Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pigs & Cows in blankets

I've mentioned I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions...BUT if I'd to mention one thing that I'm going to change in 2014, it's my intake of fat. It's really hard to break some habits, and since it's been embedded into my mind that low fat diets are good... I've found that my diet still doesn't have enough fat in it... Of course I'm talking about healthy fats... the same principle applies when choosing your food, we're not going to buy anything processed just because it's high fat (chances are it's going to be a trans fat anyway). Keep it real and you'll be fine... 

I was always fascinated by pigs in blankets... you know what I'm talking about? They're little sausages wrapped in bacon. Delicious! Problem is.... sausages are basically a little bit of meat, mixed with all kinds of fillers wrapped in synthetic casing.... Not really what we're looking to be eating... Even the gluten free ranges aren't the best... they replace wheat with potato starch & other unpronounceables.. .

SO... long story short, get friendly with your butcher... ask him to make you some sausage meat.. all meat & spices (be sure to say you don't want the grains or sugar added) a decent quantity and freeze it in small batches... it's no doubt a pain for him to clean out his mincer just for you to get 100g of meat! Or make it yourself... I've yet to give this a try, but I'll keep you informed :) 

Anyway, as usual I disgress... 

  • 100g minced beef (buy the best you can, otherwise you may end up with 'horse in blankets')
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • pinch of salt
  • chilli flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4 pieces of smokey streaky bacon (cut in half lengthwise)
  • 50g cheddar
  • 75g sausage meat

Start by mixing the minced beef & tomato purée together...Season to taste (I used cayenne pepper, chilli flakes & salt). 

On a chopping board/tin foil, lay out 4 pieces of bacon side by side. Using the remaining bacon, weave each piece through each alternative bacon slice on the chopping board. You're looking to create a bacon blanket! 

In the centre of your 'blanket', place the minced beef mixture & flatten to cover the centre. 

Next you're adding the cheese layer, I added chunks of smoked cheddar for this, but you can use whatever cheese you like. Again, just make sure it's actual cheese and not 'Cheez'.. 

Add a layer of the sausage meat and press down well. 

Finally, wrap the pigs & cows in the 'blanket' to seal in all the flavour, and stop the melted cheese from escaping! Cover with tin foil to prevent the bacon burning...

Place in a preheated oven (190d fan) for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and allow the bacon to brown & crisp for a further 5 minutes. 

This is great hot or cold. Just double the quantities and you'll have a great lunch to take with you tomorrow :)

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