Whisking It



January 2013

Italian sausage rolls with a roasted crimson pear salad

Written by , Posted in Mains

Yesterday I was reading Spoon Fork Bacon and they had a post on Australian sausage rolls and it just looked sooo delicious I had to try something similar. Since I don’t eat lamb, I made an “Italian” beef version. The winner with last night’s recipe however was the roasted crimson pear salad I made to accompany it, I had crimson pears in the fridge and I wanted to put them to good use before they got too ripe, and it worked out great!

The sausage:

500gr lean mince
3 semi-stale slices bread (to make your own bread crumbs)
2 tsp basil
1.5 tsp oregano
0.5 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs – slightly beaten
40 grams grated parmesan (I used the cheaper ready grated parmesan for this part because my real parmigiano is just too precious to me)
salt & pepper

The salad:

pears (I used 2 crimson pears)
a mix of leafy salad (mine had rocket, baby spinach and watercress)
shaved parmesan (this time I used the authentic stuff)
olive oil
lemon juice

What to do:

You also need some puff pastry and an extra egg for brushing – home made or store bought is fine.
Side note: speaking of puff pastry, I found a great step by step recipe which looks fantastic and I am going to try it this weekend, so look out for that.

First off thaw your pastry. I always forget this part and end up having to wait an hour after I am done with everything till the pastry is ready. So get it out and put it somewhere warm-ish to defrost. Microwaving puff pastry to defrost can work but it seems to make it puff up less when you do it that way.

Combine your mince ingredients – eggs last, and put in the fridge to “set”. I don’t think its super necessary to do this part but I find it easier to work with the mince when it is colder.

Next, slice up your pears – de-coring them and all – and coat them in olive oil & lemon juice. Fry them up (preferably in a grill pan so you get some nice “char” lines, I sadly don’t have one yet) and set them aside to cool.

When they have cooled down, toss them in your leafy mix and add your shaved parmesan, add some salt and pepper and voila. The juices from the pears mean you dont even need a dressing. Perfect.

Roll your pastry out, the fold in the corners so that it is more rectangular in shape and roll again till you have a large rectangle. Depending on your shape you will make your sausages using the width of it.

Sausage rolls:
Get a hefty handful of your mince, and roll it into a kind of fat cucumber shape in your hands (it will stick to the counter so don’t do that). Make sure your mince sausage is not wider than your pastry… so if your pastry dough is 20cm high and 45cm wide you will make about 4 sausage rolls that are 20cm or so high also.
Put your mince sausage on the one end of your pastry rectangle and roll it with the pastry till the pastry overlaps. Cut it there and pinch the sides together so that your sausage is completely covered in pastry.
Step and repeat till you run out of dough and mince!
I had some left over mince, so I made them into patties to take to work to make burger samies!

Brush your rolls with egg and bake them for about 45 mins or until your pastry is nice and golden.
Another side note: my oven sucks, so nothing browns or goes golden super nicely before it cooks to a crisp inside… but that is why I am going to try making my own puff pastry, maybe that will make a big enough difference…? Thoughts?

Serve while still hot with a nice portion of your side salad… add a dollop of mayo or sweet chili if  you arent too much of a purist and dig in. Mmm. It was good.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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