Recipe of the Month: Linda Duffin’s ‘Mummy’ Sausage Plait
02 November 2020
Serves 6-8 children and rather fewer adults
450g good quality, well seasoned sausage meat, or about 8 sausages, skinned
1 medium onion
1 stick of celery
1or 2 heaped tbsps chopped fresh herbs (I used mostly parsley plus fennel and rosemary)
Stuffed olives or black olives and red pepper, for the eyes
1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry, preferably all butter
1 small egg, beaten, to glaze
Peel the onion, de-string the celery, and strip the herbs from their stems. Then either dice very finely or whizz in a food processor until chopped small but not pureed. Place in a bowl with the sausage meat and mix thoroughly.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, unroll the pastry, place the sausage meat on top and shape into what at this stage will look like a particularly unattractive homunculus.
Slice the pastry at a slight angle on either side to form the wrappings, leaving a gap for the eyes. Fold down a piece to form the top of the head wrapping. Turn up his toes likewise. Use any offcuts to bolster the sides to minimise leakage. (I know.)
Start wrapping the mummy, plaiting from one side to the other. Cut any remnants into more strips to criss-cross the figure in a haphazard fashion, trying to ensure most of the filling is covered. Cut slices from the stuffed olives for the eyes, or cut out circles from black olives and red pepper as I did. Press gently into place.
Egg wash the pastry and place in the fridge, still on the baking sheet, for 30-40 minutes to firm up. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Optional extra: download The Bangles Walk Like An Egyptian, do a sand dance round the kitchen and snigger at your handiwork.
Remove the mummy from the fridge (how often do you get to write that?) and egg wash again. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through so it cooks evenly, until golden brown and cooked through. Rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.