The classic sausage roll

We’re in the middle of sausage roll week – literally. As it’s day number three of our five-day sausage roll week, I thought I would do the classic sausage roll – around which all variations revolve. I am using the traditional, gloriously buttery, melt-in-the-mouth flaky pastry for this one – but you can use puff if you’re feeling lazy.

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These sausage rolls never fail to please. If you’re thinking of going on a walk or even a winter picnic, these are great reheated just before you go, packed in foil, and sealed in a tin to retain some of the heat.

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If you want to double the comforts, bring along a thermos of tea as well, and even better, a coleslaw-type salad (the one pictured above is called céléri, and it’s a french classic. Recipe to come).

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Makes around 6 medium sausage rolls

Ingredients

Pastry

110g plain flour
75g block of butter
Pinch of salt
Cold water
1 egg, beaten

Filling

225g good quality sausage meat with at least 85% pork
15 sage leaves
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1/2 an onion
40g breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. First of all, make the pastry using Delia Smith‘s excellent technique. Put a 75g block of butter into the freezer for 30 minutes. Then, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Get the butter out of the freezer, dust it in the flour, and start grating the butter into the bowl. Keep re-dusting and turning the butter around as it starts to soften in your fingers.
  2. Once all grated, mix the curls of butter with the flour using a pallet knife so that all the curls of butter are thoroughly coated with the flour. Then add a tablespoon of cold water and keep mixing with the knife. You may need to add up to 2 or 3 more tablespoons of water, mixing with the knife, and then bringing together with your hands. Pat the dough into a rectangle shape, pop in some cling film, and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C Fan). Chop the onion, sage, and thyme leaves very finely – in a blender is best.
  4. Put the chopped onion and herbs into a bowl along with the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, and a good grinding of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Take the pastry out of the fridge, and on a floured surface, roll the pastry out into an oblong shape (20cm x 30cm).
  6. Cut the pastry  into 2 strips lengthways, and in the middle of each of those strips, mold the sausage meat all the way down the strip. Again, I recommend heading to Delia Smith’s video to gain a good understanding of how to fashion this flaky pastry into a sausage roll.
  7. After having whisked the egg in a small bowl, use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash down one of the long sides of each separate strip. Then, starting with the non-egg washed side of the pastry strip, roll the pastry over the sausage meat and onto the egg washed strip, patting the sausage roll down so that the two sides of the pastry stick.
  8. Cut the ends off of each long roll, and cut each roll into three (which should make a nice sized sausage roll – although feel free to make them longer/shorter/fatter/thinner). Once you’ve done that, make some cuts in the top of the pastry to let the steam out.
  9. Put the sausage rolls onto parchment paper on an oven tray, egg wash the tops, and pop them in the oven for around 20-25 minutes.

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