Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easy Recipe: English Sausage Rolls

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. – Mark Twain 

Not for dinner every night, but for some nights, absolutely. (Kid-friendly, too!)
There’s lots of “junky” food, isn’t there? You know what I mean…the fast stuff that is either purchased pre-made or you assemble from "fast" pre-made ingredients. 

One such food that has been so bastardized is the lowly sausage roll. The “junky” equivalent is hotdogs in pre-made crescent roll dough with process cheese food. It actually says that on the package – "cheese food." You know to what I refer…

Yes, they’re quick, but did you know you can assemble “the real thing” in essentially the same amount of time, and they taste so much better?

Sausage rolls actually have a bit of a history and are not – as one might assume – a recent invention by marketers to use their pre-made products.

From what I have read, mass consumption of the sausage roll can be traced back to London’s Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851. Over 28,000 were sold to visitors over the time the exhibition was running. A recipe for sausage rolls also appears in a British cookbook from the 1870s – Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery. It appears they made an impression.

Sausage rolls are easy – really easy if you buy pre-rolled puff pastry and sausage links. You don’t have to use loose English” banger sausage. I just happened to have some in my refrigerator.

Any fresh sausage will do – hot Italian, apple sage, chorizo, etc. Try your hand at making your own, which is what I did (recipes here). I have several sausage recipes on this blog.

I found some “not-too-bad-at-all-for-store-bought” butter puff pastry at a local grocery that came pre-rolled into two sheets. That small fact is a godsend. If you want to make your own puff pastry go right ahead, or as we say in Nova Scotia "fill your boots." Colourful, aren't we?

These were pretty tasty, although watch out. They’re very hot when first from the oven. I gave the roof of my mouth a really good burn. Live and learn I guess.

I served these with a very simple salad of sliced cucumber and tomatoes with a basil cream dressing. It was a really delicious counter to the rolls and cheese.

I know, I know, it may not be the most healthy main course, but as it’s been said: “All things in moderation, including moderation.”


English Sausage Rolls
Prep: 15 min  |  Cook: 25-30 min  |  Yield: 8 rolls
1 lb pork sausage meat, or 8 individual  links
450g package puff pastry
8 pieces cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Dijon (or grainy) mustard
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

If purchasing unrolled blocks of puff pastry (they come in two’s), roll each out to a square about 12” x 12”. As I said, mine were pre-rolled. Cut each sheet into 4 equal pieces for a total of 8 squares. 

Brush half of each square with mustard. Be a little generous with it. Place two pieces of cheddar on each roll. Divide lose sausage into 8 pieces, and roll into small logs and place between the cheese. If using links just place between the cheddar pieces. 

Roll the pastry up over the sausage and place on a baking sheet, seam side down. Beat the egg slightly and brush each roll with the egg wash.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are puffy and golden.

Way better than hotdogs in crescent roll dough!


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