Sunday 23 December 2012

Rudolf Rolls

One of the advantages of not having children is that you can make delicious venison sausage rolls at Christmas, call them Rudolf Rolls and no one cries.
Blue cheese puff pastry
I'd had an idea ticking over in my mind for a while. Since I made my first rough-puff pastry, in fact. That idea was "why doesn't anyone make flavoured puff pastry?". Was there a reason why no one used a herb butter, or a smoked chilli butter, or a black pepper butter, or a cinnamon butter to add layers of flavour to laminated doughs?

Before I'd done anything more than ponder the idea, Dan Lepard published this recipe, for sausage rolls with blue cheese incorporated into bought puff pastry. This does open up a bunch of avenues for me to explore next year.

Venison sausage and cranberry mustard
Stilton is one of the traditional tastes of a British Christmas, so I thought about what else would go well with it and be a bit Christmassy. Venison (probably red or roe deer, not actually reindeer!) and cranberries.

The venison sausages our supermarket stocks are OK, but they are actually mostly pork and not very venison-y (venison tastes like well-flavoured beef, in case you are squeamish about eating Bambi). On the other hand, they also stock really delicious venison burgers, that are mostly venison and seasoning. So I bought a couple of those and squashed them into sausage shapes.

For the cranberry component, I used some cranberry mustard, made from Diana Henry's recipe in salt sugar smoke. It's more of a relish than a mustard really, very, very simple to make, and it is absolutely perfect with the cheesy pastry and meaty sausage. There are loads of good quality cranberry sauces and relishes around if you don't fancy making your own though.

Baked and ready to eat
I glazed them with a bit of egg white, and baked them until they were golden and cranberry juices were oozing out of them.

I did think about garnishing them with some pretzel antlers and a cranberry nose, but even my sense of kitsch doesn't go quite that far for lunch for the two of us. Cut into dainty pieces these would make excellent party food, though, and under those circumstances I would definitely go for the full catastrophe. As long as there weren't going to be impressionable children around, of course.


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Looks great! Blue cheese tends to be a bit strong for me, but I think I might be able to handle a bit in puff pastry.

Suelle said...

I scrolled down to the bottom photo, expecting at least a cranberry nose on one end of each roll - you've disappointed me!;) Happy Christmas!

Cuisine de Provence said...

I miss the red nose.... :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Leafy - the blue cheese isn't a very strong flavour in this.

Suelle - sorry! Next time for sure.

Heather S-G said...

ha ha ha! I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the name, but - I love these. Next time I can get my hands on some good venison, they're getting made. Name and all (and I have kids...what's that say about me). ;P The dough, though...wowza, it sounds FABULOUS.

Alicia Foodycat said...

CdeP - I am regretting not garnishing! I am pleased other people have the same sense of humour I do.

Heather - yes, but you have kids who know about food tasting good! I think it's an advantage that they have eaten a wide range of foods.

Mary Bergfeld said...

How fabulous! This sounds remarkable.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Hugs and Christmas blessings...Mary

Caroline said...

They sound great - what a good idea to reshape burgers rather than use the sausages. Clever stuff. Yep, antlers definitely would have finished the picture perfectly ;-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Mary - thank you!

Caroline - next time antlers for sure.


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