Monday, February 14
Democracy is a sausage roll...........
They may be not be fashionable, they certainly are not fancy. But put a plate of sausage rolls on the table at a "do", and watch them disappear faster than you can say "porky pastry goodness".
They transcend class, style and social barriers. Do you know anyone who wont eat a really good one? Ok, excepting vegetarians. They are impossible to eat without covering your front in a fine coating of pastry flakes, but who really cares? If you don't want pastry on your carpet, don't serve sausage rolls. Or worse, serve them cold. A cold sausage roll is an abomination. Pastry that is meant to flake must flake, not sit pallid , cold and lifeless on a tray.
While I am well aware you can buy sausage rolls frozen at the supermarket, these taste better, are better for you, and take no time to whip up. And of course you can use frozen puff pastry, I'm not a masochist.
Homemade sausage rolls
This recipe makes about 30 small rolls
6 good butcher's plain pork sausages
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs (straight from the freezer is fine)
Handful of chopped parsley, (can also add chives or a little sage if you have some)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
Good grind of black pepper
4 sheets ready rolled puff pastry (try and get one that is made with butter), defrosted
Preheat the oven to 210C
Take a sharp knife and cut a slit in the sausage skin, then peel it off. Sounds grim I know, but is surprisingly quick and easy
Put the sausage meat into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. I find it easiest to mix everything together with clean hands, it should be really well combined, so each mouthful combines all the flavours you have added.
Now place a sheet of pastry on a dry flat surface and again using your hands, place a line of filling down each side of the pastry. Don't overfill, you are making finger food, not lunch. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, put a line of milk down the edge of the pastry, then fold each side into the middle, to create two rows of sausage roll.
Cut a line down the centre to separate, then using a fork press the edges of each roll together to seal. You can then cut them into smaller individual rolls. I like to make five per half, each about 3-4 cm wide.
Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and brush with milk. I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds on also, but that is entirely optional. Bake for about 15-20 mins until the pastry of puffy and golden and the filling cooked through. You can eat as is, or cool, refrigerate and then reheat for your party, they come to no harm. But promise me you will reheat? Remember the flake factor, you want to hear those rolls talk.......
A few other tips/pointers/bossy exclamations...
Don't serve these straight from the oven, give them at least five minutes on the bench before serving. Watching someone choke on a scalding piece of meaty pastry and burning all the skin off the roof of their mouth isn't very nice, and you only have yourself to blame if they have to spit it onto the Axeminster.
Tomato sauce is the classic accompaniment. Some folk go fancy with sweet chili and the like, but I would stick to tomato. Homemade for preference.........
You may think my rolls are a bit on the small side, but they are supposed to be finger food. A couple of bites, max. I don't understand why shops and cafes insist on serving giant sausage rolls. If you want something that big, get a pie and call it lunch.
Ok, I will stop dictating now. But do try these next time you have catering to do. Maybe no one will say how fabulously trendy they are, but I doubt you will have leftovers......