According to a recent BBC programme, sausage rolls are our fifth most popular party food. I can see why, my perfect sausage roll is small (2 or 3 bites), made with flaky pastry, good sausage meat and very, very hot.
Perhaps the ultimate sausage roll is the French dish - Saucisse en Brioche a la Lyonnaise. This is a large, cured sausage weighing around 400g which is wrapped in brioche and baked. It is cut into thick slices and served as a starter.
Good sausage meat is vital (if you use doughy sausage meat the delicate nibble can become a hefty doorstopper). Unless you have a reliable butcher, the best way to obtain this is to buy your favourite, meaty sausages and skin them.
Sausage rolls need not be made with plain pork sausage meat. You can simply try your favourite sausage varieties (spicy Italian or Pork & tomato are both good) or add to basic sausage meat. Some ideas to try are 50g of prunes (chopped and soaked in a tablespoon of brandy) and mixed into the sausage meat. 1 or 2 leeks, washed, shredded, cooked in butter and mixed into the sausage meat. Herb rolls made with a choped onion and a mixed teaspoon of fresh thyme and sage or game rolls made with 2/3 pork sausage meat and 1/3 game (I use one of the mixed game pie packs). The game rolls can also be perked up with a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce or chopped nuts (chestnuts or pistachio are good).
250g flaky or puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 6)
Roll the pastry out on a large, floured surface
Aim for an oblong about 40 cm by 30 cm
Cut the oblong into 3 strips (13 cm by 10 cm)
Divide the sausage meat into 3, roll each third into a sausage as long as the pastry (dust the meat with flour if it is sticky)
Place each sausage on the middle of a strip, brush the pastry on one side with beaten egg, fold the other side over and seal
Cut into 5 cm lengths, place on a greased baking tray, take care to ensure that the seal is on the base
Use scissors to make 2 or 3 snips, brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for around 25 minutes or until they are golden
Either serve whilst they are still warm or cool on a tray and store on an airtight container
To reheat, place on a baking tray in a medium oven for 10 minutes
This is such great help. Thanks! - U.J