This is a post about sausage rolls and how to make them extra tasty. Before I go any further I feel I must say in my defence, that it is quite difficult to photograph a sausage without it looking a bit rude. That is all.
Has anyone ever found a decent commercially-made sausage roll? Not me anyway. A recipe that calls for only a few ingredients must have the best, and that just never happens with the commercial type. Cheap puff pastry and low grade pork filling just don't cut the mustard (I also like to add mustard).
The sausage itself must be excellent. If you are lucky enough to have a butcher who makes pork sausages, those will do nicely. There are a lot of high quality sausages available now. I recently met the happy pork folk over at Oldfarm, Margaret and Alfie. Margaret told me the story of how 'Pigs happened to her'. How careless to let pigs take over one's home like that, I thought. But how clever of her to convert them to porky delights and sell them to the sausage eaters that haunt Twitter Land. I shall be having some of those for myself soon I hope. But until then I buy the best quality sausages with the highest pork content that I can find.
I prefer to use a whole sausage as the texture is usually better than sausage meat, add some favourite herbs if you like, sage or thyme are always good with pork. The puff pastry you can make yourself if you have nothing for doing, but I usually buy it. A nice tomato based chutney is ideal for the filling, I use one from Rua in Castlebar which is the chutney you would make if you were making some yourself. Mustard, sharp and smooth. Cheese, piquant and melty. All rolled together and baked until puffed up and golden, great for a quick lunch with a little salad and some extra chutney on the side.
The cutting down the middle and filling comes from my mother who had picked up some very strange habits in boarding school, but that is a story for another day.
A packet of ready-made puff pastry (all-butter)
8 - 12 herbed sausages sliced length-way down the centre
1oz cheddar cheese
A couple of tablespoons of good quality chutney
1 free-range egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small handful of fresh thyme/sage leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Roll the pastry out (if not the pre-rolled sort) on a floured surface to a rectangle and cut in half lengthways. Paint one side of the pastry with the mustard.
Lay the sausages along both pieces of pastry and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with herbs. Cut your pastry to best fit your sausages. Spread the chutney and cheese generously into the cut down the centers. Roll the sausage up in the pastry to enclose.
Brush with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, leave to cool slightly before snarfing.