Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Twelfth Night Sausage Rolls: Using Up Christmas Leftovers

It's Twelfth Night; tomorrow we celebrate Epiphany - the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus - and the end of the Christmas season. Tradition has it that all Christmas decorations must come down tonight, though our Nativity set will remain until we've had our Epiphany party tomorrow. And I've heard people say that today is the day to finish off all Christmas food in the house. I'm fairly certain we won't manage that, having four selection boxes, a stollen, a massive panettone, oodles of chocolate coins, pandoro, a Christmas pudding, and a tub of Celebrations still left to consume! However, if you're looking for a way to use up the remnants of the mincemeat, and can't face another mince pie, you've come to the right place.

Here is my recipe for Twelfth Night Sausage Rolls, though they can be quite happily enjoyed at any time over the Christmas period. We munched our way through them on New Year's Day, so quickly, in fact, that we only had two and a half left when I remembered that I wanted to photograph them! They are moist, and lightly spiced, with gentle Christmas flavours on the inside, and crisp, golden pastry on the outside. Perfect for a snack or light meal whilst catching up on the Christmas telly you missed.

Twelfth Night Sausage Rolls: Using Up Christmas Leftovers - moist, lightly spiced sausage rolls made using leftover mincemeat. #leftovers
Oops - forgot to do a fancy photo, because they just smelled so inviting!

Twelfth Night Sausage Rolls

500g/1lb sausage meat (or sausages removed from their skins)
1 lemon, zested 
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2-3 tbsp mincemeat
500g/1lb puff pastry (I bought mine)
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Optional flavourings: sage leaves, leftover stuffing or stuffing mix, shallots, caramelised onion chutney, mixed spice, thyme, chopped roasted chestnuts 


1. Preheat oven to 200c/fan 180c/400f/gas mark 6.

2. Put sausage meat, lemon zest, cranberries, mincemeat, and any other flavourings you fancy (I'd only add one or two at most) into a mixing bowl. Squidge it all together with your hands. 

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a rectangle about 25cm by 35cm. Don't worry about measuring - it doesn't have to be perfectly accurate. Slice in half lengthways, so that you have two long thin rectangles. 

4. Divide your sausage meat mixture into two, and then form each bit into a long sausage the length of your pastry. I added sausage meat to the centre of the pastry, bit by bit, squidging and pulling until it fit end to end. 

5. Beat your egg in a bowl or cup, then brush along the edges of the pastry. 

6. Lift the edges of the pastry and fold over the sausage meat, making sure to overlap and pressing down with a fork or your fingers to seal the pastry. 

7. Cut each length into 8 even sausage rolls, and place them onto a greased, or foil lined, baking tray, with the pastry join underneath. 

8. Brush all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry has puffed up and looks golden and crispy. You can check the sausage is cooked with a meat thermometer - the internal temperature should be 72c, but make sure the thermometer is in the sausage and not the pastry. In the absence of a meat thermometer, stick a knife into the meat and leave for a few seconds. When you pull it out, the blade should be very hot. 

9. Enjoy hot. Or cold. And if you have enough leftover to reheat, pop them in a 200c/fan 180c/400f/gas mark 6 oven for 10-12 minutes, again until piping hot in the middle. 

Right, now I'm off to finish the pâté and cheese for lunch, before we crack open the last of our mince pies. 

How do you use up your leftovers?

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