Delia

Sausage Rolls

Made with a melting quick flaky pastry, these are one of our major treats at Christmas. They can be prepared well in advance, frozen uncooked and then defrosted and baked from the freezer on Christmas Eve or whenever you need them.


Makes about 24

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Christmas.

Sausage Rolls
Ingredients
For the quick flaky pastry:
 6 oz (175 g) butter
 8 oz (225 g) plain flour
 pinch salt
For the filling:
 1 lb (450 g) good-quality pork sausagemeat
 1 medium onion, peeled and grated
 2 level teaspoons chopped fresh sage
 1 egg, beaten
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
Equipment
You will also need 2 baking sheets, lightly greased.

Method

The butter needs to be rock-hard from the refrigerator, so weigh out the required amount, wrap it in a piece of foil, then return it to the freezing compartment for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. When you take the butter out of the freezer, open it up and use some of the foil to hold the end with.

Then dip the butter in the flour and grate it on a coarse grater placed in the bowl over the flour. Keep dipping the butter down into the flour to make it easier to grate. At the end you will be left with a pile of grated butter in the middle of the flour, so take a palette knife and start to distribute it into the flour (don't use your hands), trying to coat all the pieces of fat with flour until the mixture is crumbly.

Next add enough cold water to form a dough that leaves the bowl clean, using your hands to bring it all gently together. Put the dough into a polythene bag and chill it for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. When you're ready to make the sausage rolls mix the sausagemeat, onion and sage together in a mixing bowl. Then roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form an oblong (as thin as you can). Cut this oblong into three strips and divide the sausagemeat also into three, making three long rolls the same length as the strips of pastry (if it's sticky sprinkle on some flour).

Place one roll of sausagemeat on to one strip of pastry. Brush the beaten egg along one edge, then fold the pastry over and seal it as carefully as possible. Lift the whole thing up and turn it so the sealed edge is underneath. Press lightly, and cut into individual rolls each about 2 inches (5 cm) long. Snip three V-shapes in the top of each roll with scissors and brush with beaten egg.

Repeat all this with the other portions of meat and pastry.If you are going to cook straightaway, place the rolls on baking sheets and bake high in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want to cook them later, store them uncooked in a freezer box and freeze until needed. Although you can store the cooked and cooled sausage rolls in an airtight tin, they do lose their crunchiness. For this reason I think it is preferable to remove a few at a time from the freezer and cook them as required.

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