Planning a party? Don't forget the sausage rolls. Want to really impress your guests? Make them yourself.
Appealing to young and old alike, there's something about sausage mince encased in flaky pastry that just demands bottomless bowls of tomato sauce for dunking in. Originating from the UK, sausage rolls are almost a national food here in Australia. No celebration is complete without them.
Like most things, there are sausage rolls and then there are sausage rolls. Most are lovely, some are terrible and some transcend into the realm of bl##dy fantastic!
A good sausage roll will get talked about. Some people will congratulate you, some may curse you behind their paper napkins and some will beg for the recipe.
Planning ahead for Mr Di-licious' recent party, I couldn't lay my hands on my favourite sausage roll recipe (a lesson learnt - if you like a recipe, clip it or write it in your recipe notebook!) Rather than tear the house apart looking for it I thought I'd try something new.
I turned to the matriarch of Australian cooking, Margaret Fulton and quite by accident found what could be the best sausage roll recipe ever in her Encycolpedia of Food and Cookery.
It's actually an amalgamation of two of her recipes - I used the sausage filling recipe from one and baked it according to the method of another recipe.
What makes these sausage rolls taste so good?
In a nutshell, they're moist and flavoursome. I admit I used frozen, pre-rolled pastry sheets (I can only imagine how much better they'd be if I'd used Careme puff pastry).
But there is something else that elevates these sausage rolls above all others.....a secret ingredient.
Its hard to describe but these sausage rolls are really nothing like you've ever tasted before. I couldn't heat them up fast enough at the party - kids and adults alike were clamouring for more.
And they were reviewed by the most important food critic in the land - my three year old daughter, Olive. "Mummy, these are the best sausage rolls in the whole wide world!" (and I wouldn't want to call her a liar.)
Recipe: The Best Sausage Rolls in the Whole Wide World
Recipe adapted from Margaret Fulton's Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery
Makes 50-60 sausage rolls depending on size.
2 large onions, thinly sliced
500g sausage mince
500g pork & veal mince
2 Tblsp brandy
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
large pinch nutmeg
small pinch ground cloves
1//2 tsp salt
5 sheets ready rolled frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- In a frypan, melt butter and gently fry onion until soft but not brown. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 230°C
- In a big bowl, place the cooked onion, minced meats, brandy, herbs, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper. Using your hands, knead the ingredients together until well mixed through.
- Cut each sheet of pastry in half to give 10 rectangles of pastry.
- Divide the mixture into 10 even portions.
- Roll each portion into a log the same length as the width of the pastry.
- Place each roll of meat on the bottom edge of the pastry.
- Brush along the exposed edge of pastry lightly with beaten egg and then roll up to enclose the meat. Press to seal.
- Cut each log into 5 or 6 pieces (according to your preference).
- Place rolls onto tray lined with baking paper, allowing room for pastry to puff up.
- Brush rolls lightly with beaten egg and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Bake in preheated, very hot oven for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with big bowls of tomato sauce for dunking.
If made ahead, cool rolls on a wire rack. Freeze for up to three months.
Reheat from frozen in a 180°C oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Reheat unfrozen rolls in a 180°C oven for 5-8 minutes or until heated through.