Sausage Rolls…

January 10, 2011

Over the holiday season the Boy and I had our first party at our house, not the kind we would have had a few years ago, but a proper grown up open house party… it was amazing!

I wanted to share this recipe for sausage rolls because they were so very popular and everyone loves a good sausage roll, I will plan all future parties around having these on the table!

I got the recipe from the Guardian from their Word of Mouth blog… Link they handily did a taste test of a few recipes and then recommended their favourite, which is the one I followed…

You need;
Makes about 25 small rolls
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp English mustard powder
175g very cold butter
1 egg, beaten with a little water and salt
For the filling:
300g pork belly, skin removed, minced or finely chopped
300g pork shoulder, minced (this can often be bought ready minced if you don’t have a good butcher)
200g smoked streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Nutmeg, to grate
2 tbsp roughly chopped thyme leaves
8 sage leaves, roughly chopped

I have to say I couldn’t get any pork belly so we just used shoulder (much more widely available) and they were still great.

First make your pastry, you can do this in advance;
1. Sift the flour, salt and mustard powder into a mixing bowl, and grate in the butter.
Stir them together with a knife, so the butter is well-coated with flour, and resembles a rough crumble mixture.
Pour in enough ice-cold water to turn the mixture into a dough that comes away cleanly from the bowl – be cautious, it shouldn’t be sticky – and bring together into a ball.
Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour.

2. Put the meats into a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
Tip in the rest of the ingredients and combine, seasoning well with black pepper and a little salt (remember the bacon will be salty, so don’t go overboard).
Pre-heat the oven to 220C.

I had to get the Boy to do this bit, I am still very squeamish with touching meat, not a great foodie attribute!

Here we did the little chef’s trick of frying off a little pattie of meat to taste the seasoning, is a great tip as we definitely needed a little something (more pepper) at this stage…

3. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to about a thickness of about ½ cm, and cut into 3 lengthways.
Divide the meat into 3 sausages, as long as your pastry, and place one slightly off-centre on each strip.

4. Brush one edge of the pastry strip with beaten egg and then fold the other side over to enclose the sausage meat.
Press down to seal, and then go along the edge with the back of a fork if you like, to make a pattern. Brush with more eggwash, cut to the desired size, and prick each with a fork.
Repeat with the rest of the pastry and meat.

5. Put the rolls on a baking tray, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack, and serve warm.

Then I added them to my otherwise simple buffet, I do love a buffet! The Boy and I made everything from scratch (mince pies, cheese biscuits, chutneys) but had lots of bits that didn’t need any prep, dips and crudities, a huge cheese board and lots of crisps!

The first two batches of rolls went so quickly, and I must have been stingy with the meat as I still had lots left, so I dug out a packet of ready made puff pastry (the horror!) and made some more, which went equally fast… my tip made double what you think you’ll need!

So this is coming a bit late as I didn’t realise I hadn’t published it, apologies for the very Christmasy post… post-Christmas!

This year I decided to make my own Christmas cards…

I stole this design (opps!) from my Mum’s friend Valerie, who gave this card to my Mum a few years ago with the plan to copy it one day and this year I finally got round to doing so.

It’s very simple…

First put some Christmas music on, or find a film you love to watch then get yourself lots of card, some scissors, green and gold paint…

Oh and don’t forget most importantly a glass of something warming (I am loving amaretto right now) and a mince pie or 3…

If you want to make this, all I did was cut a triangle shape with two thinner triangles either side to stand it up (I hope that makes sense!) fold into shape…

Then paint a green tree in the middle of the front leave to dry before painting the baubles on (I used bronze, copper, silver and gold on my trees so I had lots of slightly different ones)

Although this is a simple idea, if you have to make a lot it still takes time… but I loved seeing them all finished, like a little forest of Christmas trees right in my living room!

And now the mince pie recipe… I have never made my very own, and wanted to make something a little different and since I adore franzipan and had found a simple recipe in Ideal Home decided to give it a go so when last Sunday my friend Rachel came over, we drank mulled wine and made mince pies… best Sunday activity ever!

This is also when we remembered how yummy amaretto is… like liquid marzipan.

I made them again for my Christmas party and they went down a treat!

You need;
For pastry
150g chilled butter, cubed (plus extra for greasing)
300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
For filling
150g seedless grapes
300g mincemeat
1-2 tbsp amaretto
For franzipan
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
125g ground almonds
pinch ground cardamom
25g flaked almond

1. To make the pastry, rub the butter lightly into the flour by hand, add just enough cold water to bind the mixture with a cold knife, put in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour

2. Cut the dough in half and roll it out on a floured surface to around 4mm thick, touch the pastry as little as possible and roll it very lightly, then cut out circles about 1 cm larger than your tin holes
Pre-heat the oven till 180c, and then press the circles into the tin holes and put the in the fridge

4. Make the filling by finely chopping the grapes and mixing with the mincemeat and amaretto

5. Make the franzipan by creaming the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs, followed by the ground almonds and cardamom then fill your pie cases with mincemeat mix topping with a tsp of the franzipan, then topped with flaked almonds and bake for 20 minutes until golden.