I love a good pork sausage. They’re definitely not just for an English-style fry-up. They make a perfectly decent quick and very economical dinner too. Think bangers with mash, onion gravy and peas; think toad-in-the-hole or hot dogs with caramelised onions and lashings of mustard.
And then of course, there’s the option of squeezing out the meat and transforming pork sausage into something completely different – like my Christmas country paté. I flavour this paté with sage, hazelnuts and brandy; and serve it with an instant cranberry compote. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
All you need is…
For the paté
2 packets streaky bacon
2 fresh bay leaves
6 pork sausages, squeezed out of their casings (I used Woolies herbed pork sausages, they are simply deeevine)
1 cup pork mince (you could substitute this for all pork sausage meat, but you will have a denser, less crumbly texture, you will also need to decrease the salt, as the sausages are already seasoned)
1 cup chicken livers, finely chopped
½ tsp crushed garlic
1 tbs fresh sage, finely chopped
¼ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbs flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
third of a teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
third of a teaspoon salt
½ cup hazelnuts, left whole
¼ cup good quality brandy
For the compote
1 small jar cranberry jelly
¾ cup frozen cranberries (you can use dried cranberries instead, just soak them in warm water for a few minutes)
juice of half a lemon (plus extra to taste)
Run the back of a knife along the bacon pieces lengthwise. This thins them and lengthens them. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a terrine dish. Use the bacon to line the terrine, taking care that the bacon strips overlap. Mix the paté ingredients and spoon it into the bacon-lined terrine. Fold the ends of the bacon over the filling so you end up with a neat parcel. Cover with tinfoil and place it in a large roasting dish. Add 4cm of water to the roasting dish. Place in a 140 degree Celsius oven for 2 hours. Remove to cool and, once it’s at room temperature, place in the fridge.
Make this paté two days ahead of time. Not only does it take the pressure off Christmas entertaining (and the annoyance out of load shedding on the day!), it also allows the flavours to develop and mature. (There will be some jelly and congealed fat clinging to the outside of the paté when you remove it from the terrine. This is normal, simply wipe it off so your paté is neat and pretty.)
To make the cranberry compote, place the jelly, lemon and water in a saucepan and heat until the jelly has melted. Add the frozen cranberries and boil for a minute or two until they are defrosted. (Some cranberry jellies are excessively sweet, so taste it and add more lemon juice at this stage if necessary. You want quite a tangy bite to offset the sweetness.)
Serve with crusty baguette and some crunchy veggies like cucumber and celery sticks.