Sausage Rolls with Sage and Onion

Christmas for me is a time to forget all about fiddly canapés. My resounding answer as to what to serve with Christmas drinks or offer to unexpected callers is to do what my mother and grandmother did, and that is to hand round a plate of warm, bite-sized sausage rolls warmed in the oven. To make these easier, I've opted for using bought fresh ready-rolled puff pastry. The recipe below makes 24 but, personally, I will be making double as I also like to have some frozen uncooked. If they don't get used over Christmas, they will certainly be useful some time in the New Year. If you're not making double the quantity you can freeze the rest of the pack of pastry or make some more Party Cheese Twists below.

Makes 24

Sausage Rolls with Sage and Onion
 14 oz (400 g) good-quality pork sausagemeat or sausages
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
 1 small onion, very finely chopped
 ½ x 375 g pack fresh ready-rolled puff pastry
 plain flour, for dusting
 1 egg, beaten
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need a large baking sheet, lightly greased.


As we are using ready-rolled puff pastry, one important thing to remember is it won't be rolled thinly enough for this recipe. So, on a well-floured surface, using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out to an oblong measuring 10 x 12 inches (25.5 x 30 cm), then cut the pastry lengthways into 2 oblongs, 5 x 12 inches (13 x 30 cm).

Now combine the sausagemeat, sage and onion with a really good seasoning of salt and pepper (if you’re using sausages, just slit the skins lengthways and peel them off).

Next, place the sausagemeat mixture on a separate surface or board, divide it into 2, then, using your hands, simply roll out each half into a long sausage shape the same length as the pastry strips (just keep going, it will eventually roll out).

Now place the sausagemeat rolls on to the pastry strips, dampen one long edge of each strip with some of the beaten egg (using a pastry brush), then roll them up.

Seal the edges well and turn the rolls over so the sealed seam is underneath. Next, use a very sharp knife to cut the sausage rolls into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths, and then a pair of scissors to make 2 snips in the top of each little roll (to allow the steam to escape).

Now brush each one with beaten egg, then line them up on the baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and, when cold, store them between layers of baking parchment in freezer containers.

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