George Osborne doesn’t have the last word on Sausage Rolls

George Osborne
For all those “grannies” in the United Kingdom who are worried about the cut in their pensions after the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s Budget, there is even more gloom if they fancy tottering off down to the baker’s for a nice hot sausage roll or pie. Mr Osborne has his eye on them too and he’s added VAT (Value Added Tax) to all hot take-away food. Helpfully, well he does his best, he suggests buying them cold and then heating them up at home. Thanks George.
Now, if you don’t share the British obsession for these greasy little delicacies or don’t even know what they are, don’t worry,  I’m not sure that George does either. he doesn’t share Prime Minister  David Cameron’s newly acquired taste for quick food.
Spare a thought, though for those of us who love them. OK, we might not be gourmets in this country but we certainly know a good pie or pasty when we see one and sausage rolls are one of Britain’s guilty secrets.
I have an idea for everyone here in austerity Britain who is feeling the squeeze but who also fancies a hot snack – don’t bother reading any more if you are a British millionaire just celebrating Mr Osborne’s generous drop in your tax rate with a slap-up dinner at the Ritz – my idea is, if you want a sausage roll, make your own. With this in mind I have consulted the excellent Delia Smith’s always reliable recipe book and this is what she says you should do.
Sausage Rolls

This recipe is from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Christmas, apparently, you can make 24 sausage rolls if you get it right and you can eat them hot or cold without any interference from the government. Good luck and bon appetit!

Delia Smith

For the quick flaky pastry:
6 oz (175 g) butter
8 oz (225 g) plain flour
pinch salt
For the filling:
1 lb (450 g) good-quality pork sausagemeat
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
2 level teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 egg, beaten
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).

The butter needs to be rock-hard from the refrigerator, so weigh out the required amount, wrap it in a piece of foil, then return it to the freezing compartment for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. When you take the butter out of the freezer, open it up and use some of the foil to hold the end with.

Then dip the butter in the flour and grate it on a coarse grater placed in the bowl over the flour. Keep dipping the butter down into the flour to make it easier to grate. At the end you will be left with a pile of grated butter in the middle of the flour, so take a palette knife and start to distribute it into the flour (don’t use your hands), trying to coat all the pieces of fat with flour until the mixture is crumbly.

Next add enough cold water to form a dough that leaves the bowl clean, using your hands to bring it all gently together. Put the dough into a polythene bag and chill it for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the sausage rolls mix the sausagemeat, onion and sage together in a mixing bowl. Then roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form an oblong (as thin as you can). Cut this oblong into three strips and divide the sausagemeat also into three, making three long rolls the same length as the strips of pastry (if it’s sticky sprinkle on some flour).

Place one roll of sausagemeat on to one strip of pastry. Brush the beaten egg along one edge, then fold the pastry over and seal it as carefully as possible. Lift the whole thing up and turn it so the sealed edge is underneath. Press lightly, and cut into individual rolls each about 2 inches (5 cm) long. Snip three V-shapes in the top of each roll with scissors and brush with beaten egg.

Repeat all this with the other portions of meat and pastry.If you are going to cook straightaway, place the rolls on baking sheets and bake high in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want to cook them later, store them uncooked in a freezer box and freeze until needed. Although you can store the cooked and cooled sausage rolls in an airtight tin, they do lose their crunchiness. For this reason I think it is preferable to remove a few at a time from the freezer and cook them as required.

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