When I lived in Auckland, Sunday mornings were a standing yum-cha date with my friends. If you’ve ever been to yum-cha you know it’s one of the greatest inventions ever; tiny dumplings, fluffy bao, secret sign language and best of all, immediate gratification – if you go to a place with trolleys that is.
Looking around the table at the faces of my friends, some of them heavy with sleep and the others plastered with the kind of smug that comes with having achieved ten things before breakfast, I always felt like all was right in the world.
Or perhaps it was the Lazy Susan in the middle of the table laden with steaming morsels – for someone that has extreme FOMO (that’s Fear of Missing Out), being able to try everything without making sad-dog eyes at other people’s plates is akin to the food version of a good hair day, not to mention how all the tapping the table to say thank you for pouring tea made me feel all James Dean inscrutable or secret squirrel James Bond, depending on the day.
It had been 3 years since I’d eaten dim sum when the fabulous Catty took pity on me during my recent visit to London and marched me to a table through the hubbub that always characterises a good yum-cha place. Though there were only the two of us we managed to pack away a respectable amount of food and I left rather dazed.
I know sausage rolls aren’t dim sum but I made and photographed them a while ago but didn’t really know what to say about them. It occurred to me though, that a sausage roll is like the Pakeha version of dim sum; usually served when there’s a crowd, made of pork, in small pieces and often in a buffet which is, if you really stretch, sort of like a dim sum trolley right?
A good sausage roll is a beautiful thing which is why you should make your own; the shop bought ones tend to be fairly nasty. And if you’re from a country other than NZ or Australia you can have an Antipodes themed party and serve them garnished with a sprig of curly parsley and feel rather avant garde – old skool is the new new skool, doncha know.
Got any standing dates?
500 grams (18 ounces) pork mince
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1 small onion, diced
A packet of puff pastry (my piece was something like 30 cm x 20 cm unrolled)
1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, to glaze
Preheat the oven to 200 celsius (395 fahrenheit).
Combine the pork mince, Worcester sauce, pepper, salt, oregano if using and diced onion in a bowl and squish together with your hands, or a fork if you’re squeamish.
Cut the pastry in half lengthways and divide the meat in half.
Form a tube with half the meat down the centre of one of the halves of pastry.
Bring one side of the pastry up, brush with fingertips dabbed in water and bring the other side to cover it.
Repeat with the remaining meat and pastry.
Turn seam side down and brush the top with the glaze and cut into pieces of desired size.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Serve with plenty of tomato sauce (ketchup).