Jamie nodded, picking up a sort of hot stuffed roll.
“I should be surprised if he had not,” he said dryly. “While there’s likely more than one man willing to do me harm, I canna think it likely that gangs o’ them are roaming about Edinburgh.” He took a bite and chewed industriously, shaking his head.
“Nay, that’s clear enough, and nothing to be greatly worrit over.”
“It’s not?” I took a small bite of my own roll, then a bigger one. “This is delicious. What is it?”
Jamie lowered the roll he had been about to take a bite of, and squinted at it. “Pigeon minced wi’ truffles, “ he said, and stuffed it into his mouth whole.
“No,” he said, and paused to swallow. “No,” he said again, more clearly. “That’s likely just a matter of a rival smuggler. There are two gangs that I’ve had a wee bit of difficulty with now and then.” He waved a hand, scattering crumbs, and reached for another roll.
The idea to vege-mize the Rolls with Pigeon and Truffles came up when I was recording an appearance on Outlander Podcast’s Voyager read along late last week. I was discussing the rolls, and their appearance in Chapter 28, “Virtue’s Guardian,” with Pod’s hosts, Ginger and Summer.
That recipe was the first Outlander recipe I created; it holds a special place in my heart. So when Ginger, a vegetarian, asked how to make a non-meat version, I immediately knew they were on the menu for Valentine’s Day.
The base is, appropriately, a mix of mushrooms — full of umami, just like truffles — but less expensive. I added white beans, aromatics, and breadcrumbs to round out the flavour and bind everything together. The coconut oil is optional because I understand that not everyone has it in their pantry, but including it will add an extra punch of flavour — fat is good like that. If you don’t have it, DO NOT substitute a liquid oil, like olive – it makes the mixture mush an difficult to work with.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
Makes eighteen 2-inch vegetarian sausage rolls
- ½ ounce (15 grams) dried morel or porcini mushrooms
- ¼ pound (115 grams) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, halved
- ½ pound (225 grams) brown or button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine or sherry
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, quartered
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup canned white beans (cannelini, navy, great northern, etc), rinsed and drained
- ½ cup Panko-style bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional), in small pieces
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ recipe Short Crust Pastry, chilled
- 1 large egg
Cover and soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 5 minutes. Lift the mushrooms from the water with a fork to leave the grit at the bottom of the dish. Drain excess water and chop coarsely.
Combine the reconstituted mushrooms, shiitakes, brown mushrooms, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very finely (and evenly) chopped. In a large heavy pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook gently, stirring occasionally until they have released their water, 12 to 15 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook for another minute or two. When the pan is almost dry, remove to a plate and cool 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the celery, shallot, garlic, and thyme in the dirty bowl of the food processor. Pulse 5 times, and add the white beans and pulse 5 more times, until the mixture is finely chopped, but not mushy. In a large bowl, combine the mixture from the food processor with the cooled mushrooms, breadcrumbs, coconut oil (if using), and tomato paste. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary.
Spread a piece of plastic wrap at least 24-inches long on the counter. Form half of the mixture into a long 18-inch sausage on top of the wrap and roll tightly in the plastic. Turn the ends of the wrap in opposite directions until very tight and secure with tape if necessary. Repeat with another piece of plastic wrap and the other half of the sausage mixture. Freeze both sausages for 15 minutes while you roll out the pastry.
Move the rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 425°F.
Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash.
On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry into a rectangle 10 x 18-inches Cut the pastry in half lengthwise so that you have 2 pieces measuring 5 x 18-inches. Unwrap one of the chilled sausages and place along the long edge of the pastry. Brush the edge furthest from you with the egg wash then roll the sausage in the pastry leaving about a ½-inch overlap. Pinch the join firmly closed, then roll the seam to the counter and rock the sausage gently to flatten and even out the join. Repeat with the other sausage and remaining pastry.
Brush the tops and sides of the pastry with the egg wash. Using a sharp knife, cut each sausage into nine 2-inch pieces, and place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes.
Cool at least 15 minutes on a rack before serving.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm slightly in a 300°F oven to recrisp the pastry.
- Freeze the assembled, unbaked rolls for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking as directed.
- Shiitake stems give homemade stock (vegetarian or meat based) a boost of umami. Freeze them until needed.