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This year’s Sausage Rollover

2014 is still a pup, but looking through last year’s files I came across the piece that I wrote about the inaugural Sausage Rollover which was held at the Red Lion in Barnes. In 2013 I grumbled a good deal about the clever-clever-over-cheffy sausage rolls that were entered. I grizzled about the “sausage” roll that was made by wrapping a lobster tail in pastry. I wrote of my longing for a simple sausage roll that was greasy, filling and perfect ballast for when the thirst was raging. Last week I got to judge sausage rolls from the class of 2014 and I am pleased to report that we have made progress.
This year there were 16 contenders and they came to the judging table four rolls at a time. There were still some chefs who pushed the envelope, and as we found last year, all too often the envelope burst! It is very hard to make a good sausage roll out of rabbit, bunnies are too lean (although one entrant did knock up a filling that was made from rabbit and chopped lardo – brave, but didn’t hit the spot). There were also duck and hoi sin sausage rolls; haggis sausage rolls; venison sausage rolls; and one where the sausage meat had a langoustine entombed in its centre. Thankfully these rather spooky interpretations represented only half the field and there were plenty of classic rolls to stir the appetite. On the whole the pastry was very good – evenly baked and golden - both flaky and short crust seen at their best.
A special mention must go to David Rankin, editor of the Richmond and Twickenham Times, he was the only amateur entry but his sausage roll came a creditable third – excellent pastry. The winner was Chris Brumby – chef at Ben’s Canteen in Battersea. His roll was a departure from the traditional in that it managed to include the components of an English breakfast. Somehow this complex combination of different tastes and textures seemed entirely appropriate. Good eating.

www.red-lion-barnes.co.uk
www.benscanteen.com
www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.u.k

Charles Campion - Sunday 2nd February 2014

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