop of soured cream and freshly chopped chives this chilli was a very welcomed (if short stayed) visitor to our table.

Pork in cider sauce collageTuesday: What do you make for dinner when you have some fabulous pork steaks and a rather nice bottle of cider?  Obviously, you make pork in cider sauce.

Nice and easy – pork, sliced apple (no need to peel), onions, vegetable stock, cider and seasoning, braised in the oven.  While that’s happening – prepare and steam veg (in this case new season potatoes, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli).  Remove pork and keep warm – add a large teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to the cooked cider mix then blitz in the blender/food processor.  Transfer to small pan, add double cream until you think it’s enough (sorry…it’s how I cook!!), warm gently, adjust seasoning, pour over pork and serve.

I nearly always forget to do it, but the finished dish is more visually appealing if you keep some of the onion and apple pieces in chunks, adding them back into the sauce after blitzing the rest.  Either way…this is a lick your plate clean kind of sauce!

Banana Bread and Butter Pudding collage

Wednesday: There was only me to consider for dinner as Barn was out gym-ing (sing it with me to the tune of Bob Marley – “We’re gym-ing, we’re gym-ing…”) and would therefore fend for himself later, and Petit Man was out for the night doing I-care-not-to-think-what with his girlfriend.

I chose to have a version of bread and butter pudding.  That’s it, that’s all I had.  Apart from the chocolate ice-cream on top.  It pleased the kid inside me who once declared, “When I’m a grown up I’m going to eat a whole pudding all to myself!”  It confirmed (as if it were needed) to my adult self that there is a good reason we don’t let kids eat a whole pudding all to themselves.

It all started because The Sweet and Savory Bite published this recipe for Amaretto Bread Pudding.  Now I’m not blaming the lovely Lizzy for what then ensued, nor am I saying her delicious and rather stylish pudding bears any relation to the gooey nursery food that I produced…I’m just sayin’ that her post was a catalyst… Until reading that post, I’d not thought about traditional English bread and butter pudding in years; once the memory had been awakened I could not get it to go back to sleep.

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