'It was someone being tortured!' said Neville, who had gone very white, and spilled sausage rolls all over the floor. 'You're going to have to fight the Cruciatus curse!'
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling
I grew up in a party house. Not a raucous, boozy party house (the sort I became familiar with during my university years), but a party house all the same. We had more dinner parties than I can count and I carried endless trays of canapés around at my mum's annual Christmas party. My stepdad still spends happy hours mixing drinks and pouring wine from behind the bar on our back deck. We frequently had people around, and our house was always an open one - friends who dropped by to pick something up would invariably end up staying for dinner.
As a result, my sister's and my birthday parties were well-organised, well-rehearsed productions. For the big ones, there was always a detailed list of the food to be passed around at certain times: usually an assortment of canapés, followed by curry in white boxes and, finally, midnight cold cuts - beef and ham - stuffed into warm rolls with mustard or horseradish sauce. These late night rolls, perfect for 'soaking up all that beer' (thanks mum) were legendary, as were my Granny's canapé-sized sausage rolls. These sausage rolls were much more meaty and delicious than anything you'd find in a supermarket freezer section. We never had a party without them.
About a year after I left home, I was planning the menu for my 23rd birthday party (a blissful day-long picnic in Victoria Park) and emailed Granny for her recipe. I've made these innumerable times since - for birthdays, a summer wedding and most recently on New Year's Eve. They always go down a treat, and I've adapted Granny's recipe over the years to include a couple of nods to my adopted country, additions I hope she will approve of.
I've always wanted to be at a Gryffindor House party - especially this one, when Harry and Ron have finally reconciled after long chapters of fights and awkward silences. It's a busy night: Fred and George are distributing biscuits that turn people to birds, everyone offer solutions for Harry's screeching egg and Hermione takes steps towards liberating the House Elves from the kitchens. Through all of this, the characters enjoy jugs of pumpkin juice, plates of cakes and tarts, and trays of sausage rolls. I imagine they are just the ticket if you've spent the afternoon stealing a screeching egg from a dragon.
Makes around 12 8cm rolls
500g sausage mince
250g pork mince
250g chicken mince (or more pork mince)
3 brown onions
125g soft white breadcrumbs
Freshly ground pepper
Large pinch flaked sea salt
3tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tsp hot mustard powder
Handful chopped parsley
4 sheets ready rolled puff pastry (or a batch of homemade rough puff or puff)
1tbsp sesame seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 210C. Finely dice the onions and grate the carrots. In the mixing bowl, squidge together all ingredients, except the pastry, egg and sesame seeds.
2. Roll/lay out a sheet of pastry. About two centimetres from the edge closest to you, lay a long line of the meat filling, about 4cm high.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Using the pastry brush, paint some egg along the edge of the pastry furthest from you, parallel to the sausage. Tightly roll the sausage meat up in the pastry, using the line of egg to seal the roll closed. Place the roll on the bench so that the sealed edge is sitting underneath. Slice the roll into three large pieces (you can, of course, make smaller ones if you like). Transfer each to a lined baking sheet, paint the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and score the pastry.
4. Bake for 25 minutes until a deep golden colour. Allow to cool slightly before serving with tomato and Worcestershire sauce.