My mum used to make sausage rolls for Christmas every year. They were absolutely delicious, but I used to think she was crazy when it was so much easier to buy them – especially when there is SO much else to do for Christmas. That opinion persisted for years (despite my conversion to cooking addict) until I was stuck at home one day about a year ago. My partner mentioned a sudden craving for sausage rolls. I realised I had sausages and pastry in the freezer and decided to try making some from scratch.
The joy of this recipe is that it’s so flexible but with such delicious results. The first time I made it, the sausages I had were literally THE cheapest of cheap sausages you can get from the supermarket. I had no fresh herbs (more on that in a minute) and the apple was, quite frankly, a spur of the moment addition during a recipe refining session – feel free to leave it out and they will still be delicious!
Despite all these differences to how I had originally imagined making them, I decided to go ahead anyway and they still turned out really, really good – and they were eaten far quicker than they should have been.
Just a quick return to the subject of herbs – fresh vs dried. I would always advocate the use of fresh herbs in cooking if you can (and I’ll be the first to admit that a few years ago I would have rolled my eyes at that and said “Yeah yeah, whatever”).
The flavour difference is incredible – not because dried herbs lack flavour but because the freshness and vibrancy that a few basil leaves, for example, will give to a pasta compared to the dried equivalent is incredible! You can get living herb plants or small packets of fresh herbs in most, if not all, of the supermarkets now. I buy the little packets now and I store them in the fridge in a freezer bag, between 2 double layers of kitchen roll – they keep for quite a while. Just check the kitchen roll occasionally and change it when it’s getting damp.
Having said all of that, I have to add a “however”….. I know it’s not always possible to have every herb fresh in the house all the time. The supermarkets run out, the herbs themselves don’t keep forever and the available selection very much depends on the season and time of year. So while, as I’ve said, I do prefer fresh herbs, you will find dried herbs in my recipes on occasion!
As it happens we asked Santa for some pots to start growing our own herbs in for Christmas. We had been good last year (it seems) so he obliged. I haven’t got round to setting them up just yet but it’s on the to-do list for next week when my seeds arrive – which I’m pretty excited about. I’ll try and remember to let you know how that goes! If you fancy giving that a go yourself it doesn’t seem to cost a lot to get up and running. As I said, the pots were a gift but we bought a kit of mixed seed for pretty cheap. The exact one I bought seems to not be available anymore but if you click here you can see something very similar. Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now and get back these sausage rolls….
So if you’ve ever thought “Why make something at home that I can buy so easily and cheap?” then please do give these a try. They are so much better than shop bought ones and they are cheaper to make. Also, although there’s not masses of effort involved (except a bit of work with the pastry) they seem like something you’ve been slaving over a hot oven for hours making so you can claim lots of brownie points from the hubby or family!
Please do tell me what you think. I tried them with caramelised red onions but we thought that with that and the apple together they came out a little too sweet. I’ve tested them with multiple brands and types of sausages and pastry – the only thing I’ve not done as yet is to test them with veggie sausages. So if you get to give that a try before me or even if you make the meaty ones or make a change that works, please do let me know in the comments or by dropping me a line via the Contact Me section. DDxPrint