Mashed Potato & Sausage Casserole


This post is another one where I have combined a couple of different posts. These three deal with meals that I created using leftovers from the St. Philip’s Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.
pork stew cooking clergy

A couple of weeks ago at St. Philip’s we had our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. We didn’t end up with a lot of unused food, but we did end up with a fair number of sausages.  St. Philip’s hosted the deanery clergy a couple of days later and I cooked up some of the sausages for that.

That still left a bulk package of sausage in the freezer.  Yesterday, St. Philip’s hosted a Celebration of New Ministry Service, to mark the beginning of mine and Rev. Steven Scribner’s ministry in the parishes of St. Philip’s and St. Mark’s.  The service was followed by a potluck.  This seemed like a good opportunity to make use of the sausages.

The casserole ready for the oven.
Ready for the oven.

After some thought, I decided I would turn the sausages into a casserole, using mashed potatoes for the topping.  This works best if you prepare it in a large, preferably rectangle, roaster.  The recipe follows.

Mashed Potato & Sausage Casserole:

1 bulk package of Breakfast sausage (about 4 doz.)

5lbs red potatoes

1 bunch green onions

1 250g package cream cheese (I used Lucerne)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups or more grated cheese (I used medium cheddar/didn’t feel like grating more than 2 cups)

dried basil and oregano to taste (in the mashed potato mixture)

Directions:

Potatoes for the casserole, boiling on the stove.
The potatoes coming to the boil
The sausages lining the pan.
part-cooked sausages.

Boil potatoes until they are just past firm.  Drain,(saving the drained water for making stock later). Using electric beater, break up the potato pieces.  Add the oil, and beat for another 2 or three minutes.  Cut up the cream cheese and add to the mixture. I realize these are technically whipped and not mashed potatoes, but the effect is the same and there’s less work this way.   Keep beating on high adding the garlic and herbs, until it comes to a consistency like bread dough.  Don’t worry if it seems dry.While the potatoes are boiling, line the bottom of the greased roaster with the sausages.  Place in the oven uncovered and turn the oven to about 350, using the broiler setting.  This will brown the tops of the sausages and improve the overall colour.

Before you put the dish together, chop the onions, using both the white and green bits for the dish.  Then grate the cheese.  I used Black Diamond medium cheddar, but found it rather soft and hard to grate.

Take the sausages out of the oven and drain most of the fat off of them.  Take the green onions and sprinkle them as evenly as possible over the partly cooked sausages.  I had some small chunks of cheese that broke off when grating, and I put them on top of the sausages as well.

Spread the potatoes over the sausages.  Depending on the size of your roaster, this should provide total, but not overly deep coverage.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Tent the roaster with tin foil, and put in the oven at 200 degrees(yes that’s degrees Farehneit) for two hours.  You’ll find out when it is finished that you will have a nice creamy mashed potato even thought it seemed dry at first.

A bowl of grated cheese for the top of the casserole.
The cheese ready to go on top.

This dish will serve 8-12 as a meal, and more if it’s a potluck.
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This week saw me sending a fair bit of time cooking in the church kitchen.  Actually that should say kitchens.  St. Philip’s Norwood has two.  The main one is down in the lower hall, and that’s where we hosted our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.  The supper was a great success.  We had people from several parishes join us and the room was filled with lively conversations and satisfied eaters.  The people of the parish of St. Philip’s did a great job of keeping things rolling as the turnout was larger than expected.  Thanks to everyone who helped out.

Cooking for Clericus.

The second kitchen in the church is in the Memorial hall which is upstairs.  This is more of an apartment sized kitchen, but you can still prepare a meal there.  Two days after the pancake supper, I was hosting the Forts/Seine River Deanery Clericus.  A deanery is a grouping of parishes together for the purposes of administration and sharing of resources and iinformation. The Clericus is all the priests and deacons in a deanery.Our deanery gets together once a month, but this is not the same for all the deaneries. Each time we get together the host parish provides lunch for the group. This time I was hosting and did the cooking.  I enjoy this, because being single, I’m not often cooking for others.  Besides, it gave me a chance to use up some pancake supper leftovers. I grabbed some vegetables and created a crustless quiche.Recipe:12 breakfast sausages1/2 large Green Pepper1 large Red Pepper2 Sticks Celery1 Leek (I kept the green parts for making soup later)5 large white mushrooms1 small zucchinifresh tarragonfresh savory14 eggs1/2 cup milksaltpepperI started by putting the sausages in the pan.  I had more pan than sausages, so I put all the sausages down one end, so that if anyone didn’t particularly like sausages they could avoid them.  I then set them cooking in the oven so they could brown and to let some of the fat drain out of them.While I was doing that I put the vegetables together.  I chopped them up into fairly large chunks.  With the leek I tried to separate the outer circles so there would be smaller bits and not just large slices.  For the herbs, I slid them off the stalk and chopped them a little before adding them to the mix.Once they were prepared, I pull the sausages from the oven and put the vegetable mix on top.  I took the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and whisked them together just until the yolks had mixed in with the whites.  I poured the egg mixture over the ingredients and put them in the oven to cook.  I gave them about 25 minutes at 300 degrees.  This cooked them, but I might have turned it up slightly higher to get rid of the excess water from the cooked vegetables.When it was ready to serve I put some mixed greens with grape tomatoes and cucumbers for a salad, and then had bread from my neighbour down the street at Le Croissant.  This is what it ended up looking like on the plate.There are still a few leftovers around, but March 16th is a Celebration of New Ministry Service at St. Philip’s, for me and Steven Scribner, our deacon associate.  This service will also involve St. Mark’s where Steven and I are both also serving.  We’re having a potluck afterwards, and I’m starting to get some ideas already.  The service is at 3:30 pm on the corner of Taché and Eugenie if you’re interested.
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Pork Stew for Vestry

Last week I wrote about how every Anglican Dioceses was divided into deaneries. Well, every Anglican parish has what they call vestry.  The vestry gets its name because that’s where they met, the vestry being the robing room for the clergy.  There are different types of vestries, but the one that meets most frequently is the equivalent to a church board. Members are elected at the annual general meeting.  Like the deanery, this is another group that gets together for fairly regular meetings.

We met last night for the first time since that meeting, and I decided I would make supper for the group beforehand.  I wanted to do something simple, so I decided to make a stew.  I was going to go for beef, but when I went to the store I found there were no good, cheap, beef cuts available.  So, I settled on a pork roast that I would turn into a stew.

I chopped up the roast into chunk while removing most of the fat.  Then I tossed the chunks in the bowl and added salt pepper and Tall Grass Prairie Bakery Grassroots Kitchen cold-pressed Sunflower Oil.  I mixed the oil and seasoning with the pork and then put it into the roaster to brown.  To add a little colour and flavour I add two bouillon cubes. They are called Not-Beef and I purchased them at Cocoa Bean gluten-free, which is just down the street.  They added a good bit of colour and a fair bit of flavour.

 

While it was browning I took a variety of vegetable and cut them up into chunks to add to the stew.  Some people like small bits of vegetables, but I prefer mine in big pieces.  Plus, I figure if the pieces are big, they’re easier to pick out for people who don’t like them. I chose my vegetables not only on the basis of whether or not they were good for stewing, but how they added varieties of colour to the stew.

Once I had added all the vegetable, I chopped up some fresh tarragon and fresh savory and added them to the mix.  At that point the stew was ready to go into the oven.

I set the oven for 250 degrees(F) covered the roaster and let it go.  I was doing other tasks in the office while this was cooking and thought that this would be the best way to go.  I think I would have given myself less cooking time if I hadn’t been doing other jobs.  In the end  the vegetables were a little too soft for my liking.

The stew was the focus of the meal.  Along with it, I served basmati rice, and salad.  I bought bagged salad to save myself some time, and was a little bit disappointed with it. However, I did also serve bread from Le Croissant.  You can’t go wrong with the bread from there.

While the finished product was a little soft in the vegetable department, the pork in the pork stew turned out nice and tender.  All in all the flavour was quite good.  I decided I would not thicken the juices, so the gravy that game with the stew, was thin but flavourful.

Pork Stew Recipe

1 –   Boneless Shoulder Pork Roast (about 1.5 kg)

1 –   Large Red Onion

1 –   Large White Onion

1 –   Smallish Rutabaga

1 –   Small Beauregard Yam

Carrots (about 1.5 lbs)

Celery (About 6 large sticks)

! ea – Red, Green, and Yellow Pepper

2 –   Cubes Bouillon (or use your own stock)

6 –   Cloves Garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup –  Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil (I love the one from Tall Grass Prairie’s Grassroots Kitchen

Salt

Pepper

About two stems worth each of fresh Tarragon and fresh Savory.  I’m not sure how exactly to describe the amount, but each of them seems to come in the package as a series of about three inch stems with the leaves on them.

Finally, if you aren’t serving the stew over rice, you may want to add about three lbs of potatoes in the pork stew, instead.

This recipe serves about 10-12 quite nicely.

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