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I am the proud owner of many of Stéphane Reynaud's books - the pink gingham'd Pork&Sons is an enduring delight - and am always lured by his hearty, unpretentious recipes. And this book is packed with them, from the (relatively) easy to the complicated, Pies and Tarts bears his trademark French elegance : a mixture of earthiness, simplicity of flavour and respect for technique. I have to say the unremitting brownness of the photographs may not initially lift the spirits, but the food does, and I've chosen a recipe that not only makes me salivate instantly, but also is not daunting to make.

Bacon-Sausage Roll

From Pies And Tarts by Stéphane Reynaud, published by Murdoch Books, 2012.


Serves 6

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pate brisee, or 2 packets shortcrust (pie) pastry
3 French shallots
1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sausage meat
1 egg
6 slices smoked bacon


Peel and finely chop the shallots. Pluck the coriander leaves and chop them. Peel and chop the lemon zest. Combine the shallots, coriander, lemon zest, spices and sausage meat and season with salt, then divide into six balls of the same size.

Assembly and cooking:
Divide the dough into six equal portions and roll out into rounds about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick.
Place a ball of filling on each round and close up the dough, pinching it together well in the middle to seal, and roll the ball a little to smooth it out. Whisk the egg. Glaze each ball and wrap it in 1 slice of smoked bacon.
Arrange the sausage rolls on a baking tray lined with baking
paper, with the bacon join underneath. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4) for 30 minutes.