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Sausage rolls

Sausage rolls recipes

According to a recent BBC programme, sausage rolls are our fifth most popular party food. I can see why, my perfect sausage roll is small (2 or 3 bites), made with flaky pastry, good sausage meat and very, very hot.

Greggs Plc probably know more than most about sausage rolls - they sell them through 1,200 outlets to 5 million customers per week. In 2002 they sold �120 million worth. Its not all good news - the typical Greggs sausage roll contains a whooping 240 calories but they are working on a new low fat recipe which should have 20% less calories.

The ultimate sausage roll?

Perhaps the ultimate sausage roll is found in the French dish - Saucisse en Brioche a la Lyonnaise. This is a large, cured sausage weighing around 400g which is wrapped in brioche and baked. It is cut into thick slices and served as a starter.

Good sausage meat is vital (if you use doughy sausage meat the delicate nibble can become a hefty doorstopper). Unless you have a reliable butcher, the best way to obtain this is to buy your favourite, meaty sausages and skin them.

Variations on a theme

Sausage rolls need not be made with plain pork sausage meat. You can simply try your favourite sausage varieties (spicy Italian or Pork & tomato are both good) or add to basic sausage meat. Some ideas to try are;

Make cheesy rolls by mixing 75g of hard cheese such as Red Leicester or Cheddar into the pastry, spread your favourite mustard onto the pastry and wrap up as normal or make Mexican rolls by adding finely chopped onion, red pepper and a few pinches of either paprika or chilli powder to basic sausage meat.

450g sausage meat
250g flaky or puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Recipe 1: Traditional sausage rolls


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 6)
Roll the pastry out on a large, floured surface
Aim for an oblong about 40 cm by 30 cm
Cut the oblong into 3 strips (13 cm by 10 cm)
Divide the sausage meat into 3, roll each third into a sausage as long as the pastry (dust the meat with flour if it is sticky)
Place each sausage on the middle of a strip, brush the pastry on one side with beaten egg, fold the other side over and seal
Cut into 5 cm lengths, place on a greased baking tray, take care to ensure that the seal is on the base
Use scissors to make 2 or 3 snips, brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for around 25 minutes or until they are golden
Either serve whilst they are still warm or cool on a tray and store on an airtight container
To reheat, place on a baking tray in a medium oven for 10 minutes

200g self raising flour
100g vegetarian suet
Pinch of salt
Cold water (about 60ml)
250g grated cheese (either a strong Cheddar or a mixture - try Cheddar, Double Gloucester and Cheshire)
100g white breadcrumbs
Bunch of spring onions, peeled and chopped
1 egg
Pinch of mustard powder (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Recipe 2: Vegetarian sausage rolls


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (gas mark 7)
To make the suet pastry take a large bowl and mix the flour, suet and salt
Add cold water (a tablespoon at a time) until you have a pliable dough
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes
Leave the pastry to rest for a few minutes while you make the filling
Combine the cheese, spring onions, breadcrumbs, mustard powder (if using) and egg, season with salt and pepper
Divide the pastry in 2 and roll into oblongs about 40 cm by 10 cm
Make a mound of filling along the middle of each strip
Moisten the pastry on one side with water, fold over the other side and seal carefully
Cut into 5 cm lengths, place on a greased baking tray, taking care to ensure that the seal is on the base
Use scissors to make 2 or 3 snips and bake for around 20 minutes or until they are golden
Eat on the day you cook them