Christmas Update 2020
Sausage rolls are an essential part of our holiday tradition. It’s a British thing!
However, I upped my game recently, and made a sausage roll wreath. It made me really happy. Hoping it might make you happy too! I had made it before, but until Instagram very kindly reminded me with their “this time last year” I had totally forgotten about it. Hoping if I post it on my blog, it will become a staple of my Holiday repertoire. Updated recipe below.
If you try this at home, take a photo and tag me on instagram! @carolynsfabfoods
Although you can buy sausage rolls everywhere in the UK, I have memories of my dad making them from scratch. Homemade ones just taste so much better.
Sausage rolls have a season. They are not summer food! They generally make an appearance as the nights start to get a little colder. By Guy Fawkes night (Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot!) they are expected. In America, we have made them an essential part of our Thanksgiving celebrations. No Christmas gathering would be complete without them, and it would be unthinkable to spend Christmas Eve without eating at least one.
I also have a tradition of making a batch for our pastor, or more correctly for our pastor’s wife. Every Christmas Eve, the wonderful Judy Livingston sings ‘Oh Holy Night’ as part of the family service and every year I try not to cry. I have promised that as long as she sings I will deliver a tray of uncooked sausage rolls to the Manse after the service. (Back again in Darien, so normal service will resume. Think she might be getting a wreath this year!))
Where to buy the ingredients
As you can see from the picture below, the ingredients for Sausage Rolls, a British version of Pigs in Blankets, are not complicated. In Darien, I find Jones sausage meat in the freezers of Stop and Shop and Palmers. Stop and Shop also had non frozen packs, cannot remember the brand, in the meat counter before Thanksgiving. The fresh packs are 16oz so you need to adjust the quantities below..
Pepperidge farm puff pastry is sold in those shops too, and Trader Joes has its own brand in their freezers. (TJs is seasonal so will only be there for the holidays). You could use your favorite sausages too, just remove them from the casings.
In the U.K., we are obviously spoilt for choice (land of the banger!) In Denmark, see below.
I take two packs of frozen puff pastry.( Now those who know me know I am a purist and tend to make everything from scratch, but I love frozen puff pastry) Add three packs of frozen sausage meat each pack is 12 ounces or 330g. Now you could add things to the sausagemeat. Minced onion, grated cheese, herbs, breadcrumbs, eggs, but I do not and they seem to taste just fine.
Once everything is fully defrosted, unfold each sheet of pastry and divide into two equal rectangles. Divide the three packs of sausage meat, into eight equal parts and make a long sausage down the middle of each pastry rectangle. With a knife cut each sheet int two to give eight rectangles. Fold one side of the pastry over the sausage meat and then fold the other side on top using water or beaten egg to bind. Repeat with each pasty sheet until you have eight rolls. Turn each one over so it is seam side down. Using a pair of scissors cut air vents along the top of each roll.
Now, at this stage, you can wrap each roll in cling film and store in the refrigerator, until you plan to cook them, for up to two days.
To cook, preheat oven to 400F/200C
Brush sausage rolls with beaten egg. Divide each roll into around nine and bake for around 30 mins until golden and the sausage is fully cooked.
Serve hot with either tomato or HP sauce, although I love them cold the next day.
Three uncut sausage rolls, as above, plus some extra puff pastry to decorate.
One egg, mixed with a little milk or water to wash the pastry.
Cranberries and fun greens such as watercress to serve
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I have started using the pre-cut ones from amazon, so easy!
Pre-heat the oven to 375F/180C
Take three of the uncut rolls and join them together using a little water to bind them, don’t worry about the joins, you can cover with the decorations.
Cut out holly leaves or other Christmas shapes and stick onto the wreath using water. Cut a few holes for the steam to escape.
Brush the wreath with the egg mixture, and cook in the oven until golden, approximately thirty to forty minutes. Let it rest out of the oven for five minutes.
Slide the parchment paper onto your serving plate and remove. (I tear the sheet and pull it out bit by bit).
Decorate with the greens and cranberries for a fun, festive appetizer!
I will confess to having a little difficulty in finding sausagemeat that works in Denmark. But for more on that painful subject see my post on Sausages,a cautionary tale.