Festive Mincemeat Sausage Rolls
Try this amazing medieval mince pie inspired recipe that takes the humble sausage roll to the next level and makes it totally Christmas worthy. I've gone straight into the recipe because I find it really annoying having to scroll through lines and lines of text just to get to the recipe. The story follows afterwards. Enjoy!
Makes around 30 mini festive mincemeat rolls
Making time: 40 mins
Baking time: 25 mins
Large mixing bowl
Medium mixing bowl
Metal baking sheets x 2
Greaseproof paper or baking parchment
Ready roll puff pastry - 2 packs
Minced beef - 500 g
Water - 80 ml
Salt - 1.25 tsp
Black pepper - 0.5 tsp
Nutmeg - 1 tsp
Mixed spice - 1 tsp
Bread - 2 slices (around 90 g)
Egg - 1 beaten
Raisins - 50 g
Currants - 50 g
Prunes - 50 g snipped with scissors into small pieces
Light brown sugar - 25 g
Pre-heat your oven to 200 C or 180 C for a fan oven.
Take one pack of puff pastry out of the fridge to help warm it up a bit before rolling out later
Cut your greaseproof paper to cover your baking sheets.
Place the bread in your food processor and blitz until breadcrumbs are formed.
Put the breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt, black pepper, nutmeg and mixed spice.
Measure out the raisins, currants and snipped prunes into the medium mixing bowl and pop into the microwave and heat on full power for 30 seconds so they become warm and soft.
Place the warmed fruit into the food processor and add the light brown sugar. Blitz into a smooth puree. Scrape out with a spatula and add to the breadcrumb mixture.
Add the beef mince and water to the breadcrumb and fruit mixture and mix with your hands until it is all well combined.
Wash your hands thoroughly and roll out the puff pastry. With a knife, cut the pastry down the middle to form two long strips.
Using spoons, take a quarter of the meat mixture and form a sausage down one strip of pastry.
Roll the pastry tightly over the sausage meat. The pastry edges should overlap and the join should be underneath the roll so that the pastry doesn't come apart during baking.
Repeat for the other strip of pastry. You can use the remaining meat later with the other pack of pastry.
Using a large knife, slice the long sausage roll into small bite size rolls about 2 inches long or however you prefer.
Arrange the rolls on the pre prepared baking sheets and make sure they are well spaced.
With the pastry brush, brush the tops of the rolls liberally with the beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy hot or cold. Keep in the fridge and consume within 3 days or freeze in a tub for up to 3 months.
I absolutely adore mince pies and I eat them constantly throughout December. They're just perfect with a cuppa. I have long been intrigued by the history of the humble Christmas mince pie and its medieval origins (Minst Pyes - I love Medieval spelling) where they contained minced beef or mutton.
Mince pies in Medieval times were a true luxury only worthy of a Christmas feast for the super wealthy. Some of the most expensive ingredients of the period (beef, spices and dried fruits) were combined to form a sweet meat treat used to treat guests and as a show of wealth and status.
During the Victorian period it became fashionable to ditch meat and have a fruit only pie with beef suet. These days the suet is vegetable based so zero meat at all. And that got me wondering during one of my day dream phases - what would a mince pie with meat actually taste like?
A quick look on the internet later and I found an authentic medieval minst pye recipe on English Heritage's website. So I made it. It was similar to a pork pie with a hot water crust pastry. The meat part was quite nice, a slightly sweet burger, however, the pastry was awful. It was really hard and tough. I now know that medieval pastry wasn't supposed to be eaten, it's just a protective casing used to preserve the contents. It is edible but not something to be enjoyed, maybe to be thrown at some grateful peasants to enjoy instead. It's like a biodegradable plastic tub. Maybe it should make a comeback!
Anyway, that was an interesting learning curve. Then this year, as I was making sausage rolls (which is super quick and easy) I had a eureka moment. What if I made a sausage roll but with beef mince instead of pork mince and used mince pie spices and dried fruit as well? I was really excited to try it!
Beef sausage rolls are actually a thing apparently so recipes were easy to come by, and I took inspiration from a few medieval minst pye recipes to get a good ratio of spices and fruit. As I was making mini sausage rolls I thought it would be best to puree the fruit and that worked really well in the final result.
So I made the festive mince rolls, which wasn't a faff to do so that was great and they turned out to be amazing. Really moreish. They have a mild sweetness and lots of Christmas flavour. My best description is it's a bit like burger with the sweet burger sauce or relish inside the meat instead of on top.
So there we have it, a super quick and easy meat based and medieval inspired mince pie in the form of a sausage roll.
Try it out and let me know what you think. I can't get enough of them and will definitely be making them every Christmas!