On a (sausage) roll:
Richard has a classic take on this delicious seasonal treat
It’s Richard Hughes’ step-by-step
As festive as turkey, mince pies, the wee dram for Santa, and the carrot left out for the reindeer is the humble sausage roll.
It can be a thing of glory; with a little care, elevated to the high table. It can be a thing of bitter disappointment; pale, soft, a tube of salty blandness. In Victorian London apprentice bakers were taught to make sausage meat by soaking brown bread with red ochre, salt and pepper. Having seen some of the commercial pastries offered today, I’m not sure this practice has been entirely eradicated.
Thankfully the sausage roll, much like its big brother the Scotch egg, has been elevated over recent years from the garage forecourt to the pub counter, with many ale houses offering giant meaty pastries to sit along side your craft pint.
I’m a firm believer that Christmas food should be all about tradition. Now is not the time to offer up experimental dishes from the kitchen to unsuspecting guests. There’s enough pressure heaped on our weary shoulders during the next few weeks without having to worry if something in the oven will receive approval. Stick to what you know and what the guests are expecting, whether that be gift vouchers, perfume, socks or sausage rolls
This year it’s all hands on deck in our kitchen at the Assembly House, with 8,000 pigs in blankets, 2,000 sea bass fillets, two tonnes of local turkey and 100 sacks of Brussels sprouts all being roasted, fried, boiled and grilled with some vim and vigour, with a veritable army of waiting staff ferrying plates to and from excitable revellers.
I like to be busy so it really is my favourite time of year. We will be making these sensational little venison sausage rolls, served as arrival treats for our hungry travellers arriving from far and wide to spend their festivities here in Norwich.
Whether you are cooking or eating, waiting on table or have the pleasure of being waited on, have a wonderful Christmas. For those of you stove-side on the big day, keep calm, ply your guests with sherry and repeat to yourself ‘‘It’s just a posh Sunday roast. It’s just a posh Sunday roast…’’