I was on a baking roll on St. Patrick's Day, what with the Fine Things Cake and a batch of the easiest, tastiest sausage rolls known to man. One of my work colleagues - let's call her Miss Carnivore - isn't a fan of the old fruit & veg but she is very partial to a sausage roll every so often. I have been promising for months to make her sausage rolls so she can see what the real thing is like. These are very easy to make - all you need is high quality sausage meat, sage, shallots or onions, some ground pepper & pastry.
One really important thing is to buy the best quality sausage meat you can find. Most supermarkets (with the exception of Superquinn) don't stock it, so go to your local Craft Butcher and ask for 70-80% pork sausagemeat. If you can't get to a butcher, buy some really good sausages & remove the skins. Cheap meat will end up with a cheap sausage roll and that just defeats the purpose of making them.
I use ready made puff pastry because it is quick and easy - If you buy the sheets of ready rolled, sprinkle them with flour & roll them even thinner - to about half of the thickness. Puff pastry does exactly what it promises... it puffs up like mad when it is baked & I'm a fan of more sausage than roll!
Simply Delicious Sausage Rolls (makes 16)
1 pack of ready rolled Puff Pastry
15 Sage Leaves, finely chopped
3 Shallots, finely chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Egg, beaten (for glazing)
In a large bowl, mix the sausagemeat, sage, shallots & pepper together. You might find it handy to use disposable plastic gloves for this step. Place the sausagemeat mix into the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6
Place your sheet of pastry on a floured surface, dust it with flour & roll it out into a rectangle until it increases by about 1/3 in size.
Cut the pastry evenly into 16 pieces & brush the right hand long edge with the beaten egg.
Remove the sausagemeat from the fridge, divide into 16 & roll into long sausage shapes. Place the sausagemeat on the pastry & roll up on the long side. The beaten egg you just brushed onto the pastry will act like glue. Place the sausage rolls onto baking sheets
Now decorate the tops of the sausage rolls - either lightly slash them with a knife tip or prick with a fork, and glaze with the beaten egg.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is a deep golden colour & well cooked. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
These are absolutely delicious warm (I ate 3 at this stage) but just as lovely cold. If you're going to reheat them, use the oven rather than the microwave so the pastry crisps up again.