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Sausage Rolls with Sesame Seeds

These are delicious picnic fare that everyone seems to enjoy. The best bit is that they can be frozen, uncooked, for up to a month. Layer up the sausage rolls between sheets of non-stick baking paper in a rigid plastic container and secure with a lid before freezing. Increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes if cooking straight from frozen.

MAKES ABOUT 40

25g (1oz) butter
2 tbsp finely diced onion
3 eggs
450g (1lb) good-quality sausage meat
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp cream
500g (1lb 2oz) ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
plain flour, for dusting
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

2. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3. Break 2 eggs into a food processor or liquidiser and add the sausage meat, sweet chilli sauce, basil and cream. Blend for 2 minutes, until smooth, then scrape out into a bowl with a spatula and stir in the cooked onion. Season to taste and spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm (¾in) plain nozzle. Chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up a little.

4. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and set aside for glazing. Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a 40cm x 30cm (16in x 12in) rectangle, then cut into 4 strips, each measuring 30cm x 10 cm (12in x 4in). Pipe the sausage meat mixture in a fairly thick line down the centre of each pastry strip and brush along one long edge of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Roll up to enclose and press down the edges firmly to seal (or you can use a fork to do this).

5. Brush the sausage rolls with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with the sesame seeds and some of the chilli flakes, if using. Cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths, wiping the knife each time to clean off the sausage meat, and arrange on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Pack into a rigid plastic container to transport them for a picnic, then once you’ve reached your destination, hand the sausage rolls around with napkins.

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