A childhood favorite reimagined – The Denver Post

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Warm and flaky sausage rolls, stuffed with savory meat and striped with ketchup, may not have been school cafeteria fare in Brooklyn while I was growing up. But they were in Australia for Paul Allam, where, as a kid, he used to long for one to appear at his primary school lunch table, tucked into a crumpled brown paper bag, steaming and a little soggy in the best possible way.

Now, as a professional baker and an owner of Bourke Street Bakery, Allam’s goal has been to tweak the humble sausage roll into something reflecting his adult sensibilities, using better ingredients and more sophisticated flavor combinations. At the Manhattan outpost of his Sydney-based bakery group, he offers a heady fennel-scented pork roll, a mellow turkey-cranberry roll and a rotating selection of vegetable rolls, filled with the likes of eggplant with chiles or spinach with feta.

But it was the harissa-tinged lamb version, laced with a smattering of currants and almonds, that I fell head over heels for. So much so that when I put subway rides on a pandemic-temporary hold, I called Allam for the recipe.

He was happy to oblige — with the caveat that his sausage rolls were a bit of a departure from the ones found in school cafeterias, not to mention in petrol stations throughout Australia.

“The traditional sausage rolls you got at school were made from cartilage and the stuff they swept up from the floor,” he told me, possibly joking. “If you went to a bourgeois school maybe you got celery. It didn’t matter. It still tasted great.

“Food memories from childhood are very strong. They stay with you,” he added.

I understood perfectly, I told him, remembering my beloved elementary school egg salad sandwiches … and, you know, Proust’s madeleines.