The first thing you should know about these sausage buns is that they contain zero sausage. No pork whatsoever. Sin salchicha. Totally Kosh. I’m not really sure that they qualify as buns, either. But “beef puff pastry” sounded both gross and overly alliterative. You could refer to them as meat tubes, perhaps even more accurate and disgusting a term, and, believe it or not, one that just so happens to trigger a happy memory. In honor of the upcoming holiday of sweethearts and romance, a love anecdote about meat tubes.
It was 1999. Malcolm and I had just met. I was twenty. He spent most of his time trying to impress/embarrass mes, to show me that he liked me, I suppose. We went to the mall one day after class and in one of the creepy, low-lit stores on the Post Mall basement level he bought a t-shirt with the legend, “I only date crack whores.” I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. Thankfully, it was time for lunch. We hit the food court running, the group splintering off to each pick up some delicacy before reconvening to share our bounty. Orange chicken, teriyaki skewers, and spring rolls from Happy Panda, corn dog nuggets and crinkle-cut fries from Nathan’s, Sbarro stuffed pizza slices, an Orange Julius, a cup of Fro-Yo from TCBY, something sloppy and inedible from Roy Rogers, and finally, the meat tube, a Taco Bell novelty I can’t imagine was long for this world. I don’t know what was in it. I don’t know who would want it. I mostly remember Malcolm shouting about it across the court. He did a lot of weird stuff to make me laugh in those days. Come to think of it, he still does.
Curried Sausage Buns
Adapted from a recipe in Home Made Winter, by Yvette Van Boven
For the filling:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Tiger sauce (Asian chile sauce)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the buns:
- 6 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mixture should be moist, but not sticky.* Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half width-wise and roll out slightly, so that each piece is square. Form tubular sausage-shaped loafs with the meat mixture and place squarely on a piece of puff pastry, then fold/roll the dough around the tube, leaving ends open. Trim the ends of the dough, if necessary, and use a fork to crimp the seam. Brush with egg wash and arrange on baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
*Hint: I cooked a bit of the filling to taste for seasoning.