Recipe: Venison Wellington rolls

Make our venison Wellington sausage rolls. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Make our venison Wellington sausage rolls. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: sarah lucy brown

Our venison Wellington rlls are a tasty way to serve seasonal game.

There are few things finer in life than a properly made sausage roll. The succulent, salty, peppery meat, its juices caramelising to the bottom of the crisp, flaking pastry as they bake. I'm salivating just thinking about them.

One of the very best sausage rolls I ate recently was grabbed on the go from my local butcher The Jolly Meat Company in Hadleigh. I hadn't even looked at it in the counter, and when the sizeable bag was passed over the counter, I kind of wished I'd had my hubby with me because it was a beast. Man-sized, with proper butter pastry and a gloopy, sweet layer of red onion marmalade tucked inside.

Sausages and sausage rolls are something we do so so well in East Anglia – thanks mostly to pig farmers such as Tim Allen, Dingley Dell and the guys at Blythburgh, who work so hard to produce higher welfare meat with a noticeably better taste and quality.

This week I've brought a seasonal touch, and a bit of a twist to the old sausage roll, transforming it into a kind of poor gal's Wellington. Inside is venison mince. Despite the roll call of chefs and butchers telling us we should be eating more venison, I'm not convinced the average household puts it on their weekly shopping list.


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In supermarkets it can be tricky to get hold of, but seek out your local butcher and you'll find they have all kinds of cuts available right now. If you're new to venison, I recommend roe or fallow deer, which I find milder than red deer meat – just ask your butcher what they've got in stock. It's lean, tasty and wild, and this unctuous recipe is a tasty way to introduce venison to the family.

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Venison Wellington rolls

(Makes at least 12)

Ingredients

1 pack (500g) all-butter shortcrust pastry

400g good quality sausagemeat

500g venison mince

100g fresh white breadcrumbs soaked in 3tbsps milk

12 slices Parma ham

500g button or chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2tsp dried)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

50g unsalted butter

Seasoning

Redcurrant jelly

Flour for rolling

1 large egg, beaten, to glaze

Method

Set the over to 210C and line a couple of baking sheets.

In a large bowl mix the venison, sausagemeat and breadcrumbs. Add a good touch of seasoning, Fry a little of the mix to check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

Place the mushrooms and garlic in a food processor and blitz finely. Place in a small pan with the thyme and butter and some seasoning. Cook on a low heat until the mushrooms are very very soft and you have a thick mixture with no liquid remaining. Check the seasoning.

Set aside to cool and drain any excess liquid.

Flour a worksurface and cut the pastry in two.

Roll out one piece to 20cm by 30cm. Place half the ham down the centre lengthways and spread with half the mushroom mix and half the sausage mix. Fashion the sausage mix into a long sausage shape. Make indents all the way along and dot in blobs of redcurrant jelly. Squash the meat up around the jelly to seal it.

Now wet one of the long edges of the pastry and bring the edges up to seal.

Turn the whole thing over and cut into pieces around 4cm wide with a sharp knife, placing them on one of the prepared trays.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Brush the pastries with the egg and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

Serve with more redcurrant jelly.

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