To my mind, sausage rolls are the little black dress of the savoury world (perhaps it’s opinions like that which mean my little black dresses are not so little): they work with anything –versatile, impressive, and makes you look almost effortlessly great at virtually any occasion. No one – apart from maybe vegetarians – will turn their nose up at a sausage roll. Summer, winter, party, picnic, even whipped out of the freezer for a speedy supper, there is no place a sausage roll is not welcome. And it’s no surprise: buttery, flakey pastry, and tender, juicy meat are delightful bedfellows, I’d walk over hot coals for them.
Of course, you can make your own puff pastry for these rolls, and when I’m feeling particularly virtuous, I do. But more often than not, I don’t, and I’m not going to suggest that you do here. Unlike shortcrust, supermarkets do an excellent line in decent puff pastry, and it is by far the more economic way of going about these rolls, both in terms of money and time.
Save your showstopper puff for tarts and pies, and accept my permission to use a shortcut here. I promise you, no one will be any the wiser, and there’s nothing worse than spending hours slaving over slabs of butter and repeated pastry turnings only for your efforts to go unnoticed. Instead, put your time and effort into the sausage flavourings.
The mango chutney is the loveliest addition here to the sausage meat, tempering the savouriness of the pork, Worcestershire sauce and mustard with an aromatic sweetness. Buy a good brand, and the hum of ginger and spice, and little jewels of fruit, will lift these sausage rolls into something wonderful.
They work well cold, stacked into tupperware and carted off to the beach or countryside, or as the most cheering treat in a packed lunch. But I like them warm from the oven, eaten when no one else is around, dunked into brown sauce or ketchup. It goes like this…
1 packet all butter puff pastry
6 pork or Cumberland sausages
3 tablespoons mango chutney
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Makes: 12 chunky sausage rolls, or 20 bitesized sausage rolls
Takes: 10 minutes
Bakes: 20 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. First, make your sausage mix. Slit each sausage lengthways and peel the skin away, tipping the sausage meat into a bowl. Add the mango chutney, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and white pepper, mixing together thoroughly.
2. Roll the puff pastry in a rectangle, measuring approximately 35cm by 25cm, and cut in half horizontally.
3. You should now have two long strips of pastry. Place a line of sausage meat along the middle of each strip.
4. Break an egg into a small cup and mix with a fork until it is combined. Paint the edge of the pastry nearest to you with the egg. Fold the edge of the pastry furthest away from you over the sausage meat so that it meets the egg wash and sticks. Using the back of a fork, press the pastry where it meets all the way along the strip. Paint the entire strip with the egg wash, and cut each strip into six for chunky sausage rolls, or ten for party-size sausage rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the visible sausage meat is caramelised and the pastry is golden and puffed.