Sometimes you can’t beat eating a sausage roll. They evoke good memories of the past. For me those memories include having mini sausage rolls at every birthday party you went to as a child. Then at uni, it was my first time seeing a Greggs bakers – we had one on campus and it was a Friday post lecture lunch, of a Greggs sausage roll and a vanilla danish pastry. Not healthy, but it was a great tradition one of my friends and I had for our first year after the one lecture of the day.
N also likes sausage rolls – although nowadays it’s more likely to be a posher sausage version from the bakery or going to the butchers. School serve a sausage plait sometimes for school lunches, and when I spotted some sausagemeat when I was doing a check of the freezer contents, I decided I’d try making one.
If you don’t have sausagemeat, you can just use sausages and remove the meat from the skin. This also means you might not have to season the meat like you would if you just bought pork sausagemeat.
When I came to make the sausage plait, I couldn’t find the sausagemeat (our large chest freezer is really full, it’s not just me not looking properly!). So I ended up using about 8 sausages. If we don’t have any homemade ones from my mother in law, I usually buy them from a local butcher, or opt for the good quality British ones from the supermarket. But use whatever sausagemeat you have.
I don’t make my own pastry – I like fast recipes and I can’t be bothered when I can buy decent reliable pastry from the shops. I always have some either in the fridge or freezer. I mostly buy the lighter version, but whichever puff pastry you want.
One pack of the ready rolled is fine, but if you’re making it for more or less people, just reduce the recipe amounts or increase as needed. Ours would have served 4 normal size portions with sides of veg or baked beans and potatoes. If you’re cutting it up for a picnic, you might get 6 slices out of it. With only N and his dad eating it, we had 1 portion left the next day and it got demolished, tasting just as good as on day 1 when warm.
You can eat the plait straight out of the oven, or leave it to cool, then slice up to have with salad or as a snack.
If your sausagemeat is plain pork, then feel free to add whatever seasoning you want. Add a bit of smoked paprika for a bit of smokiness, you could even spread a layer of BBQ sauce or redcurrant jelly over the sausage before rolling the pastry over. Or just salt, pepper, and maybe some cooked off onions or leeks. (or onion granules if you want to be a bit lazier). Of course, using sausages out of their casings, you have the seasoning already – depending on the recipe of the sausages.
With the pastry, you can just roll the pastry over to make a plain sausage roll. Just crimp with a fork where the join is to make sure it stays shut. Or make cuts as I did, then fold one from each side in turn to create the plait shape. A little beaten egg or a milk brushed over the top will help finish it off nicely while baking.
Because you’re cooking the sausagemeat covered, it might still look a little pink. Just keep it in the oven for a little longer, covering loosely with foil to avoid the pastry burning. But if it’s cooked enough to be hot in the middle, and has been in for 35-40 minutes it should be cooked through. I did see some recipes suggesting cooking the sausagement before putting it in the pastry which you could try. I think you’d probably want to mix it with a bit of sauce if you’re doing this to keep it moist because you need to cook it long enough for the pastry to be cooked.
All I can say is that this was probably the best received dish I’ve made in a long time. Not only N raved about it for days, but the OH even said it was good.
Why is my sausage plait leaking?
If you use really good quality sausages or sausage meat, you might find your sausage plait leaks a lot of fat as it’s cooking. I’ve had this a couple of times as I use high % meat sausages with very little filler in. If you’re using cheaper sausages you shouldn’t find this an issue. You can solve this by mixing the sausage meat with some breadcrumbs to help soak up the fat, plus some herbs. Or like I did one time, just tip out the fat, and keep cooking it on high – the pastry will still cook once you’ve got rid of the fat. But breadcrumbs should solve it without any faff.
Homemade sausage plait
Rustic sausage roll made into a pastry plait. Add your own choice of flavours to the sausagemeat.
- 1 pack pork sausagemeat Or replace with sausagemeat from 8 sausages, casings removed
- 1 pack puff pastry chilled or frozen (defrosted overnight, removed from fridge 30 mins before use)
- herbs or seasoning if using sausagemeat, e.g sage, spring onion
- 1 egg optional
Preheat oven to 180C or to the pastry instructions.
Roll out pastry or lay out on a large baking tray. I cook mine on the paper the pastry comes wrapped in, or use greaseproof paper
If using sausages, remove from their casings and season with pepper, and whatever herbs you want. I use sage and chopped spring onion. Mix in, then shape into one long sausage shape. Put in the centre of your pastry
Cut diagonally out from the sausagement each side of the pastry. From the top, put the cut strips over the sausagemeat. Left then right, until you reach the bottom
Cook in the oven for around 35 minutes until the pastry is cooked and sausagemeat is cooked through. If you want to cook a bit longer, cover loosely with foil for the extra time to stop it burning.
Serve hot with chips and beans or salad. Or cold, sliced as a snack.
Let me know if you make this sausage plait recipe. How would you make it your own?
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