We love brunch. But sometimes we need to shake up the same old bacon and eggs, especially if we’re having friends and family over for an occasion.
So what does a family farmer do for brunch? As the co-founder of Beretta Farms more than 20 years ago and, from farm to fork, as an advocate for organically sourced produce, Cynthia Beretta is at the heart of farming and oversees every aspect of the process.
According to Cynthia, she credits the amazing women in her life for helping her grow Beretta, specifically her mother Angela who inspired all the proteins certified organic on offer from Beretta Farms.
We asked Cynthia to share a few of her favourite brunch recipes – and no surprise, they’re centred on Beretta Farms’ Maple Breakfast Sausage, raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones breakfast sausage, of course. And, made with 100 per cent Canadian pork, Beretta’s Maple Breakfast Sausage contains 7g of protein per serving and is also gluten free. (Tip: The family farmers also have certified organic New York striploins and ribeyes.)
The Beretta Maple Breakfast Sausage is available at retail stores across the country and at The Frozen Butcher.
1. MAPLE SAUSAGE SAVOURY BREAD PUDDING WITH MAPLE BROWN BUTTER SAUCE
serves 6 (make the night before you want to serve)
1 package Beretta Maple Sausage
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
4 cups of stale bread (if fresh dry out in the oven at 400° F for 15 mins)
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
4 large eggs
2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese
Fresh Sage (10 leaves)
1 tbsp dried Herb de Provence
1 tsp salt
1 /2 tsp black pepper
Butter to coat 9” X 13” pan
Cook Beretta Maple Sausage as per package instructions and set aside to cool.
Using the oil from the sausage sauté onions on a medium heat until opaque (about 5 minutes), add in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to ensure garlic doesn’t burn. Cool.
Tear bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine with grated cheese, chopped fresh sage leaves, herb de provence, cooled onions and garlic and salt and pepper. Cut cooled sausage in 1” pieces and mix in with bread. Toss to make sure all ingredients are well mixed. Lightly coat 9” X 13” oven proof pan with butter. Add bread/sausage/cheese mixture and set aside.
In another bowl whisk to combine cream, milk and eggs. Pour evenly over bread mixture. Cover with foil and set another 9” X 13” pan on top to compress bread/custard mixture. Leave in the fridge overnight.
Heat oven to 350° F and cook savoury bread pudding for one hour or until golden brown on top.
Optional sauces: Serve with real Canadian maple syrup or Maple Brown Butter Sauce.
2. MAPLE SAUSAGE AND EGG CIGARS
serves 2 or more
1 Package Beretta Maple Sausage
8 Eggs (or less depending if you want to make the full package)
1 package Phyllo Pastry, thawed overnight in fridge
1 tsp (or so) Butter, per egg cooked
2 tbsp Butter, melted for pastry (about 20 seconds in the microwave) or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 /2 tsp black pepper
Heat oven to 400° F.
Cook Beretta Sausages as per package instructions and set aside to cool.
Heat up a large non-stick or stainless steel frying pan on medium-high and melt 1 tsp butter.
In a bowl mix one egg. Once pan is hot enough pour in egg and swirl the pan around to make sure the egg spreads out into a thin layer. Cook through about 2 minutes or until the egg is no longer liquid on top.
Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Continue cooking eggs depending on how many cigars you want to make, separate eggs with parchment or foil so they don’t stick together. Let cool.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter. Take two sheets of phyllo pastry and cut in half. Trim egg into a rectangle shape to fit the pastry. Brush pastry with melted butter so it’s fully covered. The short edge of the pastry should be at the top and bottom.
Place the egg about 1” from the top of the phyllo and then the sausage on top of the egg, aligning the edge of the egg with the sausage. Roll the extra 1” of phyllo over the sausage and then fold in the longer sides of the phyllo.
Roll into cigar form wetting the bottom edge to make sure it sticks to the roll. Put in an oven proof dish and set aside. Roll desired number of cigars. Place in heated oven and cook for 15 minutes or until browned. Dip in your favourite condiments, such as ketchup, maple syrup, jam or sriracha.
Make ahead elements: pre-cook sausage and the egg and refrigerate for future use. Assemble when ready to make the full dish.
3. MAPLE SAUSAGE AND SWEET POTATO HASH
8 Beretta Maple Sausages
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large red bell pepper, chopped into 1” pieces
2 tbsp fresh thyme Salt and Pepper
Optional Garnish: Avocado Sour cream Sliced lemon
In a saute pan cook Beretta Maple Sausages as per the cooking instructions. Set aside and cut into pieces once they have cooled slightly. Keep the oil from the sausages in the saute pan.
As the sausages are cooking, peel and cube the sweet potato and put in a pot. Add enough water to just cover the top layer of potato. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
Cook until a fork can go through them easily (about 10 minutes).
Heat the saute pan on medium and add a little olive oil with the sausage juices and saute onion about 3 minutes.
Add in garlic and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the red pepper.
Saute for another 5 minutes or until the red pepper is soft. Mix the sweet potato, thyme and sausage together in the pan and season as needed with salt and pepper.
Optional: garnish with slices of avocado, sour cream and a squeeze of lemon.
A version of this story was originally published on March 19, 2018