I am such a fan of sausage rolls; with a well-flavoured filling and light, melt-in-the-mouth pastry, they never fail to give me a feeling of total satisfaction when eating them!
Sadly sausage rolls are much-abused in my opinion, especially most of the commercial ones which are often little more than cheap meat and dry, tasteless pastry. Ever since I have been making sausage rolls as a boy, inspired by my gran, I have packed the filling with all manner of goodies such as apple, chutney and cheese, for example, so that they are so much more than just pastry and sausagemeat! These ones, however, with a gorgeous Middle Eastern take, are absolutely sublime.
I have used Dan Lepard’s recipe as the inspiration for these rolls. If you have never tried any of his recipes, then you must remedy that and make something of his immediately! His bread recipes in particular are inspirational and highly informative. Dan’s original recipe for these fabulous rolls can be found here.
A very well-flavoured pastry
I have been making flavoured puff and rough-puff pastries for many years, adding goodies such cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon and the like for sweet bakes, and spices such as smoked paprika, turmeric and mustard powder for savoury bakes.
The rough-puff pastry here, using turmeric and garam masala, is terrific, and is both simple and fairly quick to make.
A few of my tweaks!
I have made Dan’s rolls, using his recipe exactly, several times now, and each time they vanish all too quickly: a sign of a great recipe!
For these rolls I have made a few variations. Now this is not to suggest that Dan’s recipe is not excellent (it really is excellent); it is purely because I find it hard not to tinker with any recipe – even with my own recipes that call for tweaking from time to time!
With a bake such as this, there are so many things that can be added for personal taste, and my take on Dan’s sausage rolls include the following:
- I used garam masala in place of the curry powder in the pastry: I had ran out of curry powder when I last made them and this fitted the bill: you get a more subtle spice flavour than with curry powder but either works brilliantly!
- I added finely chopped dried apricots to the filling
- I added mango chutney to the filling: I normally add chutneys or pickles to my standard sausage rolls as it makes such a subtle difference in terms of sweetness and mellow spice, and mango chutney fits the bill here. I also brush a little mango chutney over the filling before rolling up the pastry around it
- I used chopped coriander stalks as well as the coriander leaves in the filling
- I added a generous amount of chopped fresh mint to the filling: lamb, mint and coriander are such wonderful bedfellows!
I sometimes make these with a pastry seam visible, but at other times I tuck the pastry seam underneath: it literally depends on how I am feeling at the time!
I cut them to about an inch wide, making about 24 of them, and they take about 25 minutes to bake at 190C(fan), but I have made them longer, giving them 30-40 minutes baking time.
Recipe: spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry – makes about 24
For the spiced rough-puff pastry
- 250g strong plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (the fresher the better)
- 5g fine sea salt
- 200g unsalted butter, chilled and roughly cubed
- 140-150ml cold water
For the filling
- 500g lean minced lamb
- 100g best quality sausagemeat or lean minced pork
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- small handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons when chopped)
- small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons when chopped)
- 80g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons mango chutney, plus a little extra for brushing over the pastry
- 100g pistachios, roughly chopped
- a little beaten egg
- black onion seeds or poppy seeds
(1) Make the pastry: please refer to my post on rough-puff pastry here, which has full instructions and diagrams for each stage. The only difference is the spices: just mix them with the flour at the start and proceed as in the recipe. Wrap in clingfilm and chill until needed.
(2) Make up the filling: mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, stirring well to incorporate. Cover with cling film and chill until needed. Ideally, chill overnight to allow the flavours to really develop. YOu can fry off a little of the filling in a pan to taste, and adjust flavours if you feel this is needed.
(3) Make up the rolls: pre-heat the oven to 190C (fan). Cut the pastry in half and roll out each piece to a long, thin rectangle. Brush a little mango chutney down the centre of each strip and spoon over the filling.
(4) Brush a little egg along the long edge of each strip and bring the pastry up and over the filling, pushing gently to seal. If necessary, you can gently stretch the pastry over the meat to reach.
(5) Trim along the length of each roll and brush the beaten egg liberally all over the surface. Cut into individual rolls to the preferred size: I tend to go for between one and two inches.
(6) Sprinkle over poppy seeds or onion seeds. You can either make shallow cuts across the tops or leave them as they are. Bake for about 25 minutes until dark golden brown.