Apologies for my absence last week but I was producing one of the two most spectacular creations I shall ever be capable of. Weighing in at 8lbs 14oz the little bun took quite a lot out of me so I treated myself to the week off. But here I am, again.
In preparation for my early Christmas present I was a fierce industrious bunny. I cooked a little extra where possible to stock up the freezer for these days where I feel I have as much energy as a runover frog. One such provision was sausage rolls. I amn’t sure if anyone else suffers the same loathing for lunch. It comes around so often and underwhelms so frequently. These sausage rolls offer a glint of loveliness in an otherwise glum mealtime.
The measurements I give below are purely a suggestion, this recipe is more about the technique of making sausage rolls and leaves you free to jazz them up to your own tastes or cupboards. And as I mentioned, they are great for freezing for leaner times.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
Puff pastry 1 pack or pre-rolled
Red onion 1
Butter 1 tablespoon
Dried thyme 2 teaspoons
Tart eating apples 2
Pork sausage meat 500g
Tomato relish 3 tablespoons
Milk a dash
Preheat the oven. Now when I buy puff pastry it is normally the bog-standard, not all butter, frozen variety and I highly suggest you follow my lead. I once, foolishly, brought a pack of frozen, all butter puff pastry to the till in a fancy food emporium and was so horrified by the price that, for what must be one of only a handful of times, I actually had to stop myself from fainting and tell the cashier that I wouldn’t be taking it (despite what horrifyingly judgmental thoughts she must obviously have been thinking, the mortification, but €8. Puh to that sir).
So anyway, if your puff pastry is frozen leave it out somewhere room temperaturey to thaw for at least 2hrs in advance.
In the meantime you can busy yourself making the stuffing. Finely dice the red onion and fry it slowly in the butter, with the thyme, until they soften but don’t brown – about 10mins. If you have the patience, then by all means, pick those tiny leaves off a sprig of fresh thyme. The taste will be better but it really is a painful task.
Peel and finely dice the apples and add them to the pan too, continue cooking for another 10mins. When the oniony mix is ready take it off the heat and let it cool down.
In a very big mixing bowl put the sausage meat and tomato relish. Pour in the cooled onion-apple mix and season everything well. Unfortunately, the easiest way to combine this concoction is by hand. So, go wash your hands well and then squidge all the sausage meat and other bits together through your fingers till it’s all good and homogeneous. Wash your hands again.
Make some egg wash by beating the egg and adding a dash o’ milk.
Clear a large space on your counter top and unfurl the puff pastry. Get a sharp knife, a fork and a pastry brush in position. If you’re planning on eating these straight away then line some baking trays with baking parchment.
Along the edge of long axis of the pastry, nearest you, heap the sausage meat into a long line using the fork and your hands.
Now, carefully, lift the the pastry edge nearest you and roll the pastry and sausage meat over to encase the meat. Then using the sharp knife cut an extra 1.5cm from the overlap of the pastry. On this little strip brush on the egg wash and then tightly roll the pastry all the way over. Look at the photo.
Now cut this monumental sausage roll into your desired lengths. Pierce each sausage roll a few times with a fork and pop them onto the parchment.
This is the stage where you can freeze these beasties. To do so place them into the freezer on parchment, trying to ensure they don’t touch each other. Once they’re fully frozen you can store them touching one another but they’ll stick together forever if they touch each other now.
If they are headed for the oven straight away, brush each of them with egg wash and pop them into the oven for 40mins or so.
To use them from the freezer, let them thaw for an hour or two before cooking as above for 40 – 50mins. Then eat them as you please.