Beef and sage sausage rolls

I remember my Mum making sausage rolls one weekend when we had first moved to Brisbane. As a family of four, we each sat on a corner of a picnic blanket in the back yard, plucking hot sausage rolls out of the basket and smothering them in tomato sauce. We were shaded by the huge Lilly Pilly tree that still brings a welcome breeze. I've modified Mum's recipe a bit, but the memory remains strong. It's funny how little events (like a family picnic in the backyard,) can resonate with you.

In making these sausage rolls, I thought of how perfect they would be for summer picnics and, more importantly, for Australia Day! It's just over a week away and we are considering a typically laid-back menu for the 'day off'. These sausage rolls take no more than 15 minutes to make, and about half an hour to cook, so you can whack them in the oven and come back later. What's more, you can go all out and (easily) change the mince and herbs to create something different. Beef sausage rolls are pretty Australian, but I'm sure a lamb and rosemary variation would be gobbled up too!

What you'll need:
600g beef mince
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped sage
Salt and pepper
3 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
Milk, to brush

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.

Place all ingredients except the pastry and milk in a bowl and combine using your hands. (It's a bit yucky, but easier than using a spoon.) Season mince mixture generously with salt and pepper.

Slice each sheet of pastry straight down the centre so that you have 6 pastry rectangles. Shape a handful or so of mince into a sausage and place it along one long edge of pastry. Roll up the pastry and seal so you have one long sausage roll. Chop this roll into quarters to get four mini sausage rolls, and place them onto prepared baking trays. Repeat this process with remaining mince mixture and pastry.

Brush each sausage roll with milk and bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy with a good helping of tomato sauce!