In collaboration with Tasty, Easy Lamb.
When I was a little girl my mother used to make the best meat pies ever with leftover Sunday roast. The cold roast was cut into pieces and fed into an electric meat grinder along with an onion and a carrot and bound together with leftover gravy (always of Bisto origin, it was the 1980-90s after all!). This gorgeous meat pie filling was encased in my grandmother’s pie crust recipe, a recipe my grandmother had brought to Canada with her when she immigrated from England after the war.
That pie filling and that crust recipe – it’s my first real food memory from my childhood. Oh, how I loved those meat pies, especially cold the next day straight from the fridge served with a giant dollop of Cape Breton chow-chow (a bit like Piccalilli Pickle).
Sometimes, if there was enough filling leftover and extra pie crust my mother would make a batch of sausage rolls for my brother and I. Same delicious food combination but in a more portable form – perfect for picnics and outdoor adventuring.
For this recipe I’ve recreated my mother’s technique for making those delicious sausage rolls but this time using leftover roast lamb with a handful of fresh mint leaves from the garden thrown in for flavour. Another important tip is to use a good quality gravy to bind the dry roast lamb together. I like to make my own lamb gravy by throwing any lamb bones with bits of meat still stuck to them (from cutting my own cubed lamb shoulder from a whole piece instead of buying ready cubed) into a baking tray with a whole unpeeled quartered onion (the onion skin gives the gravy a nice colour), a halved carrot, a few sticks of celery and several whole, unpeeled garlic cloves.
This gets roasted for 45 minutes under a high heat in the oven and then gets transferred to a large stock pot. I add enough cold water to cover and then leave the pot with the lid on to simmer for at least four hours before cooling and straining.
This makes the best gravy ever, I tell you! You’ll never buy stock cubes again once you’ve tried this. You can pick up lamb bones at your local butchers too, possibly even for free as they tend to just bin them anyway.
Now I learned, over the years, that my mother’s sausage roll technique is not the traditional way Brits make their sausage rolls, so I’ve included two different versions. The second version, as you can see pictured above, is made with ready made puff pastry. Same filling, different pastry. These sausage rolls are sprinkled with sesame seeds for extra flavour and visual appeal, but to be honest, there were twelve people at our recent weekend picnic and it was the sausage rolls with my grandmother’s pastry recipe that were preferred. Total picnic comfort food.
Sunny weekends were meant for lounging by the fishpond making reed mats (featured under the sausage roll plate, did you notice?), weren’t they. Summer is officially here!
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This is a commissioned recipe for Tasty, Easy Lamb, although all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up my kitchen and share recipe stories.