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Sausage Rolls


prasantrin
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The thread on puff pastry, along with Jackal10's pork pie in the pie crust thread, has brought out a craving for sausage rolls. I searched the web for recipes, and settled on this one (which is actually a Delia Smith recipe but her site is down right now, so I can't link to her page directly).

I have them in the oven as I type, but now am curious. I've never worked with puff pastry before, and I think I may have made some grave errors, so allow me to ask a few questions.

Firstly, it's very hot here and as I was forming the rolls, I noticed that my puff pastry (store-bought, Bellamy brand from New Zealand, I think) became very very soft in just a short time. I put the pastry in the freezer for about 5 minutes (with the sausage meat already on it, but not yet rolled) to make it easier to work with, but even then, by the time the rolls got into the oven (a mere 5 minutes, I would guess), it was quite soft, again. Should I have refrigerated the rolls before baking? Or does the temperature of the pastry prior to baking make a difference in the final product?

I forgot to snip the rolls before putting them in the oven. Is that step really necessary? I guess I'll find out shortly, but as a general rule, does one have to vent puff pastry? And if one does, should the slits be deep (down to the meat) or just superficial?

During my search I found that some recipes called for raw sausage meat, but some required cooked meat. Which is preferable? I used a combination of ground pork and beef, both about 80% lean, and put it in raw. I noticed after 10 minutes of baking that there was a pool of grease around each roll, but I don't know if that's from the meat or the puff pastry.

Lastly, if I want to freeze the rolls, is it better to bake and then freeze, or should I freeze and then bake? If the latter, do I defrost and bake or bake from frozen?

Any suggestions for my next attempt?

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Yes wiv puff temp is important. Chill before make and chill before bake best.

Think snip more a presentation issue to make it rise evenly. shouldn't affect taste but will like nicer. slash thru to the meat.

Raw meat should be better. The time is takes for the puff pastry to brown is more than enough time to cook raw meat. Using cooked your just cooking the dead pig twice - not as nice. Rather than sausage meat I prefer to buy posh sausages and disembowel them - pork and apple sausages work very well.

Grease is probably more from the sausage than pastry though probably a bit of both.

Definitely freeze then bake. Bake from frozen as otherwise pastry might go soggy in the defrosting process.

ta

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I would tend to disagree with using raw sausage. The grease that releases from your sausages will soak into your puff pastry. When I make these I use partically cooked sausages that I've let cool before wrapping in pp.

You moisten the seams to bind/seal with h2o or egg wash. You should bake pp from a chilled state (from the cooler), not from room temp. or frozen, both have negative effects on your rise. You do not need to score or preslice your sausages before baking.

If you need to freeze these I'd still precook my sausage, then wrap in pp and freeze at this unbaked stage. When you want to eat them........take them from the freezer into your cooler to defrost/yet remain chilled, then bake straight from the cooler in a hot oven, about 375F to 425F. Not higher or lower then that range.

You can add seasoning to your pp for an extra taste. Egg wash the exterior and dust with sea salt or herbs.........spices, etc... before baking.

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Does everyone use puff paste for sausage rolls? I've always used brioche dough or even a plain bread dough (like for pizza). I also like to add spices or herbs to the dough--my fav is tumeric because it gives a nice color and because I think it does something to provide a thiner crisper crust.

I agree also with Wendy about pre-cooking the sausage meat. I usually poach the sausage (double-wrapped in plastic) and then chill it with the dough before baking. Whenever I've tried raw sausage/filling, the grease made the dough pretty yukky and left gaps.

edited to correct spelling.

Edited by JayBassin (log)
He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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Although for the less health-conscious, using raw meat means the grease runs and gives lovely pork-fat soaked pastry on the bottom (if you cook it nicely hot it goes sort of crispy/deep-fried underneath - yum. :raz::raz::raz:

The other thing I'd note is you don't want the puff pastry to rise TOO much (if possible) - too puffy a top makes it bloody hard to fit it into your mouth without scrunching it too much

ta

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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If you are looking for a traditional British sausage roll then I would use raw sausage to fully satisfy the expat craving they will more closely resemble the ones bought from the bakery than if you pre-cook the meat. I have also found disembowling good sausages makes an excellent sausage roll.

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If you are looking for a traditional British sausage roll then I would use raw sausage to fully satisfy the expat craving they will more closely resemble the ones bought from the bakery than if you pre-cook the meat. I have also found disembowling good sausages makes an excellent  sausage roll.

Yes, thats correct

Come to think of it I can't think of having seen sausage rolls made with whole sausages in the UK

Maybe this is a trans-atlantic variation...

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I swear by Delia Smith's recipe from her Christmas cookbook. She doesn't use puff pastry; her recipe is for a divine flakypastry, achieved by grating frozen butter directly into flour using a box grater.

My mother precooks the meat, I don't because the long rolls of sausage are easier to form using raw sausage, which I usually make myself. The pastry holds up, and I think the rolls are slightly tastier.

I serve them with spicy mustard and-or chutney.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

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1912-2008

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margaretmcarthur.com

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I have to say, my response on this thread was based on my experience. We/Americans used to serve these as appetizers years ago. I didn't even know these were traditional in the UK. ........sorry.

Wendy, sausage rolls are snack food, quick lunch etc they are sold in bakeries hot and cold along with pork pies, and other meat pies and pasties. When full size they are about 4" long. They are similar but different to ones I have had in the states, mostly due to the style of sausage meat. shame I cant send you one to try :cool:

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Sausage rolls...yum! I finally got around to downloading the pictures to my computer, so I thought I'd show y'all what I ended up with.

A tiny bit of background as it's somewhat relevant...I'm a Canadian ex-pat living in Japan. The sausage rolls I know from home are probably closer to British-style sausage rolls. I've never had a US-style sausage roll, though, so I can't compare. In Japan, good sausage meat (even cased) is not readily available, so I had to make my own sausage meat. I used a sausage spice mix (Penzey's breakfast sausage) and added more pepper, and some thyme and finely chopped onions. The sausage part was OK, but needed more pepper (my favourite sausage rolls from Winnipeg are heavily peppered).

My first batch was a bit overdone. I was afraid of uncooked sausage meat, so I cut them a bit on the small side (about 3-4 cm each), and baked them at 210C for 30 minutes. I have a tiny gas convection oven so I usually lower temps and times for baking. But I wanted to make sure the meat was cooked thoroughly (I had defrosted it a couple of days earlier), so I erred on the high side.

gallery_11355_1724_3446.jpggallery_11355_1724_2968.jpg

I liked the browning of the puff pastry, but when I reheat the rolls, it gets too dark. They were great out of the oven, though! As you can see from the inside picture, the sausage meat was rather dry. I think that was in part from the too-high temperature and too-long baking time, but also in part because of the 80% lean ground meats.

But even with the lean ground meats, the pan was pretty soaked with grease.

gallery_11355_1724_10473.jpg

After seeing all this grease, I was worried. So I thought I'd use Wendy's suggestion of partially cooking the sausage the next time I made these. However, the rolls weren't greasy at all. Even upon cooling and reheating, there was no greasy flavour at all. I was quite impressed!

The second batch of sausage rolls turned out a little better.

gallery_11355_1724_8584.jpg

These were formed at the same time as the first batch, but I stuck them in the fridge for a day, then baked them at 190C for 25 minutes. The meat is a little moister (more moist?), and the puff pastry has a little more softness to it. I prefer it that way. The meat is still a little dry, though. They reheat much better than the first batch, though.

I've decided that my favourite part of sausage rolls is the brown/black crust that forms around the edges of the rolls. You know, the juice or whatever that bakes out of the meat, then hardens. It would be equivalent to fond...no? Very very tasty, and I think the sausage meat must be raw in order to achieve this.

I have about 9 pieces left (from 18), so I have breakfast for at least two more days. Lucky me! Thanks for all the suggestions. I've settled on uncooked sausage meat, no snipping, and refrigerating before baking for my next attempt! And if I can ever stop myself from eating them so quickly (or wanting to eat them so quickly), I'll freeze before baking. But they're sooooo good! :biggrin:

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I swear by Delia Smith's recipe from her Christmas cookbook. She doesn't use puff pastry; her recipe is for a divine flakypastry, achieved by grating frozen butter directly into flour using a box grater.

My mother precooks the meat, I don't because the long rolls of sausage are easier to form using raw sausage, which I usually make myself. The pastry holds up, and I think the rolls are slightly tastier.

I serve them with spicy mustard and-or chutney.

Here's a link to Delia's recipe

Christmas sausage rolls

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have about 9 pieces left (from 18), so I have breakfast for at least two more days.  Lucky me!  Thanks for all the suggestions.  I've settled on uncooked sausage meat, no snipping, and refrigerating before baking for my next attempt!  And if I can ever stop myself from eating them so quickly (or wanting to eat them so quickly), I'll freeze before baking.  But they're sooooo good!  :biggrin:

It seems to me like you could parcook the meat, make them in batches and freeze them and then cook them individually in a toaster oven every morning for perfectly fresh sausage rolls.

I don't know if your heart would thank you though :P.

PS: I am a guy.

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Speaking of sausage roll, anyone have a good English sausage (for sausage roll or just to eat plain) recipe? My husband (Brit) always complain that the sausages here (US) aren't the same as the ones at home.

You never know who might respond here on this thread.......... but chances are if you posted this question in our Cooking Forum you'd get more responses and recipes.

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