Sausage Rolls

A perennial favourite, Sausage Rolls are the mainstay of the British garden party, afternoon tea and hot or cold buffet.

They may be made either cocktail-sized, about 1-inch long and j-inch wide, or, more generally, lj- to 2-inches long.

Sausage Rolls may be made with shortcrust pastry, if you find flaky pastry too rich.

1 lb. sausage meat

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 egg, lightly beaten with

1 tablespoon milk

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 oz. vegetable fat

5 TO 6 tablespoons iced water

3 oz. butter

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Divide the vegetable fat in half and add one-half to the flour. With your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With a knife, mix in 5 tablespoons of the water to form a soft dough. If the dough is too dry add the remaining water.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into an oblong.

Divide the butter in half. Cut one-half into small pieces and dot two-thirds of the dough with them. Fold over one-third of the dough and then another third to make a neat, square parcel.

Turn the dough round so that the open ends are facing you and roll out again into an oblong. Dot with pieces of the remaining fat, fold in three, turn the dough and roll out again. Wrap in greaseproof or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining butter, rewrap the dough in the greaseproof or waxed paper and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com-bine the sausage meat, salt, pepper and thyme and beat well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

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

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator and, if it looks streaky, roll and fold it once more.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an oblong |-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough in half lengthways and trim the edges. Discard the trimmings.

Lightly flour your hands, break the sausage meat in half and roll it into sausage shapes the same length as the longer side of the dough.

Lay the sausage shapes along the centres of the dough strips. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, dampen the edges of the dough. Lift one long edge over the sausage meat to meet the other dampened edge. Lightly press them together to seal.

Lift the sausage rolls on to a large baking sheet. Brush the dough with the egg mixture. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into 2-inch lengths and move them slightly apart.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and either transfer the sausage rolls to a heated serving dish and serve immediately, or place them on a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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