The last few days I’ve been feeling a little uninspired. The words are just not flowing like they normally do – my first case of ‘blogger’s block’. I’m fairly sure it’s just because I’ve been crazy busy and haven’t had an opportunity to even think about what I might write about today. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t have a mouth-watering recipe for you to try. Over the weekend, I catered my first event – YAY. My best friend Immy’s gorgeous parent’s 40th wedding anniversary – amazing right? I just hope that when the Dr and I hit our 40th wedding anniversary our kids (that are currently just a twinkle in the Dr’s eye) will be just as thoughtful to throw us a party to celebrate such a milestone occasion.
One of the items I made for the party were these lamb, harissa and almond sausage rolls. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like a sausage roll? (ok apart from vegetarians). They’re great drinking food and a definite crowd pleaser. However instead of pumping out the normal pork snorker rolls (no offence pork, you’re still awesome), these ones take on a middle eastern influence and use lamb, homemade harissa and introduces a textural element with the almonds. They are a little more labour intensive than your normal sausage roll but well worth it for the result.
Lamb, harissa and almond sausage rolls
adapted from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook
makes 18 normal sized sausage rolls or 36 mini’s
What you need:
For the harissa:
- 5 red capsicums, seeded, membranes removed and finely chopped
- 350g brown onions, chopped finely
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli finely chopped seeds included
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 15g smoked paprika
- 100ml water
For the lamb mixture
- 75g blanched almonds (the ones that look white not brown)
- 1.2kg lamb mince
- 75g cous cous
- 110g currants
- 20g salt
- 2.5g freshly ground pepper
- 1 packet of puff pastry ( feel free to make your own, but puff pastry is a bitch and I haven’t been that organised to start making it a day before I need it – I will one day)
- egg wash (1 egg, 100ml milk, pinch of salt)
- poppy seeds for sprinkling
What to do:
Starting with the harissa, throw all the ingredients into a large pot over medium heat and cook for two hours. However don’t think you can just walk away and forget about it – nuh-uh. You will need to check on it and stir every 15mins or so to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Once it has broken down to a chunky paste, it’s ready. Measure out 350g to use in the sausage rolls and set aside to cool.
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 colour. Cool and coarsley chop.
In a large bowl put in the lamb mince, almonds, cous cous, currants, salt, pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands for about 5mins.
If using store-bought already rolled out pastry, they’re all generally the same size (24cm x 24cm). Cut each square of pastry in half so you have a piece measuring 24cm x 12cm.
Measure about 200gm of the lamb mixture and roll out into a sausage the length of the pastry (24cm) and place in the centre 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 your mince. 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 35-40mins until golden brown like a sausage roll should look.