Spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry

I am such a fan of sausage rolls; with a well-flavoured filling and light, melt-in-the-mouth pastry, they never fail to give me a feeling of total satisfaction when eating them!

Sadly sausage rolls are much-abused in my opinion, especially most of the commercial ones which are often little more than cheap meat and dry, tasteless pastry: Greggs, I include you!

Ever since I have been making sausage rolls as a boy, I have packed the filling with all manner of goodies such as apple, chutney and cheese, for example, so that they are so much more than just pastry and sausagemeat! Very much inspired by my gran who made THE most amazing sausage rolls and who have me her recipe decades ago.

These ones with a gorgeous Middle Eastern take, are a type I have been making for years in various guises and they always go very quickly. I recently saw a version made by the great Dan Lepard: and boy do his look wonderful!

A very well-flavoured pastry

I have been making flavoured puff and rough-puff pastries for many years, adding goodies such cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon and the like for sweet bakes, and spices such as smoked paprika, turmeric and mustard powder for savoury bakes.

The rough-puff pastry here, using turmeric and garam masala, is terrific, and is both simple and fairly quick to make.

Tweak it as you wish!

With a bake such as this, there are so many things that can be added for personal taste:

  • I sometimes use garam masala in the pastry, sometimes use curry powder and sometimes use a mixture of cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric.
  • I often use chopped coriander stalks as well as the coriander leaves in the filling
  • I vary between using lime pickle, mango chutney or aubergine pickle.
  • I occasionally add a generous amount of chopped fresh mint to the filling: lamb, mint and coriander are such wonderful bedfellows!

I sometimes make these with a pastry seam visible, but at other times I tuck the pastry seam underneath: it literally depends on how I am feeling at the time!

I cut them to about an inch wide, making about 24 of them, and they take about 25 minutes to bake at 190C(fan), but I have made them longer, giving them 30-40 minutes baking time.

Recipe: spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry – makes about 24

For the spiced rough-puff pastry

  • 250g strong plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (the fresher the better)
  • 5g fine sea salt
  • 200g unsalted butter, chilled and roughly cubed
  • 140-150ml cold water

 For the filling

  • 500g lean minced lamb
  • 100g best quality sausagemeat or lean minced pork
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • small handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons when chopped)
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons when chopped)
  • 80g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mango chutney, plus a little extra for brushing over the pastry
  • 100g pistachios, roughly chopped

To finish:

  • a little beaten egg
  • black onion seeds or poppy seeds

(1) Make the pastry: please refer to my post on rough-puff pastry here, which has full instructions and diagrams for each stage. The only difference is the spices: just mix them with the flour at the start and proceed as in the recipe. Wrap in clingfilm and chill until needed

(2) Make up the filling: mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, stirring well to incorporate. Cover with cling film and chill until needed. Ideally, chill overnight to allow the flavours to really develop. YOu can fry off a little of the filling in a pan to taste, and adjust flavours if you feel this is needed.

(3) Make up the rolls: pre-heat the oven to 190C (fan). Cut the pastry in half and roll out each piece to a long, thin rectangle. Brush a little mango chutney down the centre of each strip and spoon over the filling.

(4) Brush a little egg along the long edge of each strip and bring the pastry up and over the filling, pushing gently to seal. If necessary, you can gently stretch the pastry over the meat to reach.

(5) Trim along the length of each roll and brush the beaten egg liberally all over the surface. Cut into individual rolls to the preferred size: I tend to go for between one and two inches.

(6) Sprinkle over poppy seeds or onion seeds. You can either make shallow cuts across the tops or leave them as they are. Bake for about 25 minutes (larger ones) or 15-20 minutes for smaller ones until dark golden brown.

Recipe links:

Rough-puff & other laminated pastries
The very best sausage rolls!
Chorizo and fennel sausage rolls in a paprika rough-puff pastry
Mustard and caramelised onion sausage rolls

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

3 thoughts on “Spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry”

  1. HUGE fan of Dan Lepard here…. he is the best!

    I am in love with the idea of adding spices to the puff pastry… It s been years since I made some….

    What a wonderful recipe!


I love to hear your comments:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: