On a (sausage) roll:

Richard has a clas­sic take on this de­li­cious sea­sonal treat

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - 01603 626204 richard­hugh­escook­eryschool.co.uk as­sem­bly­house­nor­wich.co.uk

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…’’

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