Following on from the Quiche post a few weeks ago I thought I would run with another slightly retro recipe today. Sausage rolls don’t exactly excite me. They often featured on tea time tables of yore, and to be fair they were proper sausage rolls and rather delicious. However somewhere between then and now the sausage roll fell in with a bad crowd, got a bad rep in my opinion. A party food stalwart, usually straight from a box in the freezer to the oven, they just didn’t do it for me and I have been rather turned off them for a very long time.
Thankfully, somewhere in the recesses of my mind I held on to a memory of buttery flaky pastry encasing gently spiced sausage meat, and that memory has spoken to me quite a bit over the past year or two. Last summer I scribbled down a note in my blog notebook to try a sausage roll lined with bacon jam. I write A LOT of notes in my notebook though and sometimes it takes a loooooonnnggg time for me to actually get around to making them. I had 1lb of lovely streaky bacon from the butchers in the fridge that somehow didn’t get gobbled up for breakfast on Monday so I decided to make a jar of bacon jam. And sure while I was making the jam I thought I might as well finally give the sausage roll idea a whirl too.
With picnic season upon us (would you believe I actually held a straight face as I typed that, picnic season…in Ireland bahahahahaha), these are perfect to pop in a lunch box or picnic basket. They would also be a wonderful addition to a party table or a bbq, or just for a regular old lunch with some salad on the side. I had one fresh from the oven yesterday and it took all of my willpower not to wolf down a second straight away. Mr. LMUTB had one cold last night while he waited for one to heat in the oven, honest to God, and he declared both hot and cold equally delicious.
A little bit of housekeeping:
I based my bacon jam on this recipe here, but I did make a few changes. I left out the red wine vinegar as I had none to hand. Instead of 2 chipotles in adobe I added 2tsp of crushed chillies, if you don’t like things too spicy though just add 1 tsp. I did blitz mine in a food processor, not until completely smooth but just until the bacon pieces were fairly fine. Finally once the jam had cooled a little but not completely I stirred through 2 tbsp. of honey followed by 2 tsp. of vanilla extract, might sound a bit strange but this really adds an extra depth of flavour, divine! The jam can be made in advance and stored in a sealed jar in the fridge until you are ready for it. If you don’t make the jam in advance ensure that it has cooled completely before spreading on the pastry.
You can also make the pastry in advance and either chill it overnight, remove it from the fridge a few minutes before rolling if you do this, or freeze and defrost when needed.
The recipe below makes 8 large sausage rolls, if you would like to make smaller ones simply cut the pastry into 16 pieces instead of 8. Alternatively you can assemble 8 and cut them in half using a sharp knife.
If you need to reheat them simply pop into an oven set to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes to ensure they are warmed through.
Bacon Jam Sausage Rolls
For the pastry
225g plain flour
200g unsalted butter, straight from the fridge & cut into cubes
150ml cold water
You will also need:
200g bacon jam
1lb sausage meat, divided into 8 equal logs
1 egg, beaten
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and toss through so that it is coated in the flour. Add the cold water and mix through with a knife (not a sharp one, I don’t want any lost fingers) until the dough comes together, if you feel the dough is too dry add a little water at a time until you have a consistency you are happy with. You want to retain some nice pieces of butter so don’t break it down too much, it will give a lovely marbled effect later on & makes for a seriously rich and buttery pastry.
Tip the pastry out onto a floured work surface, dust the top with flour and gently pat into a rectangle. Using a floured rolling-pin roll the pastry in one direction only, you are aiming to roll it into a long rectangle but not to increase the width in proportion too. Now fold one-third of the pastry in on itself, and then fold the remaining third over this. Repeat the rolling and folding step 4 times. Really the pastry should chill in the fridge for a few minutes in between each roll but I would forget it and the pastry would never get made so I find doing all of the rolling and folding in one go works fine. Wrap the pastry in some cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
If you haven’t made your bacon jam in advance do that now.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper. The pastry is very buttery and there is some moisture in the jam so if you don’t use a lipped sheet you will have a puddle at the bottom of your oven.
Place the pastry onto a floured work surface and dust the top with flour. Roll out to a rectangle roughly 32cm x 28cm in size, now I mean roughly, don’t go stressing with rulers. Cut the pastry in half lengthways. Now cut it in half widthways, and cut each of these in half widthways too. You should now have 8 rectangles of pastry.
Spread 2tsp. of bacon jam on each piece of pastry making sure to leave 1cm free at 1 of the short edges. Brush the free edge of each pastry rectangle with some beaten egg.
Place the sausage log on the opposite edge of the pastry and roll up sealing with the egg washed edge, place seal side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each roll with the beaten egg.
Slash the top of each roll 4 times with a sharp knife. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool just enough that they won’t burn your tongue when you tuck in. Enjoy!