“I do adore food. If I have any vice it’s eating. If I was told I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I could put up with sausage and mash forever.“
~ Colin Baker, The 6th Doctor
New Year’s Eve. Either you love it or you hate it. I think I fall into the camp of “hate it”. I’m not sure why but I don’t particularly like it and I’ve never really gotten the whole “party” atmosphere of the holiday.
That being said, I do have some treasured memories related to the holiday as a child – going outside with the neighbours and banging pots and pans, hearing the fog horns, being beeped by all the taxis and the excitement of movie nights and that illicit feeling you have as a child staying up way past your bedtime and eating lots of fun food. In my family, we have some weird traditions. One is having an egg flip – my dad would line up the glasses with whisked egg and pour on the milk, and every New Year’s Eve, we’d be the first people in Ireland (according to him) to have sausages, grilled, wrapped in bread with brown sauce. Over the years, we’ve graduated from banging pots to going to reflection nights in our local parish, some people going to the pub or a neighbours for a wee party and to replacing the egg flips with Bailey’s or Five Farms and sausages with sausage rolls.
2020 has been a dramatic year to say the least and we all know what the negatives have been. However, there have been positives and I really believe if we concentrate on those it will put us in a happier frame of mind and can help us to find the light in the darkness. Some of the highlights of my year include my new nephew, my sister falling in love and getting married during the pandemic, my new brother-in-law, finding a healthier balance in my life in terms of my food obsession and exercise. I have been incorporating a combination of intermittent fasting with lots of walking and trying (and sometimes failing spectacularly) to make healthier choices everyday. Spending more time with loved ones in person, and via zoom, has become even more important. For me as well, I’ve been on a faith journey that was challenged by the pandemic but not destroyed by it.
Obviously with Covid, many of the parties people would have gone to will possibly be cancelled or, at the very least, much smaller than they would have been. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ring in 2021 or say goodbye to what has been a very trying year. In fact, even I want to celebrate and I intend to with these rather tasty sausage rolls!
Firstly, buy good quality pork or turkey sausages. I used Superquinn sausages, which are topnotch. If you don’t have access to Superquinn sausages (available at Supervalu), please buy from a butcher. Buy unseasoned sausages as you are going to add your own seasoning as per the below. Also, I recommend sausages in casing as it is so satisfying and so much fun pushing the meat out of the casing into the bowl. This would also make it a good activity for young children to be involved in as well as an excellent opportunity in teaching food safety and cleanliness. However, it is a bit “adult” in taste, so younger kids may not enjoy it. My nieces and nephews preferred basic sausages rolls – pork, seasoning and pastry, whereas some friends who were just a little older really liked these.
New Year’s Eve Sausage Rolls
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Superquinn pork sausages (4) or 165g pork sausages in casing OR turkey sausages
- a large Pink Lady apple (cut in half, and about 3/4 of that half)
- Vintage or mature cheddar cheese, about a small matchbox in size – you can use a little more or less depending on your own preferences
- 2-3 tsp red onion chutney/caramelised red onion marmalade
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried sage, plus extra for sprinkling
- milk/butter/whisked egg
- salt, freshly ground or sea salt
- pepper, freshly ground
- Put the oven at 220°C
- Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and it’s box and set aside for around 10 minutes. If you are making a few batches, I’d recommend leaving your pastry for your second batch in the fridge until you are ready so that it doesn’t get sticky.
- Prepare a baking sheet with some greaseproof paper/parchment paper or, even better, use reusable baking paper paper.
- Grate the cheese and the apple into a bowl and mix together.
- Cut the sausage at one end and push the meat through the skin into the bowl.
- Add the chutney, sage and some seasoning and using a fork, mixing well. If it’s not gelling well for you, just add a little more of the chutney or cheese.
- Set the bowl aside, roll out the pastry and cut down the middle, vertically.
- On each piece of pastry, a little off centre, divide the sausage mixture in a the shape of sausage.
- Season again with the sage, salt and pepper. If you forget this stage, it’s okay for the pork but the turkey really needs it.
- Fold the thinner side of the pastry over the filling, brush/spoon a little milk/butter/egg over the pastry and then fold over the other side, covering the filling completely and the seam is at the edge.
- Brush/spoon milk/butter/egg over the pastry and then cut each large piece into 4 smaller pieces and then stab your knife into into the top of each piece and, then, pop in the oven for approximately 18-20 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and using a fish slice remove the sausage rolls from the baking sheet and put on a cooling rack/wire rack until ready serve and/or they are cool enough to eat.
- Enjoy by themselves or with some ketchup or Ballymaloe relish.
I’ve tested the recipe several times with friends and family and both the pork and turkey were delicious.
If, for some reason you’ve forgotten an egg or don’t have time to melt butter, just use some milk. I currently don’t own a pastry brush so I just use a spoon, drizzle some milk onto the pastry and then I use the back of the spoon to spread it.