Monday, January 3, 2011

Cumberland Casserole

From the Snowy Peak District
 I was lucky enough to be taken away with my parents this Christmas. We spent a week in the snowy and icy Peak District in Derbyshire in England. My mother was born in the area and we still have some relations. It was wonderful to catch up with my aunt, uncle and cousin. I was filled in on some fascinating family history which has been lovingly traced by my uncle, right back to the mid 1700's! Amazing. We enjoyed many slow leisurely meals and long walks in the beautiful snow covered moors. All very idyllic and relaxing.

I made dinner for the family one evening. It being a holiday house I stuck to a simple supper. The inspiration came from a recipe by Tamasin Day-Lewis. I bought some Cumberland sausages from the local butcher. This butchers shop contained a staggering amount of pork pies. The back wall was lined 4 deep and 15 high. When we returned on Stephen's Day (Boxing Day in the UK) they were gone, all of them! I was amazed by the Christmas Pork Pie consumption of these Derbyshire Folk. I guess it must be a Christmas tradition. I was lucky enough to snap one up before they were all gone - and it must have been the best pork pie I've ever had. Perfect pastry, a little jelly on the meat and moist filling - perfect with some English mustard.

Serves 3
5 Cumberland Sausages - skins removed
3 rashers
1/4 of a head of green cabbage - finely sliced
4 potatoes - peeled and finely sliced
1/2 large onion (or 1 small) finely sliced
1 heaped tablespoon of grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 pint of stock
A few small knobs of butter (it's Christmas)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Grill the rashers and cut into small pieces. In an oven proof dish make a layer of half of the cabbage, half the rashers and half the onion. Then top with the sausage meat - go on squish it out of the casing, it feels lovely! Make it into a rough layer. Top this with the grainy mustard and thyme. Then add the remaining cabbage, rashers and onion. Pour over your stock and a good grind of black pepper. Then top with the potato layer. Cover your dish with it's lid (or tin foil if you don't have a lid. The stock should be coming up past the first layer of cabbage and the sausage. As longs as the potatoes aren't covered it should be fine. Bake in the over for 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Top with freshly chopped parsley before serving with some steamed veg.

This is a lovely non-nonsense supper, that is really delicious despite it's modest ingredients. Greater than the sum of it's elements let's say. Quick and simple to put together and forget about while it bubbles away - yumbo!


Travel Food Phil said...

This sounds delish! Loving the rustic home cooking for Christmas. Really cool pics of the icicles as well.

Lu said...

thanks Phil - it's all about the nice simple things at christmas alright! Happy new year to ya!