18 August 2011

Self saucing sausage rolls

So simple to make, yet so much loved by my workmates!

Buy 500g of good quality sausages - any kind will do - I always get mine from the markets, they're so much yummier. The best so far have been beef & red wine, but honey & rosemary lamb sausages were good too. Cut off the "skins" and place each sausage on a sheet of puff pastry (I use the square instant frozen stuff, but you could make your own) - if they don't quite fit just squish off a bit and reshape or add on extra bits. Then roll the pastry over the sausage circumference, then along the corner of where you're going to roll pastry on to pastry, use a teaspoon to dab a small line of tomato chutney (I use the Outback Spirit Bush Tomato Chutney) then continue the roll. Eggy wash the final join and then the entire roll. Place the cylindrical roll-up back in the freezer or fridge as you make each roll. Then take them back out and using a sharp knife cut each long roll into 1-2cm wide sausage rolls. Place them onto baking tray or sheet lined with baking paper and bake. I can't remember how long I bake mine for, usually I do them at 200 (210 in my oven) degrees for 15-20 minutes (or the time it takes to get ready for work) or until the pastry is golden and the meat is cooked through. Then when you nom them, biting into them unleashes a delicious self-saucing burst of tomatoey goodness. Bonus!

Give them a try, literally takes no time at all and is sure to cheer up everyone at work, or a party for those of you who have social lives!

17 August 2011

Last night's Lamb dinner

We've been watching a lot of The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain DVDs lately. Yesterday, we watched them in Wales(?) and they did a delicious trio of lamb, one of which was herb-crusted rack of lamb. I've never done a rack of lamb (I usually just do a mini-roast or leg roast), so here's what they inspired me to do...

Herb-crust Rack of Lamb
Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
Roast Potatoes
& a simple side of Cauliflower

Herb-crust Rack of Lamb:
The herb-crust I made in my trusty blender and it consisted of: a big handful of chopped up baguette to make the breadcrumbs; then a handful each of fresh rosemary & mint, a generous handful of flat/continental parsley; a dozen pistachios; a pinch each of salt, pepper; a small mound of grated parmesan and a splash of olive oil when my blender started making noises like it was about to blow up. I think next time I will need a higher breadcrumb to herb ratio. And remind me to add more salt.

I bought a supermarket frenched rack of lamb, let it rest at room temp then browned all the surfaces on a frying pan with some heated olive oil. Once browned I popped it on a board and made diagonal scores across the fatty surface on top, then smeared with some (mild) Australian-blend mustard.

I then spooned and hand-smooshed the crumby crust mixture all over and around the lamb rack, and it stuck to the mustard quite easily. Then a bit of foil around the bones and I put it in the oven at 190 degrees for 20 minutes. Whilst Mme Fulton's Encyclopaedia of Food assured me this was the perfect way to do a rack, this brought it to "blue", and fuelled suspicions that my oven is a tad under-calibrated, so a turn-up to 200 degrees, and another 10-15 minutes and it was then perfectly medium-rare.

Roast potatoes:
I started this well before the rack of lamb - just put three whole potatoes in the microwave and set "jacket potato x3", once cooked chopped into quarters, put them in a freezer bag and poured in some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and then "bashed" them around for a bit to make rough surfaces for better browning. That went into the 190 degree oven just after the making of the herb crust but before the handling of the lamb.

Brussel sprouts:
I boiled these in very salted water until soft. Whilst boiling I put the lamb-browning pan back on the heat and added a knob of butter then whatever was left of the breadcrumb/herb-crust mix from the blender and a handful of thinly sliced ham (didn't have any bacon, apparently) until these had browned, then tossed in the drained brussel sprouts until they were coated and golden.

The cauliflower was just boiled in the brussel sprout pot.

Et voila! A delicious lamb dinner, inspired by those cheeky Hairy Bikers. Wa-hey!