The first time I encountered the term sausage roll was during the time I was reading Enid Blyton’s The Twins at St. Clare’s back when I was in fifth grade. In one scene, one of the students managed to sneak her puppy into the dining hall. Along with one of her classmates, the girl managed to demolish a whole platter of sausage rolls – by feeding them to her dog!
As the years passed, I learned that sausage rolls are certainly a treat fit for both men and beasts. The first variants thereof involved cocktail franks wrapped in brioche dough. As I grew older, though, I became smitten with the kind made with bulk sausage meat – a variation that was particularly excellent when made with proper sausage meat wrapped in the sort of puff pastry that bakes to a golden brown crisp.
Quite recently, I was able to get a packet of frozen puff pastry at my favorite supermarket and meant to use it for something along the lines of a proper steak and onion pie. However, said pie turned out somewhat disastrously (though, in fairness, it did taste good), so my move to use just a bit of the pastry for it was a good move.
The remaining pastry finally came into good use this morning when a bit of inspiration prompted me to stuff it with mashed up Vienna sausages for a different sort of breakfast. I am pleased to say that, unlike the pie, this particular dish came out quite well. What I got was a delectably moist, savory interior surrounded by a crisp, golden crust on the outside and tender pastry within.
I am pretty sure that sausage roll purists out there will tell me off for using mashed Viennas for filling when bulk sausage meat (Italian sausage is best, though English banger-type sausages are more authentic) would be so much better. However, I didn’t have any bulk sausage in the freezer at the time, so one simply has to make do with what’s on hand. Fortunately, the end result was quite tasty.
Slapdash Sausage Roll
- 400 grams frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 can Vienna sausage
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 tablespoon water
- rice flour for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4. In a bowl, mash the Vienna sausages. Add the chopped onion and egg yolk. Mix well and set aside.
Dust a clean, flat work surface and a rolling pin with the rice flour. Roll the puff pastry out into a relatively even (or not) rectangle. Working on the long side and leaving a small flap, spoon the sausage mixture into a log. Fold the pastry flap over the sausage mixture and roll away from you, tucking in the sides.
Place the log on a non-stick cookie sheet or baking tray, seam-side down. Slash a few vents on top of the roll to let the steam escape. Put the tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes till the surface is golden brown and crisp.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 – 5 minutes before slicing on the bias.
Serves 6 to 12 people depending on how thickly or thinly you’ve sliced the roll. 😉
May I also add that even a sausage roll as slapdash as this one is an excellent thing to pack into one’s lunch box (or tuck box) along with a bag of potato chips and a bottle of lemonade for a light yet satisfying meal on the go.