Happy Australia Day! This time last year I was in Australia to celebrate. There is nothing quite like being in downtown Sydney, near the Rocks, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House to celebrate. For those unfamiliar with this day, Australia Day is celebrated on January 26 each year to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788.
I wanted to make something that I miss from Australia. I considered so many recipes before deciding upon sausage rolls. Growing up it wasn't a birthday party without toffees, sausage rolls, butterfly cakes, and fairy bread. When I visit Australia I have a checklist of foods that I must eat while I am there - meat pies, custard tarts, Cherry Ripes, lamingtons, Nice biscuits, tinned coffee and milk, and sausage rolls. It is funny the things you miss when you move away to another country.
Sausage rolls are basically sausage mince wrapped with puff pastry. Of course you can't buy sausage mince here, so I had to find an alternative. I found that the tube of regular Jimmy Dean sausage works well but you could also purchase regular sausages and remove the casings. I also use a product from Australia called Mixed Herbs to flavor the sausage. My container describes it as "a traditional herb blend to use in stuffing, meatloaf, savory scones, breads, and muffins". It also states that it is a mix of dried thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, oregano, and sage. You could easily make your own mixture by combining these dried herbs in a jar. I would suggest that the main herbs are sage and rosemary, at least that is what I smell predominately when I open the jar, and then undertones of the rest of the herbs.
Once again I had a battle with the puff pastry just like I did for the Spiced Apple Tarts. Trader Joe's could you just open here already so that I can buy flat puff pastry sheets? The rest of the prep is a breeze. Rather than waste a pastry bag I just put the filling into a Ziploc bag and cut off part of the corner. Remember to cut it small because you can always cut a larger hole if needed, but you can't make it smaller. Can you tell who had to transfer her filling to another Ziploc when she cut the hole too big?
Whilst these bake the house smells just wonderful. That mix of pastry and herbs is somewhat intoxicating. They are best eaten warm out of the oven but they do re-heat quite well too. We eat ours with ketchup, or tomato sauce as you would say in Australia.
So, if you were to move to another country, what food would you miss the most?
Sausage Rolls(Printer Friendly Recipe)
- 1lb Jimmy Dean sausage
- 1 large onion, peeled and grated
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 4 thick slices white bread
- warm water
- 2 packages Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (4 sheets total)
- 1 egg-yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Put sausage, onion, mixed herbs, salt and pepper into bowl.
- Cut crusts from bread, put bread, in separate bowl. Pour over enough warm water to cover, let bread stand 5 minutes. Drain off water, squeeze bread gently to extract water.
- Add bread to sausage mince mixture; mix well. (Bread absorbs any excess fat in the sausage mince and helps to prevent meat shrinking inside pastry when cooking.)
- With pastry at room temperature, lay out sheets on a cutting board.
- Place meat mixture into large piping bag that does not have piping nozzle attached (or use a Ziploc with the corner cut off like I did).
- Pipe meat along edge of pastry.
- Turn edge of pastry over filling, then roll so that filling is completely enclosed in pastry.
- Repeat with remaining filling and pastry.
- With back of knife, flatten rolls slightly at 1cm intervals.
- Brush rolls with combined cold water and egg-yolk.
- Cut rolls into 3-inch pieces. Use first roll as guide for size of remaining rolls.
- Put rolls on a cookie sheet that has been covered with baking paper or a Silpat, side by side, just lightly touching.
- Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F, cook further 15 minutes.