Do you ever find yourself looking for new dinner ideas which contain the essence of other favourites? Our kids, in particular the younger two, love baked beans. Beans on toast is a standard Monday night dinner after swimming as after trying to watch two boys swim and then help them get changed again afterwards while ensuring a two year old doesn’t disappear is a really stressful feat. Thank heavens she goes to play with her dear friends the crèche ladies for most of the lesson! (Big thank you crèche ladies.) On the occasions that she has been poolside with me, I have had to drag her away from the edge of the water to prevent her from joining her brothers’ lessons fully clothed!
Another popular dinner choice is sausages. I think they would feature a lot more frequently if I let the kids choose the weekly menu! If you asked most children what their favourite meal is, I do think that sausages (meat or veggie) would probably prove one of the more popular choices. My children are happy eating either meat or vegetarian sausages and this dish could in fact be made veggie friendly.
This was one of the dishes that I made with all three children at once. I would be lying if I said it all went swimmingly without a single hitch. The truth is that each child spilt the melted butter bowl once and I ended up with the contents all over the counter and the floor. I can say I was definitely getting frustrated with the three of them by the end of the process. I didn’t always remain as patient and as calm as I should have, but we soldiered on. Then when it came out of the oven, I saw their impressed faces and it was all worth it. Cliché yes, but 100% true. From experience, I would recommend using a wide-bottomed sturdy bowl for the melted butter rather than a plastic one to prevent accidental spillage.
This dish contains many process that kids enjoy such us chopping cooked sausages, painting filo pastry and the dish with melted butter, mixing, spooning/transporting and scrunching. It is perfect for little chefs. Mine did need a little help moving the fragile pastry, but the rest they did managed completely by themselves.
Seb has decided that this dish should in be called Sausage and Bean Bowl Pie. This is because we shaped the filo pastry in the bottom of the pie dish so it sort of became a ‘bowl’ to the sausages and beans once the sides were gently scrunched. I totally see his logic and I love the fact that he is using his reasoning, and as it is such a fab name how could I not use it?!
- 8 cooked sausages
- 1 tin of beans
- 120g cheese
- 10 leaves of filo pastry (most of a whole packet)
- 60g melted butter or margarine
- Preheat the oven to 200°c and paint the bottom of a 20cm pie dish with melted butter.
- Chop the sausages into ‘coins’ with a table knife.
- Put the beans into a mixing bowl and add the chopped sausages.
- Add 90g of the cheese to the bean bowl and mix well.
- Unroll the filo pastry and paint the top sheet with butter.
- Pick up the top sheet and the one below it and place butter side up in the pie dish. The kids did need help transporting the filo sheets as they are fragile.
- Repeat step 6 until all 10 leaves of filo pastry have been used. Make sure you place the filo pastry sheets at different angles in the pie dish.
- Spoon the bean, sausage and cheese mixture into the pie dish and gently flatten with the back of the spoon.
- Gently scrunch the sides of the filo pastry to make a ‘bowl’ (you should have a small circle of exposed bean mixture in the centre of the pie) and brush the scrunched pastry with the remaining butter.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the exposed beans.
- Put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the pastry is crispy and golden brown.
The first slice was a bit of a challenge to get out intact, but subsequent slices came out more easily. According to Seb this is; ‘loads better than beans on toast!’ He managed to eat two slices as well as the rest of the food on his plate! I think there may well be more requests for it in the near furture. Do let me know if you try this out.