Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Sausage Rolls Four Ways

A good sausage roll is like a hug from an old friend. There's something about its warmth, flaking pastry and well seasoned squidgy middle. I thought that interfering with something so simple would be a travesty but it was in fact a revelation. I like to think of them as spruced up sausage rolls or sausage rolls with attitude.
Originally I was just going to put a few caramelised onions in with the sausage meat but then I started thinking of other flavours; rosemary and fennel to start. With these new found thoughts I made a batch of eight sausage rolls, two of each of the following flavours; caramelised onion, herbs, fennel and olive. I think a nice spicy tomato chutney would have been brilliant too.
First of all make the caramelised onions. I used a whole onion, fried gently in butter for 20 minutes until soft and starting to brown then added sugar, salt and pepper. They were wonderfully sticky. While the onions are cooking; crush some fennel seeds, chop a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, parsley and chives and finely chop a few olives.
My relationship with pastry has been full of disaster and delight; it is forever evolving. Despite my recent acquisition of a K-Mix I wasn't about to attempt puff pastry. I don't think I'm ready for that yet so readymade puff pastry sufficed.  Roll the puff pastry out so it's nice and long and then cut into four rectangles. 
For eight sausage rolls I used around 400g sausage meat; you can either use bought sausage meat or squeeze out the sausage meat from some sausages. Divide the sausage meat between the four pieces of pastry and arrange along the length of the pastry about two thirds of the way down the rectangle. Put one of each of the fillings on top of the sausage meat. Be careful of how many herbs you add, you don't want people to think you've put a lump of turf on their dinner.
Brush a little beaten egg on the smaller edge of the pastry and then fold the other piece of pastry over the top. Seal the edges with a fork or fingers. Cut each of the four extra large sausage rolls in half so you end up with eight sausage rolls. Put a few slits in the top of each one before brushing each sausage roll with more egg. Cook in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
When I was younger I made sausage rolls with my Granny and could barely see over the worktop to see what she was doing; it all happened so fast. Whatever she was doing I must have picked up because these were wonderful. They would have been great without the fillings but the new flavours and textures that the different fillings brought added a bit of oomph.
The pastry was just right (but then I can't really claim that was anything to do with me) and the sausage meat had just the right saltiness and juiciness. The caramelised onions were the winner adding a soft, silky texture and glorious sweetness. The fennel gives it a summery note with its lovely aniseed. The herbs were lovely, fresh and clean; I think I would definitely add sage next time. I was dubious about the olives and remained so until I tried one, what a surprise. They added a tapenade texture but not too much salt as I thought they might. 
Each sausage roll had its own characteristics and was a marvellous success. Which would be your favourite?

20 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the shop bought puff pastry. Then you can focus on the fun bits. Nice twists on the English classic savoury treat!

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  2. Now this has definitely got my creative juices flowing. Why don't I have some pastry in the freezer? Why? Why?

    Also, do you think these would be better or worse if the toppings were mashed up into the sausage meat instead? Hmm.

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  3. Be careful of how many herbs you add, you don't want people to think you've put a lump of turf on their dinner - ha ha brilliant! Look really tasty. I like your writing

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  4. This is an excellent recipe. It must be very tasty. Well done on this. Bookmarking it.

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  5. I like the outcome, I mean from the pics you have shared, its amazing and love the feeling inside the pastry.

    Onions and with the rest, esp rosemary are simply great ingredients to stir fry the sausages and for sure would have boosted the taste.

    Very nice I must say.

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  6. What a great recipe you shared here! I just found a good recipe for puff pastry on another blog, will try it. Thanks!

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  7. These look delicious. I love homemade sausage rolls and I will be borrowing few of your variations for my son's B-day party.

    I love puff pastry and I always stick to the store bought.I noticed even the big chefs on Food Network use it instead of making their own.

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  8. These look outstanding! I def think adding sage would be good (I love sage and sausage). I'm super curious to try it with olives now. I never would have thought to add that.

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  9. I miss the humble sausage roll... Kate

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  10. Yum! I love sausage rolls, your lovely gourmet ones sound amazing.

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  11. so yummy! Claudia
    http://petitecuilliere.blogspot.com/

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  12. Looks really good!!! Well done!

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  13. You just can't beat home made sausage rolls. At Christmas I made some of Lotte Duncans Curried Sausage Rolls - they were amazing.

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  14. These really sound wonderful. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  15. i just love your blog and your writing! these sound absolutely fabulous, and these are on my to-make list now :)

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  16. I absolutely love sausage rolls!You've made them in so many combinations, that every one looks equally delicious!Very creative indeed :)

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  17. Shop bought pastry makes it so much easier and quicker... great recipe ideas, thanks for sharing.

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  18. These look so tasty and your pictorial is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing your deliciousness on Fabulous Friday. Have a great weekend!

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