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Bacon Roly-Poly Recipe

A Victorian 'steamed-pudding' stalwart - well worth trying, and not difficult to make.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards


For 4-6 people:

For the Crust -
300g/10 oz Self-Raising Flour
½ a tespoon Salt
150g/5 oz fresh Suet, chopped to coarse crumbs

250g- 300g (8-10 oz) Back Bacon, chopped
2 big Onions, peeled and finely-chopped
4 Leeks, trimmed, cut into matchstick ‘julienne’ strips
1 teaspoon Dried Sage
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper


1. Mix the flour, salt and suet with your hands, and bind it into a soft but not tacky dough – with a little iced-water.
2. Chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour, and roll it out into a big rectangle 1cm/½ in thick.
3. Dot it evenly with the filling items, leaving a small rim of dough free, season with a little salt and plenty of pepper..
4. Roll it up from a short or long side – depending on your steaming facilities.
5. Brush the rolled ends with water and press the dough together to keep the filling in place.
6. Wrap the roll very loosely in foil, leaving plenty of room for the dough to swell.
7. Steam the package for 2 hours, then remove to a dish.
8. Open the foil, and carefully pour off any juices – which should be discarded.
9.Put the poly-poly in a medium oven to crisp the surface slightly.


Mussel or Oyster Roly-Poly:
1. Reduce the quantity of bacon to 6 long streaky rashers, and cut these into strips
2. Steam-open 60 Mussels or 36 Oysters in a covered pan with a little water, and remove them from their shells – retain any residual juice.
3. A little Salt, remembering the bacon is salty, and plenty of Black Pepper.
4. Use the items above as the stuffing – omitting the onions.

Proceed as above, but on opening the foil packet, retain any juices and mix them with those you retained earlier – serve these in a jug at the table.

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