Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Seasonal Treat: Customized Sausage Rolls

This is straying a little bit from the 'sausage and bread' concept but hey, it's the holidays.

I don't know about you but I've found it quite difficult to track down a really nice sausage roll when I'm out and about. Usually the sausagemeat filling is cheap, over-salted and lacking in flavour, and the pastry is too greasy or (even worse) is cold and claggy.

So having spent so much time tracking down great sausages to put in sandwiches, I thought I would experiment and try making my own sausage rolls. I say 'make' but really I'm using all ready-made ingredients and simply assembling them and baking. The results are great, though, and if you have the time this is great way of making a tasty, sausage-based snack. They key is to use a good quality sausage and to serve them warm, fresh from the oven.


  • 1 x pack of good sausages. Choose your favourite but avoid varieties that contain fruit (e.g. apple) or a lot of garlic as these can exude a lot of water or be too overpowering, respectively.
  • 1 x pack of ready rolled puff pastry (defrosted if frozen).
  • Jar of tomato relish (or condiment of your choice). I find tomato relish works especially well with the baked pastry.
  • 1 x egg, beaten.


Lay your pastry out on a floured board and cut into long strips about 4 inches wide.

Place the tomato relish (or your own choice of condiment) along the centre of the pastry strip in a narrow line. Be sparing - you don't need a lot.

Seperate your sausages and cut along the casing of each one.

Extract the sausagemeat from the casing and place it on top of the tomato relish or condiment, in the centre of the pastry strip. You will find that most sausages are much to thick for a sausage roll and you will have to pinch the sausagemeat and 'thin it out' until it is roughly half of its original thickness. This means that one sausage link will make a sausage roll that is roughly twice its original length.

Brush beaten egg along one of the inner edges of the pastry strip, and fold the strip over to make a roll, using the beaten egg to seal. Position your rolled pastry so the join is facing down and hidden. Pat the roll gently to seal.

Cut your long roll into bite-sized or longer sections, as you see fit, with a single cut straight down.

Using scissors, make a little V-shaped snip in the top of each sausage roll.

Brush the top and sides of each sausage roll with beaten egg.

Bake at 220 degrees centigrade for roughly 25mins or until the sausagemeat is well cooked and the pasty lightly browned. Take out of the oven and eat whilst warm.

This is really so easy to do and I'm willing to bet they will be the best sausage rolls you've ever tasted!

That's all for 2008. Have a great New Year and see you in 2009 for more Sausage and Bread goodness!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Sausage and Bread Top 5 2008

Hard to believe it's been a year since my last Top 5. I've discovered loads of new places over the last 12 months and the thing that strikes me is how the bar has been raised in terms of easily available, good quality sausage and bread.

Your average greasy spoon cafe might still be selling nasty, 'economy' sausages but there seem to be more and more gourmet outlets springing up and newer sandwich shops tend to make sure they at least have a half decent Cumberland on the menu. Recent bad press about cheap, processed meat products and a general demand for better quality food may be the reasons.

As for the places reviewed in this blog: The Gourmet Hot Dog Company has survived for another year and while it's possible to get a West Virginian hot dog that isn't too shabby, its cooked-on-rollers sausages are a bit uninspiring.

Eat is probably the leading chain outlet with its grilled sausage muffin proving to be reliably tasty. Leon and Benugo's sausage and bread offerings perhaps proved that image isn't everything - both were quite disappointing.

The Diner deserves credit for its attention to detail and faithful reproduction of an American menu. Its chili cheese dog is a must try but the price and stodginess are negatives.

Cafe Soho continues to be a great sandwich shop but unfortunately its been forced out of the Top 5. Not because of any drop in quality, but because new places have muscled their way into the list. I re-visited recently and it still thoroughly deserves a 'Recommended' tag.

The 2008 Sausage and Bread Top 5 for London


Soho is literally being knocked down and rebuilt around it, but Bar Bruno continues to dish out a fantastic toasted pork sausage sandwich, prepared quickly. I was sure Bruno's was going to drop out of the list this year but a re-visit proved me wrong. Long live Bar Bruno.


The chorizo and roasted pepper ciabatta is a favourite. One of the stars of Soho.


On my first visit I thought the Honest Sausage's location was a negative being out of the way and requiring a special effort to get to it. Now I've changed my mind and I've decided the setting in Regent's Park should be seen as a plus not a minus. On a sunny autumn day, what could be better than an organic sausage in fluffy white bun, eaten outside surrounded by squirrels, trees and a wide open park? Welcome to the Top 5, Honest sausage.


I've made multiple repeat visits to Farmer brown since I discovered it earlier this year. They make a sausage sandwich that is actually moreish. The owner has told me they get regulars who come to the cafe just for the fat, juicy Cumberland sausages.

1 - PAUL (salami baguette)

Yes, I'm afraid the long-standing number 1 has retained its spot. It remains the perfect combination of sausage and bread, in my opinion.

Do you know of any other places that serve great sausage sandwiches or hot dogs? Drop me a line with anything sausagey and bready that you'd like to share.

Here's to another year of outstanding sausage and bread!

Dec 2008