My family has lots of funny food stories, far too many to write about them all.
One of the funniest stories was when mum discovered that pet mince was made from meat for human consumption and was only 20p/lb. What she didn’t know was that it also had ground up bones in it. Not being a fan of cooking she would likely just have boiled it - ugh!!! Yes she fed it to my poor dad and brother, I don’t think they will ever forgive her!!! I was lucky enough that I didn’t have to eat it - so its funny to me! I guess that is how you avoid having to cook.
Growing up we always had a Sunday roast. It is the only meal mum would cook without protest, which in itself should be a hint that it is fairly easy - she hates to cook. Basically we fended for ourselves the rest of the week and dad is a really good cook. Leftovers were great, that meant we could make another meal, shepherds pie if we were lucky enough to have potatoes too. School dinners, cereal and toast kept us fed, my brother lived on weetabix because it was the only thing he could reach in the cupboard. It can’t have been too bad he is over 6ft tall now.
The Sunday roast became a great tradition for me and the basis for a lot of my weekly meals. I would buy a big chicken, 2 packs sausages, a ready made pizza and some mince(ground beef)
Cooking on Sunday for Sun, Mon & Tues and Wednesday for Wed, & Thurs got us through the week with minimum cooking time and no thought but always a delicious meal. The Roast carcass or bones go toward making bone broth and the leftovers towards the other meals.
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday was Roast chicken - maybe with stuffing made from sausages - also Tons of extra gravy for using in jambalaya and even fajitas
Monday - chicken fajitas or curry - made with shredded left over roast chicken
Tuesday - Cajun sausage pasta - made with sausage and left over chicken
Wednesday - Chilli
Thursday - Chilli lasagna - made with leftover chilli and tortilla wraps
Friday - take out
My sisters signature meal was sausage casserole - the only time I was invited for tea we called it sausage casserole surprise - there was no sausage in it lol! - she would fit right in with 2 of my Canadian friends one who makes chilli with no chilli and the other who makes sweet and sour pork with no sour!
Of course you don’t have to make anything other than sausages or burgers but our new sausages have a ton of flavour and can be used in a variety of recipes without having to add extra spice. This is especially handy if you end up buying a jar of spice just for one recipe and don’t use it again.
Here are 4 of my favourite recipes.
Tuesday night Cajun sausage pasta
using leftovers or from scratch
This is a recipe that can be made really quickly with leftover pasta/rice and you can add leftover gravy and meat if you have some.
For the roux if you don’t have left over gravy
3 teaspoons butter
3 teaspoons flour
1 cup water or stock
For the pasta
1 teaspoon butter
3 celery stalks sliced
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper diced
1 tomato chopped
4 cobblestone Farm Cajun burger/sausage
About 500g pasta
If you aren’t using leftover pasta then get your pasta started. Do not over cook. When it is cooked al dente drain but save some of the water.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan add onion, celery, green pepper. Fry over med heat until soft if you think it is going burnt add a splash of water.
Add burgers to veg- if using sausage squeeze them out of the skins. Cook over medium heat breaking burger/sausage mix up.
While burger meat is cooking make a roux. Melt butter, add flour and mix while cooking over med high heat. When it looks like a paste whisk in ¼ cup water/stock, stirring really well. Cook until it bubbles and thickens then add another ¼ cup water/stock and whisk in until it comes together and thickens. Then add remaining ½ cup water/stock. If it goes lumpy you can use an immersion blender to get the lumps out.
When meat is cooked through add tomatoes and roux then mix in pasta. I always rinse out the roux pan with pasta water and add it.
Give it a stir and serve
Variation - You can use rice instead of pasta if you prefer
Quick hot Italian sausage pasta
(adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe)
2 dried red chillies
2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds
3 cobblestone farm hot Italian sausage
1 tablespoon dried oregano
250 ml white wine or water
500 g fusilli or penne
20 g Parmesan cheese , plus extra for serving
½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley (15g)
Crumble the chillies into a pestle and mortar, then bash with the fennel seeds until coarsely crushed. Put to one side.
Heat frying pan over a high heat.
Squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins & add.ro pan, really break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Fry for a few minutes, or until the meat starts to colour and the fat has rendered slightly.
Add the bashed-up fennel seeds and chillies and cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until the meat becomes crisp, golden brown and slightly caramelised.
Stir in the oregano, then pour in the white wine or water and allow it to reduce by half.
Finely grate over the zest of 1 lemon, then squeeze over the juice and turn the heat down to low.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.
When the pasta has cooked but still has a bit of bite, drain it in a colander, reserving a mugful of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the meat pan, then toss to coat in all those lovely flavours, loosening with a good splash of the reserved cooking water, if needed.
Grate in the Parmesan, then pick, roughly chop and add the parsley leaves. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.
The quickest Cobblestone Farm Curry
4 cobblestone curry burgers plus any veg you want to use
Tin coconut milk
1 cup rice
Start by fryiing the curry burger over med heat - no need to add extra oil. Break them up into small pieces as you cook them.
Put 1 cup rice in a rice cooker with 1 cup coconut milk and ½ cup water - or cook rice how you normally do using a cup of coconut milk in place of water.
When burgers are cooked add rest of coconut milk and then add cooked rice. You cant get much simpler than that - you can add some chopped coriander if you have some.
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon (side bacon)
2 med oinions - sliced
5-6 sage leaves - optional if using jalapeno sausage a few sprigs fresh rosemary or about 1 tsp dried - optional if using jalapeno sausage
3 bay leaves
2 leeks - sliced and rinsed thoutoughly
1lb jalapeno cheddar smokies or left over cooked Cumberland sausage
3 - 4 thick slices bread
2 cloves garlic
1 x 796ml tin diced or whole tomatoes
2 tins mixed beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice bacon into small strips about 1cm thick. Fry on med high heat fot 3-4 mins then add sliced onion and leek. Fry for 2 mins. (I do mine in an oven proof frying pan)
Add rosemary and half the sage leaves and bay leaves a few splashes of boiled water.
Tear bread into chunks and pulse in a food processor with the rest of the sage, garlic cloves a pinch of salt and pepper & a good drizzle of olive oil. You are looking for a coarse breadcrumb.
Add tomatoes and beans to the pan of bacon and veg. Leave on med high heat while you slice the sausages.
Fry the sliced sausages before adding to cassoulet.
Sprinkle half breadcrumb mix over the bean mix, then add sausages. Cover with rest of bread mix and grill/broil for about 5 mins until bread is golden and crispy.
If you have any funny food stories or sausage recipes you would like to share just put them in the comments below - I would especially love if my sister would share her sausage casserole recipe!