Saturday, March 8, 2014

Turkey Sausage, Sweet Potato & Sage Hand Pies (...and a nod to Cornish Pasties)

Jimmy Dean invited me to participate in a recipe challenge to promote their Fully-Cooked Sausage Crumbles. Me? Compete in a cooking contest?  That's really stepping out of my comfort zone, you see. I'd never survive being in a Pillsbury Bakeoff contest. I just don't have that kind of courage confidence!

The Jimmy Dean company must've caught me at a rare moment, because I decided I was game to try their product, and to develop my own recipe.   My men love sausage, almost as much as they love bacon. So, why not?

 

I was offered a grocery stipend and two coupons to buy what I needed for my recipe. I really must live in the 'burbs, because it took a few attempts to find this product at my local grocery store.  I picked up the pork sausage crumbles and the turkey sausage crumbles.


At first, I thought of pizza. But, I've already shared a recipe for my favorite pizza of sausage, onion and mushrooms.  (These crumbles would be perfect for that recipe.)  I thought of making a sausage frittata, or a quiche.  But I figured that wouldn't be very "different".

So, I focused on the hearty turkey sausage crumbles.  We have a hearty amount of sage growing in our herb garden, and I always have sweet potatoes on my shopping list.  Turkey, sweet potatoes and sage-- Thanksgiving? Well, sort of.  But how would I put this all together? A quiche? Pastry... pie... aha!

It's been a long time since I've had a Cornish Pasty (PAST-TEE). I've never been to Cornwall, but I've traveled around England...and I have to say that these lovely savory hand pies left a good impression on me.  On occasion, my husband will join me at a British tea room (which are hard to find in our California neck of the woods), and he enjoys eating a traditional Cornish Pasty, filled with beef, onion and rutabagas.   So, I did a bit of research on Cornish pasties, and developed a recipe that breaks from the traditional Cornish pasty.  The pastry, however, is perfect for making traditional pasties. For American purposes, I'd say these are "Sausage Hand Pie".

For those of you who aren't familiar with pasties, here's a little bit of history:
By the end of the 18th century it was the staple diet of working men across Cornwall. Miners and farm workers took this portable and easy to eat convenience food with them to work because it was so well suited to the purpose. Its size and shape made it easy to carry, its pastry case insulated the contents and was durable enough to survive, while its wholesome ingredients provided enough sustenance to see the workers through their long and arduous working days.  Source from here:

One can skip this step and buy a refrigerated pie crust. I won't judge. But, if you look in my "Recipes by Category" Index, I have shared numerous recipes for making your own pie crusts. I'm not an expert, but my family says that I make great pies.  They are my most honest critics, so I thank them.

Decisions, decision, on making the dough. All butter? All shortening or lard? The more I read about pasty recipes, opinions are greatly divided. So, I decided to meet the debate half way.

I used one stick of unsalted butter and four ounces of shortening (I used Spectrum organic vegetable shortening). 

I find that my food processor makes this all very quick. I simply pulse the cold butter and shortening, until it becomes crumbly...

... and add ice water until the dough just begins to bind together. 

The dough is dumped onto plastic wrap, which is gently shaped into a disk, covered and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.  (You can do this up to two days in advance.)

For the filling, the fully cooked sausage crumbles was really convenient.  All I had to do was chop up some veggies and herbs-- so here we go:

I peeled and cut up a small sweet potato into small pieces.

For the herbs I chopped up 2 Tablespoons of fresh sage (fresh thyme can be substituted), and added it to one 9-ounce bag of Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles. To that I added chopped onion...

...and then I decided to add about 2 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary.  Since the turkey sausage didn't have much fat, I added a wee drizzle of pure olive oil. 

To make the "pasties", preheat the oven to 400F.   I wasn't sure how many pasties the dough would make, so I divided the disk into six pieces.  I used my "Dough Press Set" which definitely makes a pretty looking tart or pasty.   I rolled each piece into a ball, then rolled it out on a lightly floured surface.

But you can use a 6-inch plate to cut around and make even circles. I then brushed around the edge with an egg wash...

Then I filled the center, folded the mold in half...
...and here is a very pretty looking pasty, don't you think?    Otherwise, just fold the pastry in half, and crimp the edges with a fork, or watch some You Tube videos for different fancier ways you can crimp the edge.  The disadvantage of using the press, is that I had to use less filling. You decide!

I decided to add a small handful of dried cranberries to half of the pasties-- because I wasn't sure if my men would like them (more on that later).

To give the pasties a beautiful golden color, I brushed them with the remaining egg wash.

I cut three small slits (for steam to escape), and baked them at 400F for about 35 minutes. They sure smelled good!

 They turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself!

I just had to pour a glass of cold beer to fully enjoy our tasting of the recipe.

TASTING NOTES: Using the Dough Press set is fun and definitely provides a really pretty crimp.  However, if I had hand-filled the pastry, I'm sure I could have added a lot more filling.  The filling was a total success!  It wasn't greasy, I loved the combination of sage and rosemary.  If I didn't know this was turkey sausage, I would've thought this was a more traditional pork sausage.  This was a savory filling, and I loved the sweet potatoes. The dried cranberries vs. no cranberries?  Dried cranberries got a "yes"! Hands down.  The cranberries added a subtle sweet/tart to the savory, and I'm glad I added them in.
The Pastry:  Using a food processor, this took about two minutes to make!  The pastry was really tender. My husband thought the pastry was really good.  I agree, but I think I'd like to try this with all butter-- for a richer flavor. Either way, it's a pastry I will make again.

With St. Patrick's Day coming just around the corner, I'm glad that I learned how to make my own Cornish Pasty dough.   The Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles made this a big time saver and I liked that they had a lot less fat, to boot.

Oh. One more thing-- if you leave a comment... and I win--you just might win a year's worth of free Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles!

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Jimmy Dean. This could include Jimmy Dean providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.


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27 comments:

Sue/the view from great island said...

My husband would kill for these, they look so delicious, and your pastry skills are, as usual, top notch Debby!

Cathy Wiechert said...

Oh my gosh these are beautiful, Debby! You would rock at the Bake-Off or any other competition, in my opinion. Good luck..these are definite winners! :)

James Alton Thomas said...

Wow, You totally ROCKED the Cornish Hand Pies. This recipe looks fantastic, along with the photos and all. Brilliant Skills, and I am sure the flavor is Divine! Can't wait to make my own! Your an Inspiration!

Nancy Myers said...

Yum - I even have one of those little presses so now I will go find the crumbles

Katie W. said...

Wow, these look delicious! I love how you make every thing seem so doable. Great pics too, as always!

Carole said...

Such a good idea. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions.

Unknown said...

Wow those look yummy!!

AdriBarr said...

These hand pies look wonderful, and congratulations to you for stepping out of your comfort cone and up to the plate! Good luck in the contest. I hope you win!

Beth said...

Those look amazing. I would love to try these for Jared some time.

Barbara Bakes said...

Love how pretty the edge looks. I'll have o look for the crumbles.

Felicia said...

These look delicious as always. Your photos are good enough to eat right off of the screen! Yum!

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your hand pies are gorgeous Debbie and you made a great decision as to the filling. Good luck. I declare these Cornish Pasties a winner.
Sam

Susan said...

Debby, what a great idea. I first tasted pasties in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where a lot of Finnish descended people still live. They would make these (huge sized) filled with venison, onions and potatoes or rutabagas wrapped well in tinfoil and take them into the copper mines for lunch. Imagine about 3 times that size for one. They were extremely filling. Love the addition of the dried cranberries.

FitNHealthyKal said...

Pastie, hand pie - I call them YUMMY! Love those Jimmie Dean crumbles too. Out of your comfort zone? WHY?!* You rock!

penny said...

They look amazing & I love they are turkey sausage too.Thanks for sharing this recipe which I will have to try!

Kellie Plasman said...

Great photos! The hand pies look yummy!

Charlene said...

Looks good. Have not heard of the Jimmy Dean product, will have to try it.

Martha in Georgia said...

These look amazing. I would love to have these made with a spicy sausage too. I love spicy with sweet potatoes.

iminozz said...

These look great,can't wait to try. Like you I'm hooked on sausage and shrooms on my pizza, can't wait to try a new use for sausage.

Cheryle Anne said...

These look beautiful and sound wonderful. Maybe something to make to carry along to college with me. I love the idea of the pastry set tired of my messy looking hand pies.
For a moment I wondered if you had used filo dough, because the picture looked so golden.

Charlene Mathieu said...

These look fantastic! I need to dig my mixer out and make some. I am sure my family would love them.

Joanne said...

YES for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!! These hand pies look great!! And that filling flavor combo sounds awesome. You're a natural!

Big Dude said...

Our first experience with pasties came last fall in Montana and I really liked them. Yours look and sound delicious and your crust looks awesome.

Karen Choske-Anderson said...

Debby - as usual,the food looks tasty and the instructions look easy to do. YUM!

Karen Albro said...

Those look great! I recently tried them myself in a fritata, and really liked the sausage.

Bill said...

I absolutely love savory pies. I just posted a chicken pot pie and pie crust with savory ingredients always gets my attention. Your pies look fantastic, Debby. Wish I had one right now! Great post!

Trisha said...

This looks delicious. Sometimes I cook up some Jimmy Dean hot sausage and add cubed butternut squash and onions and my husband and I love this. I think the sausage, sweet potato combination rocks!