Sausage rolls are like the Alison Holst or Mary Berry of the edible world. Loved by all ages and welcomed with open arms at any occasion, they rebel against food trends and have stood the test of time. I don’t think there has ever been a time I didn’t love a bit of sausage roll- they were always one of my favourites at birthday parties when I was a kid, and now I still make a beeline for them at the office morning tea.
A couple of months ago, on a rather uneventful afternoon I suddenly had a craving for a sausage roll. It had been a while since we were last acquainted (are they not standard fare at the English office morning tea?) and I just wanted to sink my teeth into some porky pastry comfort. I decided to make my own because, how hard can it be? As it turns out, not very, so I thought I would give the old girl a bit of a makeover and voila, how good does she look now?
Sausage Plait (adapted from a recipe by Chelsea Winter)
- 500g pork mince
- ½ cup couscous, cooked and cooled
- 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped into small pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped (or 4-5 frozen spinach cubes, defrosted)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worchester sauce
- 1 egg
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme (leaves only, discard the stalk)
- Generous seasoning of salt and pepper
- 1 block of puff pastry (500g)
1. Preheat your oven to 200c.
2. Lightly fry off the bacon, onions, garlic and spinach until cooked then leave to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl place the pork mince, couscous, tomato paste, Worchester sauce, and egg then add the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix until well combined- the easiest way is to get in there with your hands.
5. Roll out the pastry into a 30cm by 40cm sheet.
6. Shape your sausage mixture into a log in the middle of the pastry. Leave enough pastry at each end to fold over the end of your log (approximately 5-7cm) and enough pastry at the sides to fold over the sausage mixture.
7. Starting from the top of the sausage mixture, cut diagonal strips down the length of the log approximately 1.5cm apart.
8. Fold the pastry over each end then starting from the top, fold each pastry strip over the log, alternating from one side to the other.
9. Carefully transfer your sausage roll to a baking tray, egg wash if you want, then bake for around 45 minutes until cooked.
I like to serve mine hot, probably because I just cannot wait to taste it but it’ll be just as good once it’s cooled down to room temperature, and always with a side of tomato sauce. This recipe works well for a simple lunch or dinner with a side salad but either way, I guarantee you it’s a crowd pleaser!