8 delicious recipes to enjoy this National Picnic Week

8 delicious recipes to enjoy this National Picnic Week

Posted 21st June by Peter Byrne

National Picnic Week (21st-30th June) is upon us, and even the weather seems to have acknowledged it's arrival by banishing the rain

With the sun out, it seems like the ideal time to head outdoors and enjoy a delicious feast - in fact, we'd go a step further and say it's pretty much compulsory!

So, what are you going to take with you for yours? Well, we have the perfect suggestions for you here...

Sausage Rolls

Serves: 12

You will need:

22g Plain flour
¼ tsp Salt
85g Trex, chilled plus a little extra for greasing
3-4 tbsp Chilled water

For the filling:

300g Sausage meat
4 Spring onion, very finely chopped
2tbsp Chooped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Add the chilled water and mix it in with a round-bladed knife until the pastry clings together. Use your hand to form the dough into a ball – it should be firm enough to roll out without cracking. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 minutes

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Grease 2 baking sheets with a little Trex

3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle and cut into three 10cm (4in) wide strips

4. Mix the sausage-meat, spring onions, parsley and seasoning together. Divide into 3 equal pieces, then roll these into 3 lengths, placing one onto each strip of pastry. Brush the pastry edges with the glaze

5. Fold the pastry strips in half, lengthwise, to enclose the sausage-meat, pressing the cut edges together firmly to seal them. Brush with the glaze

6. Cut the sausage rolls into suitable lengths, arrange on the baking sheets, then prick the tops with a fork, or slash them 2-3 times with a sharp knife

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe courtesy of Trex

Pork and Egg Pie with homemade Piccalilli

You will need:

For the Homemade Piccalilli:

2 onions, diced
250g runner beans, sliced into thin strips
250g cauliflower florets
100g radishes, sliced
2tsps English mustard powder
2tsps turmeric powder
250ml Sarson’s Malt Vinegar plus 2 additional tbsps
25g corn flour
100g granulated sugar
1tbsp wholegrain mustard
1tbsp sea salt

For the Pork and Egg pie filling:

Rapeseed oil, for frying
500g pork mince
500g cooked ham hock, shredded
2 shallots, chopped
2tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, shelled
Salt and pepper, to season

For the hot water crust pastry:

450g plain flour
100g strong white flour
75g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
125g Pork lard
1 egg, beaten
Salt, to season


For the Homemade Picalilli:

1. Place the onions into a saucepan and add 125ml of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar and bring to the boil. Cover and then cook for 15 minutes, until soft.

2. Fill a separate saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower florets and runner beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and cool under running cold water and put to one side.

3. In a bowl, mix together the mustard powder, turmeric, corn flour and 2 tablespoons of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar to form a paste.

4. When the onions are ready, pour in the sugar and the rest (125ml) of the Sarson’s Malt Vinegar and bring back to the boil.

5. Add the cauliflower and runner beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the yellow corn flour paste, salt and whole grain mustard and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally add the sliced radish and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6. Divide the pickle into two sterilised jars, seal and leave to cool. Once cool, keep in a dark cupboard for up to a month.

For the Pork and Egg pie filling:

1. Heat oven to 200C and grease a 1kg loaf tin with some lard.

2. Make the filling by frying off the shallot in 1 tbsp of oil until the shallots are soft and translucent. Leave to cool.

3. Combine the shallot with the pork mince, shredded hock and herbs. Do not add the egg at this point. Season with salt and pepper.

For the hot water crust pastry:

1. To make the hot crust pastry, put the flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter cubes with your fingertips.

2. Heat 200ml of water, along with some salt and lard. Bring just to the boil and then stir into the flour using a wooden spoon.

3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle (it should feel very warm) knead until smooth.  Cut off two thirds of the dough and roll out quickly and line the bottom and sides of a 27cm x 10cm loaf tin.

To assemble the pie:

1. Press half of the meat filling into the pastry-lined tin. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each boiled egg (this helps them sit next to each other and makes slicing the pie easier), then place the eggs lengthways down the middle of the pie. Add the remaining meat filling and pat it down.

2. Brush the overhanging pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Place the lid on top, press down at the edges and trim any excess pastry off. Make three steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.

3. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180C and bake for a further hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

4. To serve, carve the pie up into slices and serve with a dollop of homemade piccalilli.

Recipe courtesy of Sarson’s

Green Pea Hummus Dip

You will need:

500g frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp light tahini paste
Juice of 1 large lemon (add more if preferred)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
Chilli powder
Sea salt and black pepper


1. Add the peas to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes.

2. Drain the peas and put in a food processor along with all the other ingredients; mix well until a paste is formed.

3. Season with sea salt and black pepper according to taste.

4. Serve the green pea hummus in a dipping bowl, form a small hole in the centre of the mixture and add a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly dust with chili powder.

5. Serve with Crudites or toasted pitta bread.

Recipe courtesy of Yes Peas

Mini Pork and Apple Pies

You will need:

1 Pink Lady® apple
1 onion
400g lean pork mince
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt and black pepper to season

Supplementary ingredients

Prep - Pastry
150g hard white vegetable fat or Trex
525g plain flour plus a little extra
2 tsp salt
Butter or oil for greasing
1 beaten egg


1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4.

2. Peel the apple and onion and roughly chop these, discard the apple core.

3. Make the pastry; place the fat or trex and 185ml of water in a small saucepan (weigh the water in a jug, water weighs the same in grams as it measures in mls). Melt the fat in the water and bring the mixture the boil. 

4. Sieve the flour into a bowl and then tip it into the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Start up the processor and pour in the hot lard and water. Keep the processor running until the mixture turns into a smooth dough. Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover with a clean, damp tea towel to keep the pastry moist. Move the bowl to somewhere warm as the pastry is easier to roll out when it’s warm.

5. Place the pork mince, chopped onion and Pink Lady® apple, nutmeg, mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce in the bowl of the food processor, add a little salt and pepper, and process briefly to chop finely and combine.

6. Remove two thirds of the dough from the bowl; keep the remaining third covered and warm.

7. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out the larger piece of dough to around 2-3mm thick. You need to work quickly as it’s easier to work this dough when it’s warm. Use an 11cm cutter to cut out 12 discs. Reroll if needed but try not to reroll more than once, as the pastry will become less elastic and harder to work with each rerolling.

8. Grease the muffin tin with butter and line each hole with a disc of pastry, use your fingers to press the pastry into the cavity and leave a slight overhang at the top, the pastry is quite workable and should be easy to stretch.

9. Divide the filling equally between the pastry-lined holes, pressing it into the holes to fill them up.

10. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut 12 x 8cm discs, brush the edges of the filled pastry with a little beaten egg, put the lids on and pinch the edges together the seal, brush with the beaten egg. Make two small cuts in the top of the pies to allow the steam to escape. Keep the rest of the beaten egg for later.

11. Bake the pies for 25-30 mins until the top is golden brown. When they’re cooked ask an adult to remove the tray, increase the heat to 200c/gas 6 and leave the pies to cool for 5 minutes.

12. Gently remove all the pies, transfer them to a baking tray, brush the sides with the remaining beaten egg and ask an adult to bake them for a further 20-25 minutes, until the sides are set and the tops are a deep golden-brown colour. Leave to cool then refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Recipe courtesy of Pink Lady

Roasted Tomato & Basil Bites

You will need:

300g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
A handful of fresh basil
1/4 tsp sea salt (and a dash of pepper is optional)
1 baguette
150g Primula Cheese Original


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

2. Place tomatoes, olive oil and garlic in an oven-proof dish and cook for 40 hour minutes.

3. Meanwhile, slice the baguette in half a cut into 8cm pieces place on a baking tray. Put in the oven and bake until golden.

4. Remove from oven, add the basil and season to taste. Set aside and allow to cool.

5. Serve with Primula Cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe courtesy of Primula

Spinach & Ricotta Pie

You will need:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
350g spinach
3 tbsp. Tracklements Fresh Mint Jelly
2 eggs
250g ricotta, drained
½ tsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
100g feta cheese, crumbled
50g melted butter
5 sheets filo pastry
1 tbsp. sesame seeds


1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/350°F/gas mark 6.

2. In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and transparent, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

3. Wash the spinach and wilt using the same large pan as before. Place the wilted spinach in a sieve over a bowl to catch any juices and squash using the back of a spoon to remove as much excess water as possible.

4. Melt the Fresh Mint Jelly in a small pan until runny.

5. Beat the egg with the ricotta and nutmeg. Season. Stir in the feta, Fresh Mint Jelly, onions, garlic and spinach.

6. Brush a 20cm round cake tin with a little of the melted butter. Line with sheets of filo brushing each sheet of filo with the melted butter and off-setting the pastry sheets to form a rough star shape. Spoon the cheese and spinach mixture into the middle of the pastry. Fold the overhanging pastry up and over the top of the pie filling. Brush with a little more melted butter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

7. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve warm, straight from the oven or cold with salads or as part of a picnic spread.

Recipe courtesy of Tracklements

Quick Garlic, Cheese & Chive Buns

Serves: 8

You will need:

225g self-raising flour
Pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
50g Lurpak Butter With Crushed Garlic, diced
½ x 25g pack chives, chopped
50g Gruyère cheese, grated
150ml semi-skimmed milk


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Rub in the garlic butter to resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in the chives and cheese.

2. Gradually blend in the milk to give a soft dough. Roll out on a floured surface to 2cm thick. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out 8 buns and place on a baking tray. Brush with milk and bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden.

Recipe and image courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

Lean Mean Scotch Eggs

Serves: 4

You will need:

6 medium eggs (a few days old is ideal as they are easier to peel)
Salt and ground black pepper
300 grams lean pork mince (10% fat)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mixed herbs – chives, sage and parsley
1 heaped tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. plain flour
Splash of milk
100g panko breadcrumbs
3 tsp. rapeseed oil


1. Pre-heat your oven to 190c.

2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add four of the eggs and boil for 7 minutes before plunging into a bowl of very cold water to stop them cooking. Leave to one side to cool

3. While the eggs are cooking, tip the pork mince into a bowl and add the chopped fresh herbs, mustard and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to combine all the ingredients, divide into 4 evenly sized pieces and then roll each into a bowl. Set to one side

4. Create your coating station by seasoning the flour with salt and pepper and tipping onto a plate. Beat the remaining two eggs with a splash of milk and pour into a shallow dish. Spread the breadcrumbs over a third dish

5. Drain the eggs and carefully peel the shells. Now you’re ready for the fun bit!

6. Start by rolling one of the eggs in the flour and shake off any excess then put to one side. Take one of the pork mince balls in the palm of your hand and use your other hand to flatten it out into a circular shape about the size of your palm. Put an egg in the centre, and then bring the pork mixture around it, pressing gently so the egg is encased, then roll it between palms to seal well – you don’t want to see any joins. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining three eggs.

7. Gently roll each Scotch egg in flour, and then dip in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs.

8. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan until hot – you can test by adding a breadcrumb – you want it to sizzle. When the oil is ready, add two of the eggs and turn every 1-2 minutes until the crumb is golden on each side, then place on a lined baking tray. Heat the rest of the oil and repeat with the last two eggs.

9. Place the eggs in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes until the pork is cooked.

Recipe courtesy of Sports Shoes

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