Thursday, 3 January 2013

Sausage rolls

My friend Gill is the bravest person I know.  The last couple of years have been big for her.  She changed careers, bought her first house and taught herself to surf.  Not in that order.  The surfing came first.  In the beginning, she told me, her main motivation was the sausage roll she’d reward herself with after being pummelled by the cruel, cold waves of the Victorian coastline.  And while I don’t necessarily understand the compulsion to paddle out into shark-infested waters, or wear a figure-hugging wetsuit, the sausage roll... that, I understand. 

The sausage roll is a permanent fixture of the beachside takeaway in Australia.  They’re not the prettiest food, it must be said.  Ugly, stubby, and usually sweaty from their heated display case, they’re dull brown on the outside and kind of grey within.  The addition of tomato sauce doesn’t so much as liven up the look as suggest some kind of massacre.  But none of this matters because when you’ve been in the water and you come out and you crave something hot and salty that’s going to fill you up and make you happy, this is what you go for.  This is what makes sense.  My homemade version isn’t fancy – all the ingredients you can easily get at the local supermarket – but something made by hand instead being mass-produced can’t help turn out a tad more refined, taste a tad more like well, actual food, than straight sustenance.  Don’t hold that against them.  If you close your eyes you can pretend you’re eating it straight out of a grease-soaked paper bag, with pruney fingers and sand between your toes.
Gill got the keys to her house just before Christmas.  It’s teeny, and an hour and a half from the city she lives and works in, but it’s all hers and best of all it’s minutes from the beach.  I can’t wait to go visit and make her some sausage rolls.  She deserves them.

Sausage rolls
This recipe comes from another good friend (and great cook), Joanna White, who knows a thing or two about feeding a crowd. 

I like to serve these with Parsi Tomato Chutney.  But if you’re a traditionalist, by all means squeeze on some store-bought tomato sauce. If you can't find chevups easily - I'm sure it would work just fine to use all beef mince, or else substitute the chevups with regular sausages by removing their casing.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium brown onion, grated coarsely
2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
400g premium beef mince (ground beef)
250g chevups (low-fat skinless sausages)
1 medium carrot, grated finely
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
2 sheets ready rolled reduced fat puff pastry 
1 egg, beaten slightly

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.
  2. Heat oil in a small pan, cook onion til soft.
  3. Dip bread quickly into a small bowl of cold water, squeeze hard, discard water.
  4. Place onion and bread in a large bowl with mince, sausage, carrot, paste and parsley, season with salt and pepper. Mix well until combined.
  5. Cut pastry sheets in half lengthways.  Divide mince mix into quarters.  Spoon each quarter of mix along the centre of each pastry piece.  Turn one long side of pastry over mince mix.  Brush pastry flap with a little of the egg.  Turn over other long side of pastry to enclose mince mix.
  6. Cut each roll in half.  Place rolls, seam-side down on tray; brush with egg.  Bake rolls for about 25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
  7. Stand sausage rolls 5 minutes before serving. 


  1. Sounds delicious. Some of your friends are asking themselves why THEY have never had these cooked before when they pop in from out of state...

  2. Yum!!!! We are all enjoying these right now. Thanks Alice, you're the bestest!!!
    p.s Who is sam?