Savory Sausage Rolls
by Robin Hutson
Any sausage roll is a good thing, but these are a very good thing indeed. Savory is a really old herb that was used in cooking centuries ago. We wanted to recreate a sausage roll that you might have unearthed in an ancient English recipe in some dusty old book somewhere. And we’ve used plenty of savory to bring that nice herby taste to the fore. These are great for picnics or packed lunches, eaten hot or cold.
2 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a good pinch of chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped savory (or thyme)
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
a good pinch of pepper
800g (1lb 12oz) sausage meat
2 x 320g (11 1/2oz) packs ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
Over the years we’ve found that baking two larger rolls and cutting them down into smaller sections after cooking is the best method, because it means you don’t get any obvious shrinkage of the meat in your roll.
In a pan, sweat down the shallots and garlic with a little oil. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes on a low heat. Chill the shallot mixture, then add to the sausage meat and mix well.
Cook a small patty of the meat to check the seasoning, and adjust if needed. Once you’re happy, put the meat in disposable piping bags.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6 and line a lipped baking tray with baking parchment.
On a lightly floured work surface, lay out the 2 sheets of pastry. Brush egg-wash all over the pastry and pipe the meat onto each sheet, 5cm (2 inches) in from the rim. Pipe 2.5cm (1 inch) longer than the pastry to allow for shrinkage.
Gently fold the pastry over the sausage meat to form two rolls, then press the edges together using the back of a fork.
Brush the surface of the pastry with egg-wash again, sprinkle with the fennel seeds and place on the prepared tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat, turning the rolls over halfway through cooking. Before serving, cut each roll into 6–8 pieces – perfect for a filling lunch.