Saucisse en Croute

SAUSAGE IN PASTRY

An impressive dish, Saucisse en Croute (soh-sees awn kroot) is authentic French sausage encased in melt-in-the-mouth pastry. Serve hot or cold, cut into thick slices, with a selection of salads.

6 SERVINGS

1 pint water bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 X 2 lb. French pork sausage

1 egg, lightly beaten with

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

PASTRY

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

6 oz. butter

1 egg yolk

2 TO 3 tablespoons iced water

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the water and, with the knife, mix them into the flour mixture. With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the water into a large saucepan and add the bouquet garni. Set the pan over moderately high heat and bring the water to the boil. Using a fork, prick the sausage in several places. Place the sausage in the saucepan, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sausage for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and the sausage from the pan.

Drain the sausage on kitchen paper towels and discard the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the skin from the sausage.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to an oblong large enough to enclose the sausage. Trim the edges of the dough and reserve the trimmings. Place the sausage in the centre of the dough. Dampen the edges of the dough and fold them over to enclose the sausage completely. Using a sharp knife, trim off’ and reserve the excess dough at the corners. Lift the sausage roll and place it, seam side down, on a large baking sheet.

Using a pastry brush, brush the sausage roll with some of the egg mixture. Gather up the trimmings and roll them out to a {-inch thick. With a small decorative pastry cutter or a 1-inch fluted round pastry cutter, cut out as many shapes as possible. Discard the excess dough. Place the shapes, slightly overlapping, on top of the roll and brush them with a little of the egg mixture.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the roll for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, brushing the roll once or twice with the remaining egg mixture. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Transfer the roll to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately, if you are eating it hot.

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