Well, a sausage roll is for any time of the year, but I quite like to add a few festive flavours around Christmas: chestnuts, dried apricots, Stilton, perhaps a few cranberries: oh, and just a kick of mustard.
These festive sausage rolls – which friends have dubbed my “Christmas stuffing sausage rolls” – are perfect as a snack, with drinks or as part of a larger spread of food!
Indeed, any of my sausage roll fillings are a great stuffing in its own right to be used with any roast!
I have several sausage roll recipes on my website (a list of my popular ones are at the bottom of this page), and they are all simply a variation on a theme:
- good quality meat
- chopped fruit such as apple, dried apricots….
- good quality chutney
- a little cheese
- good quality pastry
In place of sausagemeat I sometimes use pork mince (or lamb mince), and occasionally I will go down the spicy route.
I used a little Stilton in these – not much, just enough for the rich savouryness it adds- but a Cheddar works well, as does Wensleydale with apricots or cranberries.
I always have chestnuts in the cupboard and the freezer (they freeze well!) and I sometimes like add a couple of tablespoons of a good cranberry sauce – or even fresh cranberries cooked down with a little sugar and orange juice.
Christmas stuffing sausage rolls -makes about 30 small ones
- 500g puff pastry (ideally all-butter pastry)
- 500g very best quality sausagemeat or minced pork
- 50g Stilton cheese, crumbled (or go for more – say 80g – of a milder cheese such as Wensleydale
- 80g dried “ready-to-eat” apricots
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 60g peeled chestnuts, lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons thick cranberry sauce or chutney of choice
- leaves from a large sprig of fresh thyme (or use 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- a few grindings of black pepper
- a couple of tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 small egg, beaten
(1) Preheat the oven to 190C(fan) and place a sheet of greaseproof onto a couple of baking sheets.
(2) Either finely chop the onion and the apricots or put them in a food processer and blitz imtil theybreak down into tiny pieces – you can take it to more of a paste if you want. Mix the remaining filling ingredients together and set aside.
(3) Roll the pastry out to a long, thin rectangle about 40cm long, and cut it into three lengthwise.
(4) Spread a thin layer of mustard down the middle of each piece of rolled-out pastry and mound the filling gently down the middle of the pastry as in the picture below.
(5) Brush one of the exposed pastry edges with the beaten egg and bring up the edges of each piece to make a roll, pinching together to form a seal at the top – if you feel it won’t surround the filling, you can gently stretch the pastry around it until the pastry meets: it really does not matter either way! Turn the roll over so the seal is on the bottom.
NB: if you have too much filling, you can fry it off as patties or roll them into balls and use them as stuffing (they freeze well).
(6) Brush the pastry with beaten egg and, with a sharp knife, cut into the desired size. Make a cut or two into each sausage roll: you can go right to the filling if you like or just make a shallow cut.
NB: I tend to cut about 10 small ones from each strip but you can make them larger
(7) Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the pastry is nicely browned, and the sausagemeat filling is cooked.
NB: Check the sausage rolls after about 15 minutes and turn the temperature down to about 170C if they seem to be browning too much.
Some of my other favourite flavours
I have listed below more of my favourite sausage roll flavours, with links to the recipes.