If you read the comments about this recipe (at the bottom of this page) left by our viewers you will see that a couple of them suggest mixing in some extra ingredients into the sausage meat. An excellent idea but don't add too much.
A touch of relish or a small amount of spice can do wonders in livening up these delicious sausage rolls. So read the comments first or maybe add some special ingredient to make this YOUR sausage rolls recipe.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY
55g / 2oz cooking margarine (e.g. Stork)
55g / 2oz lard or refined cooking fat (e.g. Cookeen)
220g / 8oz plain flour
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
250g / 9oz good quality sausage meat (see Cook's Notes) or four chunky sausages.
1 lightly whisked egg.
Measure out the cooking margarine and fat, cut into small pieces and leave to one side for 10 minutes until they have warmed up a bit from the fridge. It is possible to use margarine and fat straight from the fridge but it makes mixing it with the flour is more difficult.
Instead of making the short crust pastry yourself, you can use ready rolled shortcrust pastry. It does save time but it's nowhere as satisfyng as making it yourself.
Step by step pictures on making the shortcrust pastry are shown in this recipe but you can also view our video below for a practical demonstration. Note that the video shows the pastry being made with 85g lard, 85g of cooking margarine and 340g of plain flour rather than the 55g / 55g / 220g mixture we mention specify on this page. The amounts mentioned on this page will be sufficient for the Sausage Rolls.
VIDEO ON MAKING SHORT CRUST PASTRY
The quality of sausage meat varies considerably depending on where you buy it and how much you are willing to pay. Without a doubt your local butcher is the best source of good quality sausage meat. Our butcher simply grinds some good quality pork and then blends it with onions, herbs and his own special ingredients.
We were astonished though when we visited Sainsbury's in very late October to pick up the ingredients for this recipe. We looked for sausage meat and found none. When we asked where it was we were told they did not stock it at this time of year because it was seasonal! If you end up in this situation then buy sausages instead, skin them and use their sausage meat. Choose thick sausages because they are far easier and quicker to skin compared to small thin ones.
Another alternative is to make your own. A basic recipe would be 250g of pork mince, quarter of an onion very finely chopped, two teaspoons of finely chopped sage (plus a few other herbs if you have them) plus a good helping of salt and pepper. Experiment by adding some minced bacon or finely chopped apple.
One question we are frequently asked is why does pastry need to be rested in the refrigerator (fridge) before rolling it out?, The reason is that flour contains gluten which is very elastic. If you try and roll out pastry without letting it rest it will tend to be too elastic and difficult to roll out. In fact some chefs let pastry rest in the fridge, roll it out and then let it rest again before a final rolling. This ensures that the pastry will not shrink when it is cooked.
Add the margarine and cooking fat to a large bowl (cut into lumps) and sieve in the flour. Do this from as high as possible to incorporate air into the flour as it falls.
Incorporating air into the mixture will give you a lighter and better shortcrust pastry.STEP 2
Gently rub the flour, and margarine / lard together with your fingers rather than you hands, lifting them and letting the mix drop back into the bowl. This will help more air into the mixture and stop it becoming too warm..
The mixture should end up as small crumbs although some larger bits may be present. Don't overdo this stage, it should only take two or three minutes.
Crumbled short crust pastry mixture
Add three tablespoons of water to the bowl and use a fork or knife to start mixing the water into the fat and flour. Do this for three or four minutes to mix the water into the pastry fully. Then use your hands to gently gather the mix together into a ball.
If it won't hold together add another half tablespoon of water but definitely no more. The mix is of the correct consistency when it is in a ball and can collect all the odd bits around the bowl into one single ball. If you watch the video earlier on in this page, it explains the process well.
Shortcrust pastry before going into fridge
Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 'rest'. After it has rested for 30 minutes it is ready to be rolled out. See Advice for Sausage Rolls section above for the reason behind resting pastry in the fridge.
Turn the oven on, setting it to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas 6.STEP 5
Divide the pastry mix into three roughly equal parts. Dust the work surface liberally with flour to prevent the pastry sticking to the surface.
With your hands, pat out one portion of the pastry into a tube shape. Roll out the pastry (with a rolling pin) to just larger than 30cm / 1ft long by 10cm / 4in wide. Do the same with the other two portions of pastry. Complete accuracy is not important.
Pastry rolled out
Divide the sausage meat into three roughly equal portions. With your hands, roll one portion of the sausage meat into a tube shape about 25cm (one foot long). Do the same with the other two portions. The sausage meat rolls out best on top of the rolled out pastry because it does not stick and you can get the size spot on.STEP 7
Place each strip of sausage roll on a strip of pastry. The pastry should be just a bit longer than the sausage meat. Brush some milk or egg along the edges of the pastry. If you don't have a brush just dip your fingers in the milk and run them round the edges. The purpose of this is to help the edges and ends stick together.STEP 8
Roll the pastry round the sausage once, making sure it is a reasonably tight fit. Trim the pastry as shown in the picture. Note that we have left a flat bit of pastry attached. Now roll the rube onto the flat bit so that no seam is visible from the top. This will also stop the meat oozing out from the pastry.
Trim off the unfilled end bits.
Use a knife to cut each of the strips of sausage roll into the length you prefer. We cut each of ours into four.
Use a knife to cut a few small ridges in the top of each sausage roll, this makes them look more attractive when cooked. Brush the top of the sausage rolls with a little egg or milk to give them a golden brown colour when cooked.
Sausage rolls ready to be cooked
Lightly grease the non-stick baking tray , place the sausage rolls on it and put it in the middle of the pre-heated oven (see above for temperature) for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is light golden brown.
Do not open the door until at least 18 minutes has passed. Sausage rolls can be eaten hot or cold. They reheat very well either in a conventional oven or a microwave.
Cooked Sausage Rolls