Down Under Cocktail Food
Eating sausage rolls at the bus exchange in Canberra after school is one of the warmest food memories of my life in Australia. My sister, Antonia, and I have arrived at the central bus depot and have to wait for the bus that will take us to the hospital where we will visit our mother, Demetra, sitting with her until it's time to head home to prepare dinner for us and our father. This story is much longer, and it's a sad one--our mother dies--but I'll spare your tears and just tell you about the sausage rolls. If you're in a hurry, mate, no worries. Here's the recipe.
|I always serve the sausage rolls with ketchup--it amps up the flavor!|
Oh, and the meat pies! The meat pies were like a small beef pot pie. They were savory and hot, so much so that you had to cut a vent in the top crust to let them cool down before eating. We always added tomato sauce--what we call ketchup in the U.S.--and tried to get it into the vent so that the zesty tomato flavor blended with the meat and gravy. I can smell it and taste it in that place in my memory where the favorite foods live. You know the place. We all have one.
Recreating the memory of a certain flavor at a certain point in time is difficult. Before everything could be sourced on the internet, somehow I stumbled upon breakfast sausage (ground pork, sage and a few other seasonings) that reminded me of the Australian sausage rolls that I cherished. Surprisingly, it occurred to me to roll out puff pastry and fill it with the sausage. I have yet to replicate the flavor of those meat pies, but I succeeded with the sausage rolls! For a printable recipe, click here.
Cocktails, anyone? Since my accidental recreation of the sausage roll, I've devised a simple method for making a bite-sized version to serve along with a good beer or a glass of wine. Everyone loves them! I mean everyone! Really. What a win-win situation for me. My guests enjoy them as a unique hors d'oeuvre, and I get to relive my teenage years in Australia through every sausage roll bite.
The following photos illustrate my method. While I explain this in the recipe, a picture clears away the fog--it's as if you were with me when I made them.
|Roll out into a rectangle, 11" x 15" and cut into three strips|
|Place the sausage mix in each strip.|
|Egg wash on the edge, fold dough over the sausage & press with tines of a fork.|
|Cut off excess dough|
|Place on a silicone mat on a baking sheet and divide into six|
equal portions by pressing down with the back of a knife.
|Brush with egg wash and cut slits through the top to create vents.|
|Allow to cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes before cutting.|