Soft and welcoming streaky bacon. The sweet embrace of buttery onion. A suggestive herbaceousness from Cumberland Sausages. All mingling within a suet pastry crust. The comfort food of a Bacon Roly-Poly, AKA a Bedfordshire Clanger.🥓🥮🧅
In 1955 Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister, @artstheatrewestend premiers Waiting for Godt, @birdseyeuk starts selling fish fingers, Cardiff becomes the capital of Wales, and my Mother’s Mother bought a copy of @goodhousekeepinguk Cookery Compendium third edition with colour plates.
The first recipe on the first page of the Family Recipes section is for a Hot Bacon Roly-Poly. A folded and steamed pastry with bacon, onion, and minced meat filling. When I told Dick Senior I was trying my hand at suet pastries this was his first thought. A night of reminiscing about all the comfort food of my parent’s youth ensued. Culminating in me borrowing this book, probably forever.
A true Roly-Poly must surely be rolled up at least twice, which I didn’t do on my first attempt. It also isn’t a Bedfordshire Clanger, which has bacon and onion at one end and a sweet ‘clanger’/mistake filling at the other end. I steamed it for just two hours, then baked it for 30 minutes to get a crisp and crumbly shell, finally slicing it cold and frying it for breakfast the following day. For lunch or dinner to be served with two veg and gravy, as all meals must.
Mix 4-6oz minced bacon, 2 oz minced meat, 2 oz minced onion, quarter teaspoon mixed herbs and 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, season well, then moisten with a little stock or gravy. Roll out 8 oz suet-crust pastry into an oblong quarter inch in thickness, and spread to within half an inch of the edge with the prepared filling, moisten the edges and roll up as for a roly-poly. Cover with greased paper, tie in a cloth and steam for 2-3 hours. Serve with a piquant sauce.

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