Original recipe from: Jamie’s Comfort Food – Jamie Oliver, published by Michael Joseph, 2014
One early evening, fed up with cooking yet another meal the kids didn’t like, I decided to do something different. I handed a couple of cookbooks to the two of them and asked them to choose a few meals they thought they’d like. This is the first recipe they chose. Perhaps not surprising, as I don’t know any child who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned sausage roll, that ultimate party-food stand-by. Jamie Oliver does something special with this version – a jumbo roll that has lots of flavour. Good hot for dinner or cold for lunch. And also a hit with the grown-ups.
Time: About 1 to 1.5 hours: 20 – 50 mins prep depending how long you spend chopping the veg into small pieces; 40 mins in the oven. The prep you can do earlier in the day, or even the day before. Or you can cook the whole thing and stick it in the fridge for the next day.
Cost of ingredients: ££
Special equipment: A food processor – not essential but makes it a lot easier and also helps to chop the veg up nice and small (important if you have fussy eaters who don’t like bits).
How did the kids rate it: 5/10, 6/10 and 9/10 (my two kids plus a friend over for tea – guess which ratings belong to my children!)
The recipe says this serves eight but my husband had at least three servings and my son had two. I managed to rescue one piece to save overnight in the fridge to see what it tastes like cold for a picnic lunch.
Buying the ingredients.
First up, I decided to cheat. Rather than make my own rough puff pastry, I bought the ready-made chilled stuff – this is how I Jus’Rol (I know, no one found this funny at all, but I amused myself). Even Delia says the ready-made stuff is as good as the pastry you make at home, and I’m not about to argue with our Deel. Fact is, it’s less faff. And as we all know, less faff = good.
Second issue, the butcher was closed so I went to get the pork shoulder from the meat counter of my local supermarket. I asked if they could mince the meat for me (as per Jamie’s suggestion) and I was told “Sorry no, we’re only allowed to mince beef”. Some edit from Brussels? If anyone can shed some light on this let me know. So I bought the ready-minced pork from the chilled shelf. Not really sure if it was shoulder or not but it was minced pork and that was good enough for me. However, I felt like I was already setting myself up for failure, and giving my children ammunition to not like it before I’d even made it (Mum, you should have followed the recipe!”).
Following the recipe
This was easy enough. However, I was slightly worried about some of the measurements. The recipe asked for 1/2 a bunch of sage (15 g) but then you’re only meant to chop up the leaves. So is it 15g of leaves or is 15g the pre-plucking weight? In the end, I settled for half of the amount – 7g of leaves and crossed my fingers. Remember I didn’t want to give my children anything to complain about (“Mum, this tastes too…. sage-y!”).
Similarly, the recipe calls for a glug of olive oil. What is a glug precisely? Is it something to do with the sound the oil makes as it comes out of the bottle? I ended up thinking I’d put in too much so tried to pour some of it down the sink before I remembered you’re not really meant to do that.
Also, a pinch of salt? Whenever I see cookery programmes and the chef says he’s going to throw in a pinch of salt, he always grabs a massive handful and throws it about. Is that a pinch? Or is this just for dramatic effect? When I tasted the sausage meat later, I realised that maybe I had been too frugal on the salt – so maybe two of my standard pinches but nowhere near a handful.
When it came to adding the cheese, I did hesitate. My son, being a known cheese-hater, will spend hours picking the smallest speck of cheese off his pizza. However, this was the recipe he asked for, so this was the recipe he was going to get.
And lastly, sprinkling sesame seeds onto the pastry from “a height”. Well, this raised a titter. Knowing how fussy my two are I decided to do half with sesame seeds and half without though trying to be that careful when standing on a bar stool is quite difficult. Then into the oven for 40 minutes which gave me enough time to clear up because by then I looked like this:
“Is that cheese?” were the very first words out of my son’s mouth when I served up his slice. I managed to divert his attention by pointing out the lovely pastry. My children had a friend over – so as three hungry children sat down to eat for a moment there were some happy faces with all three saying it tasted good.
The overall verdict was good – my daughter’s friend gave it a 9/10 so is definitely welcome at our dinner table any time. Both my children asked for less bits next time i.e. no apple, no cheese. “You know, Mum, like a normal sausage roll”.
No special ingredients here, apart from the fresh nutmeg. I did wonder if it would actually matter if I used the pre-ground stuff but for this recipe I went the whole hog (pardon the pun). I didn’t buy pork shoulder from the butcher and I didn’t make my own pastry (which would have been cheaper).
Minced pork: £4.19 for 500g
Dried apples: £2.19 for 150g/£1.08 for 75g
Streaky bacon: £2.39 for 12 rashers/79p for 4 rashers
Onions: 36p for 2
Sage: 92p for 20g (46 p for half a bunch)
Nutmeg: £1.99 for 28g (50p for one whole nutmeg)
Olive oil: negligible
Rough puff pastry: £2.50 for 1kg/£1.25 for 500g
Fresh breadcrumbs: £1.19 for 100g (59p for 50g)
White pepper: negligible
TOTAL COST : £15.73
Cost of this dish: £9.22 to feed 6 to 8 people