Swiss chard and sausage pie
July 14, 2006
I love swiss chard because it’s a two-for-the-price-of-one veg. You get the stalks for gratins and stir-fries, and you get the leaves as a coarser, tougher spinach-substitute. And unlike spinach, it retains body when cooked. Chard appeals to my resourceful (tight-fisted?) Yorkshire nature. Riverford share my enthusiasm, judging from the frequency with which we receive bulging bags of this good, good stuff.
All recipes for Swiss Chard in Jane Grigson’s masterful Vegetable Book involve a combination with pork. It’s an absolutely natural combination. We’ve done this sausage and chard pie a couple of times recently. Fits perfectly in a cast-iron Le Creuset pan-lid.
Sausage and Swiss Chard Pie
1. Make shortcrust pastry with 6oz flour and a little over 3oz butter. Bung in the fridge for a few minutes. Don’t know how to make pastry? Ask Delia.
2. Crumble several good pork sausages into a frying pan with a glob of butter. Cook a couple of minutes then add a crushed garlic clove and a generous amount of sliced chard leaves and stalk. Allow these to wilt, stirring, and season with salt, pepper and a grate or two off a whole nutmeg.
3. Line a small pie tin with half the pastry, fill with the chard mixture. Top the pie with the rest of the pastry and brush with milk or egg, to glaze. If you’re pastry skills are as basic as mine the pie will resemble a late Picasso at this stage. It doesn’t matter – rustic coarseness is the order of the day.
4. Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes. Don’t turn on the grill instead of the oven like I did this evening. Maths chick spotted a rapidly blistering pie-lid and disaster was averted, in the nick of time.
I hollowed out a couple of globe courgettes and roasted them in the same oven as the pie. Filled them with broad beans, boiled then sauted briefly with fresh sage and olive oil. Looked a bit daft, truth be told. I think a pie like this would be better paired with good-old-fashioned spuds and gravy.
All in all, a great antidote to those poxy veg box blues.