I posted a picture of some sausage rolls I made over the Thanksgiving holiday, and was asked for a recipe – so here goes!
Sausage rolls are standard British bakery and pub fare, and a likely ancestor of the American pigs-in-blankets. They are essentially sausage meat wrapped in pastry. I make mine with easy-to-buy components so they don’t require a marathon of perfect pastry-making in the kitchen before you get eating. I’m an ex-pat Brit, so when it comes to family holidays like Thanksgiving, I bring food from my heritage to share.
Recipe makes up to 48 pieces, depending on how large you cut them.
- 1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) – these pix are a Trader Joes pastry only available at the holidays, the rest of the year I use Pepperidge Farms
- 1lb to 1 1/4lbs sage sausage meat from the butcher section – you can use plain sausage meat but the sage version is more flavorful.
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cup of water with ice cubes in it
- Flour for dusting your work surface.
Thaw the pastry overnight in the fridge. Pastry is best if you keep it cold while you work with it, so if using both sheets, keep the second one in the fridge until you start working with it. My Nana used to say “cold in the making and hot in the baking” for pastry, and it’s a good rule to follow.
Oven to 425 degrees. Use middle racks.
Line baking sheets with parchment or silicon liners.
Dust the work surface lightly with a bit of flour.
Unfold/unroll one pastry sheet on the work surface, and cut it in half, lengthwise.
Take 1/4th of the sausage meat, and stretch it into a long sausage! Place down the center of one half of the pastry.
Repeat with the second half of the pastry.
Brush ice water along one pastry edge, and roll the opposite edge over, and press down with a fork to seal. The cold water will act a bit like glue. You can paint it on with a finger, but just enough to make it sticky, not sopping.
Cut each long roll into 12 pieces if you want bite sized, 4 pieces if you want more meal sized (a couple of large ones with a salad will take care of you*).
With a sharp knife, vent the pastry on top of each roll (do two or three holes on a large roll). Put the knife in until you hit meat and twist it 90 degrees.
Move the cut rolls onto the baking sheet. Brush the beaten egg over the pastry (egg wash) to give it a lovely brown and shiny finish when baked.
Bake for 15 mins to start (you can rotate the baking sheets half way if your oven is uneven). Check them… the egg wash might make you think they’re done, but they usually need 20 mins. Check the color of the pastry on the inner edge near the meat – it shouldn’t look pale. The meat should also be browning (you don’t want a raw middle in the meat).
Move to a cooling tray when done, and resist burning your mouth from eating one before it cools down!
Repeat with the second half of the pastry and meat.
Best served warm with HP Sauce if you can find some (it’s a sort of sweet/spicy brown ketchup, but it’s NOT steak sauce) or ketchup, or mustard.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Warm up in the oven to re-crisp the pastry. A microwave will make your pastry soft and soggy – a travesty!
*I was kidding about the salad… who needs salad when you can eat sausage rolls!