This is such a classic family dish that I really wonder why I'm posting it, as you probably already make a smashing version on this. But just in case this one has slipped your radar, I give it to you today because I enjoy it so much and want to share the love!
I made sausage rolls for my Christmas Family Party and enjoyed them so much (and had soo many nice compliments :-) ) that I decided then and there to make a plait soon after Christmas. So I did.
A sausage plait is basically one huge sausage roll! So what's not to like?
This is not cake making, no chemistry is involved so the ingredients don't need serious measurement. I tend to use what I have to hand and what is getting close to BBD, in this case a stuffing mix and some shelled walnuts.
This dish is economical. As a comparison, I bought two packets of sausages. One packet I used for sausage and mash, which gave us a meal for two and a lunch the next day of sausage sandwiches - OK, there was an obscene amount of sausage in the sandwiches, but I did only get two meals out of one pack of sausages. Compare that with the 14 slices the plait yielded (7 meals for 2) and you will see how economical this dish is! I freeze in 1 meal portions, i.e. 2 slices per freezer bag.
1 lb sausages
Fresh breadcrumbs (alternatively, any dried stuffing mix that needs using up, like Paxo sage and onion)
3-4 banana shallots, finely chopped
Dried apricots, chopped
Chopped herbs, e.g. sage, flat-leaf parsley, coriander - fresh if you have them
Seasoning (salt & pepper and anything you fancy, like dashes of Knorr, Worcester sauce or Aromat)
1 finely chopped chilli, small (optional) - some like it hot!
Any nuts you have, I used chopped up walnuts
1 pack puff pastry
1 beaten egg for coating the plait
Butter for greasing the baking pan
Grease a baking tray.
Open out pastry and leave on a floured board.
Make a slit down the side of each sausage with a small, sharp knife.
Remove the sausage meat from its skin, emptying the meat into a medium sized bowl and throwing away the skins when finished.
Add shallots, herbs, seasoning, chilli (optional), apricots, nuts and breadcrumbs.
Using your hand, squelch everything together to blend well, adding the egg to bind together to form a ball. NB: if using up close to BBD dried stuffing mix (as I did) you may need to add a little milk to bring it all together in a ball.
Place in a covered container in the fridge for half an hour or so to make for easier rolling. Heat up the oven to 180c (fan).
Remove ball from container and roll the ball in the flour into a huge sausage shape. Put to one side.
Roll the pastry in a rectangle about 4-5 inches bigger than the sausage, in each direction.
Place the pastry carefully on the baking tin, then place the sausage shape in the centre. Cut diagonal lines on each long side of the pastry, starting about 1inch from the sausage shape.
Carefully bring the side slits over the sausage, alternating, to make a closed plait.
Brush the surfaces with a beaten egg. I used rather a lot!
If you prefer, you can assemble on your floured surface then gently lift the finished article onto the baking tray. Either way works. "Careful" is the key word in this exercise!
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.
To accompany, I threw in some new potatoes, cut into smaller pieces and drizzled with salt and a little oil.
Leave out of the oven for a few minutes, then carefully cut into roughly 3/4-1 inch slices.
Here I served with the roasted new potatoes and a mixed salad.
I served two slices. We managed to eat just one! So I froze in 2 slice portions for meals for 2.
A la perchoine.