Lamb & Harissa Sausage Rolls
There are few things better than a perfect sausage roll. I know it’s a hard concept to grasp for those who’ve never had one. It might seem like nothing more than a glorified pig in a blanket. And it is. But, like most things, if given that extra love and attention, the humble sausage roll – favorite snack of millions of tradies and school kids alike – becomes the stuff of poetry.
After snubbing my nose at Australian cuisine for far too long, I finally tried (an albeit super gourmet) sausage roll from Sydney’s legendary Bourke Street Bakery. I was – am – hooked.
Sausage rolls are whatever you want them to be: a light lunch, a filling snack, finger food, drunk food, on your way somewhere food, heading home from somewhere food.
As winter settles into New England, I’m missing my adopted country. I want the rock pools, the horns from the cruise ships coming into the harbor, the nighttime smell of jasmine, the laugh of the kookaburras, the hidden beaches, the taste of the flat whites.
I also really want some sausage rolls. Before I moved just a few blocks from Bourke Street Bakery’s Potts Point cafe, I’d walk two miles just for one of these lamb and harissa sausage rolls. Once you make them, you’ll understand why.
LAMB & HARISSA SAUSAGE ROLLS
Adapted from Merci Mama, adapted in turn from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. (Which has a ridiculously good recipe for muffins, which are more like a cross between pudding and cake). The rolls pictured are mini, meaning they are about a third or a fourth the length of normal sausage rolls. Make them as long as you want! This recipe makes enough finger food for approx. 20 hungry people. I also can’t stress enough how important it is to eat these with ‘tomato sauce’ (plain, no-frills ketchup). If you think the recipe will make too much, you can freeze a portion once they are assembled before baking.
- 1/2 cup (75g) blanched almonds or pine nuts
- 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) lamb mince
- 1/4 cup (75g) couscous
- 2/3 cup (110g) currants
- pinch salt & some freshly ground pepper
- 2 packets of puff pastry, defrosted
- egg wash (1 egg, splash of milk, pinch of salt)
- poppy seeds for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Place the almonds in one layer on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 mins or until they take on a light golden color. Cool and coarsely chop.
In a large bowl put in the lamb, harissa, almonds/pine nuts, cous cous, currants, salt, pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands for about 5 minutes.
If using rolled out pastry, cut each square of pastry in half so you have two long rectangles measuring 24cm x 12cm.
Take some of the lamb mixture and roll out into a sausage the length of the pastry and place in the center of the pastry. Brush the long end with the egg wash and fold over the pastry to join the other side. Roll it over so the join is on the bottom and cut the roll into two pieces for normal sized sausage rolls or into 4 mini ones. Continue until you have used up all of the lamb mixture. Brush the top of the sausage rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle on the poppy seeds.
Drop the oven to 190C/360F and baked for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes before serving with ketchup and napkins (tomato sauce and serviettes for you Aussies).