Curry base sauce

Currywurst rolls

Yes, that’s sausage rolls, made with currywurst

…and with apologies to most of Germany, and a chunk of the British armed forces. Probably bits of France and India, too. In fact, this one might be worse than that time I ate a black pudding and cheese bagel.

Look, currywurst isn’t sophisticated. It never has been, and given you can now buy it from a little electric contraption balanced on a burly German’s crotch, it ain’t getting any better.

It is – however – getting wrapped in pastry:

Cuyrrywurst is iconic-teutonic street food of the dirtiest, most delicious stripe, and I grew up wolfing it down the way my dad made it. Which was the way he made it during a stint as an army chef. Which was with a thickened curry gravy, rather than the more traditional spiced ketchup.

 

My dad would fry off curry powder with flour, and let it out with tomato ketchup and chicken stock, to make something not wildly unlike a katsu curry sauce, then sluice it over fried brats for the occasional Saturday brunch. It’s sordid, it’s arguably culturally insensitive, and it’s delicious.

This is that, reworked as sausage rolls, because pastry.

Currywurst rollIngredients:

  • Bratwursts, 4-5
  • Curry ketchup, 6-7 tbsp (see below)
  • Puff pastry, 1x 500g pack
  • Flour, 3 tbsp
  • Butter, 25 g
  • Stock (light vegetable or chicken), 300 ml
  • Turmeric, 1/4 tsp
  • An egg

You can buy curry ketchup, and that’s traditional. But it’s also not very nice. I made a variant of this one from Serious Eats, but with much more paprika, chilli, and fennel. I’ll supply a full recipe later.

The length of bratwursts varies. these ones were quite stubby, and I had enough pastry to do six. With longer (more traditional) ones, you may only get four out of this much pastry.

Instructions:

If you’re making the Serious Eats ketchup, you’ll need about an hour up front. I think you’ll also need less sugar, way more turmeric, and a bit of ground fennel seed.

Heat the oven to 180c. Brush a baking tray with oil, and beat the egg.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry to a little under half a centimetre thickness, and long enough to cut strips of about 35cm in length.

Brush it liberally with the curry ketchup. This helps the pastry stick to the bratwursts, and also infuses some extra flavour. You can afford to go sloppy. It’ll make a mess, but it tastes good.

Cut the pastry into strips 2-3 cm wide, and wrap a strip around each bratwurst in a loose, open spiral. You can sort of pinch it closed at each end so that it stays in place, or you can just leave it as a loose wrap. It ought to hold.

Put the bratwursts on the tray, and brush them with beaten egg. Do this carefully, as you can dislodge the pastry.

Currywurst roll - unsaucedPut it all in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until pleasantly puffy and golden. Yes, they’re meant to look that daft; deal with it.

While the bratwursts bake, make the sauce. Melt the butter on a low to medium heat, and add the turmeric and flour. Work it all together to form a sauce roux, and try not to think about what you’re doing.

Cook out the butter-flour mix for around 2 minutes, then add 5 tbsp of the ketchup, whisking it all together until smooth. Slowly add the stock, mixing it to keep the texture, until you’ve got a thickness you’re happy with. Simmer for a couple of minutes, and put it to one side. When the pastry’s done, slather the damn things with sauce, and serve with enough beer to quiet the voice of conscience.

The spiral wrap is entirely an affectation, though I do like the way the browned sausage shows through. Tastier would be to do a fully-enclosed roll, and make sure there’s loads of curry ketchup inside. Let’s be honest, this is all about the sauce.

You can totally put fried onions in the gravy too.

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