Christmas Sausage Rolls

chilli pastry sausage rolls and brussel sprouts

It must be Christmas as here I am making sausage rolls; normally only ever made in this house by the Pastry King and only ever in the week before Christmas. The Pastry King loves Brussel Sprouts and Brown Sauce and simply adores sausage rolls, and mince pies, in fact he adores anything with pastry on it, round it or under it. 

‘Is this not part of the joy of getting together with other people? Finding out what they like to eat, what their grandmothers cooked, and how to touch their hearts and their memories?’

…she asked rhetorically.  It certainly makes you put on weight if you live with a Pastry King.

I have learnt to embrace custard and sausage rolls, lust after Cornish Pasties and other pastry delights since I have been hanging out with the Pastry King and gradually, tentatively, I have come to realise it isn’t really that hard to make at least at this level. But what is hard, for those not brought up to it, and having not put in the requisite 10,000 Malcolm Gladwell hours of practice, is rolling the blinking stuff out neatly and tidily. The bread woman has been very grumpy on many occasions as once again her pastry goes all wavy round the edges and the butter squidges out and sticks to the worktop.

I also worry about the huge load of fat in this stuff, I can’t help it. I just worry….

But I am resolved to continue skipping Pollyanna like through Short & Sweet and as it’s this week’s short and tweet challenge I am dealing with my poor performance to date in rolling out pastry in neat shapes. I humbly asked for guidance from the PK, who was quite pleased with my efforts, judging by the speed with which he consumed the results.   I think I need a bigger rolling-pin please Santa.

We have put half of this batch in the freezer for a later date and stuffed the rest down with some Brussel sprouts and refried potatoes for supper tonight. And brown sauce, and tomato sauce; so English, ever so slightly not my thing (ahem) but life is a compromise and sausage rolls once a year can be accommodated.

The pastry was delicious, buttery (yes, there’s a surprise!)  with a quick smack to the chops of chilli and paprika. A winner there again Dan!

As always I don’t mind putting the pastry together and the folding and chilling part, but I start to get stressed round about the rolling bit. Today I managed better than usual, used a tape measure (don’t laugh) and rested when the dough started springing back.

I do think it is a lot of work and a lot of fiddling about, actually making the rolls up and cutting them and marking the tops and so on, but you know what –  once in a while, if you ignore the butter content,  they are simply fabulous !

Hot Chilli Sausage Rolls from Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard. The only batch that will be made this year, so I am pleased they were so delectable!

Evidence Matters has written a wonderful round up post here:

#shortandtweet Sausage Roll compilation: “includes not only this post but those from other bakers who overcame their pastry-related apprehensions, embraced the butter content as a necessary part of the learning experience and discovered just how delicious home-made sausage rolls can be.”

31 thoughts on “Christmas Sausage Rolls

  1. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Ah, you see I completely understand where the Pastry King is coming from. Pastry is good, pastry is wonderful, pastry can make an average dish turn into something rather spectacular…. (just quietly if I was wrapped in pastry when I died, it could be quite the way to go.)
    As for your pastry, looks superb!!! There is no way I’m going to attempt a puff pastry over the next 20 years. Just the thought of it brings the blood pressure up.
    I had a delicious pumpkin and fetta sausage roll (without the sausage) yesterday, which I’m determined to try and copy.

    1. Joanna Post author

      This is an easy version of the full blown puff pastry in that you mix the butter cubes into the dough from the start and then start the rolling and folding business. It isn’t that difficult providing you follow the method faithfully, use cold butter and keep chilling it as you go. Pumpkin and fetta sounds yum though. These had Cumberland sausage (or what passes it for down here, not the same as what you get in Cockermouth) extra chopped onion and parsley. I think a pastry sarcophagus is a mind blowing vision of extravagance but if it’s what you want….. ;)

  2. teawithhazel

    i want that two..they look so good..i’m with the pastry king on pastry and it’s delectableness..but like you joanna i worry about the fat so i only make them for special occasions..and i can feel one coming up this week..:)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I don’t think so, he is much better at making pastry than me to this day. To me it’s a special event, to the PK, he just has the pastry knack, it was that Grandmother of his. I didn’t have one that made pastry. I had one that made chicken soup and was a doctor and the other one had a cook and never lifted a finger in the kitchen.

  3. C

    They look amazing. I’m very impressed by your pastry prowess. I ran out of time and motivation to make this weeks challenge. I don’t/can’t even make normal shortcrust so this was a step too far – for now. I will attempt it at some point, remembering how delicious yours looks!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi C, I surprised myself by getting this done today, I started early, in my pyjamas and then left it in the fridge till this evening when I did the making and baking. Your pastry time will come one day, it has taken me years to even think about doing it. :)

  4. ninopane

    Yours look delicious and we also had ours to tea where duly scoffed by the family especially my youngest. The quantity of butter was a concern, but then again home made puff pastry isn’t a regular thing.

    Merry Christmas


    1. Joanna Post author

      Happy Christmas to you to Tony, hope you have a lovely and peaceful break. I suppose the sensible thing is to say to oneself,well at least the fat isn’t hidden, like it is in so many ready made foods and you know what it is, so you can quantify how much is in each little juicy, succulent, crispy mouthful of sausage roll and promise to eat brown rice and steamed broccoli for the next two meals ;)

      PS I have edited your details so that clicking on your name above should go to your lovely blog :)

  5. ceciliag

    Oh Pollyanna darling. love your sausage rolls, in fact i have (and this is weird) been thinking of sausage rolls lately.. excellent timing..c

    1. Joanna Post author

      Why thank you Missy Celi ! You would be most welcome to partake in the wholesome and healthy goodness of my sausage rolls anytime – party time :)

  6. hotlyspiced

    Yum, yum, yum! These would be so good to eat on Christmas Eve while sipping champagne and watching the Carols while wrapping presents.

  7. When Harry Met Celery

    Hey girl, yet another baking wonder. You never fail to impress me Joanna. I love how you work with new ingredients all the time. Good work there. The colour of the bake has come out so fine, as usual!

  8. heidi

    oh I love Brian’s sausage rolls!
    I would like to make them- but I need an extra week or two to do all I want to do.
    These are very special, though I may have to squeeze these into the list!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I can’t imagine getting through all the baking things that my eyes have been eating in the blogosphere lately. Fortunately sausage rolls can be made any time of year :)

  9. thelittleloaf

    Life’s too short to worry about butter content. As long as you enjoy in moderation it’s all good! These sausage rolls look divine – I often put paprika in with the sausage meat, but love the idea of putting it into your pastry. Give me a plate of your sausage rolls and a little pile of brussels sprouts and I’d be a happy girl :-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think it’s the way the butter is so visible right up until the time you finish making them… When you make a cake the butter usually ‘vanishes’ from view fairly early on in the process, folding and rolling and watching the layering taking place, makes me really notice it. I didn’t even mention all the fat in the sausage meat filling, which I didn’t make myself. It’s one super charged goodie all right :)

  10. Evidence Matters (@EvidenceMatters)

    #shortandtweet Sausage Roll compilation: includes not only this post but those from other bakers who overcame their pastry-related apprehensions, embraced the butter content as a necessary part of the learning experience and discovered just how delicious home-made sausage rolls can be. (I have to confess that I typically have a puritanical approach to pastry, considering it a vast amount of calories for very little gain in taste or texture. While that is true of far too much commercial pastry, it’s less true of home-made – particularly for those who actually need the additional calories.)

    I couldn’t find my standard sized rolling pin and was reduced to working on this pastry with a chapati pin which possibly added a completely unnecessary layer of complexity. As ever, I’m in awe of the quality of your photographs and tidiness of your working.

    I intend to make this recipe again with a filling of crushed chickpeas, grilled red peppers and maybe some semi-dried tomato and herbs. Although the recipe will then be stolidly carbohydrate, I think that the chickpeas would benefit from any spicy butter that leaks out from the pastry into this filling (I may be very wrong).

    1. Joanna Post author

      ‘ Morning Evidence Matters ! There isn’t much talk about the people who need additional calories is there? But for people who are off their food or having difficulty with appetite issues due to illness homemade pastry is probably just the thing. I always think of pastry as something designed to ‘make the meat go further’ and as a container, rather than in its own right, so flavouring it this way and attempting to work it was quite revelatory to me. I tried once making the pastry for ‘pasteis de nata’ which must be a variety of puff, except you then cut it into little circles and spread them out with your thumb inside the tray, it was sort of successful and I always mean to go back and try again…

      Thank you so much for the compilation ! I do find it quite motivating, knowing that other people are baking away at the same recipe. I am going to edit the post and put a link in to it as I think everyone would like to see what the others got up to. I like the sound of that chickpea and red pepper filling you are planning too :)

  11. timethief

    Okay this recipe is now on my husband’s list for sure. We both like sausage rolls but have never tried making them before.

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s a good one to have on the list and fantastic if you can get someone else to make them for you too :D

  12. Gregoire

    That’s absolutely my kind of “junk food” ;) Love it and love to see home made pastry like that!!
    Good health and all the best for the coming year! :)

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