Meat-free “sausage” rolls don’t have to be flavour-free. This recipe has ingredients that bring in “umami” flavours that make them more than live up to expectations!
We tried them at a recent Planting Up garden work party where we were visiting Ruth’s allotment and all brought food for a group picnic. They went down well as a perfect bitesize snack for everyone to keep nibbling on through the afternoon as we toured the garden.
Prep 35 min, plus chilling
Cook 20-25 min
Makes About 28
For the pastry (or use 450g bought puff pastry)
250g plain flour
¼ tsp fine salt
200g cold butter or vegan baking block
1 egg, beaten (or 50ml milk of your choice), to glaze
Poppy or sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
For the filling
100g pinhead oatmeal
300ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp oil or butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
200g unsweetened chestnut puree
50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
Ground mace or nutmeg, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Marmite (or similar)
If making the pastry, put the flour and seasoning in a large bowl and grate in the fat. Stir until it’s all coated with flour, then add just enough very cold water (three or four tablespoons should do it) to bring the mix together into a smooth dough. Form into a rough rectangle, wrap and chill while you get on with the filling.
Put the oatmeal in the pan with the stock, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until very thick. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, put the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and, once hot, fry the onion, stirring regularly, until soft and golden. Scoop the onion into a bowl, return the pan to the stove, turn up the heat and fry the mushrooms until soft and dry. Tip these into the onion bowl, then stir in the chestnut puree and oatmeal, and mix (I find it easiest to use my hands for this bit), squidging it all together well. Add the remaining ingredients, mix again, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7, and grease two baking sheets. Divide the pastry in two, put half back in the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the other piece as thinly as possible into a roughly 20cm x 50cm rectangle.
Spoon half the filling into a rough sausage shape down one of the long sides of the pastry, then paint the opposite long side with egg or milk. Starting from the filling side, roll up the pastry as tightly as possible around the filling, then place it seam side down on the work surface and cut into 3cm-wide pieces. Transfer these to a baking sheet and brush with more egg or milk. Use scissors or the tip of a knife to snip a small hole in the top with scissors, then sprinkle with seeds, if using.
Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling, then bake for 25 minutes, until golden. (Alternatively, cover the filling and pastry, and chill for up to 24 hours until ready to bake.)