Lamb and Smoky Aubergine Rolls

Lamb, sour sumac, citrus coriander, pops of pepper, smoky aubergine and buttery pastry. Can’t you just see that propping you up through Christmas? By an open fire? That is one of the many things that I miss and that I love when I go home. That raw heat and pure joy of a roaring open fire.

This recipe is a firm favourite was originally an adaptation of the rolls that I used to sell at my market stall in Covent Garden (all those years ago!). In Comfort & Spice, it is adapted so as to be a use for leftover lamb shoulder meat. This is the original recipe which uses minced lamb and it is perfect for Christmas celebrations.

Use shop-bought pastry if you wish, and I often do, but I love to use homemade butter-rich shortcrust when I have time. Shortcrust pastry is speedy and needs little attention. I like to make big chunky rolls that would satisfy for a whole meal with a big salad. They make terrific picnic lunches, pack some for a festive walk with a flask of mulled wine or cider.

This recipe is one of 157 recipes from my first book Comfort & Spice, published in 2011, 7 years ago now! Most of these recipes are not online anywhere. After 7 years it is being retired by my publisher. and I have the last copies which I am selling signed in advance of Christmas for readers in the UK and Ireland. International readers have been in touch and I am checking postage for them. I have had enquiries from the US and Canada so far but I can check for where you are, if you are happy to wait to receive your book after Christmas. Please email me on 

Buy your copy of Comfort & Spice here and let me know who to sign it for when you order. Last postage dates are Tuesday so please get your order in before noon on Tuesday.

Lamb and Smoky Aubergine Rolls
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Lamb and Smoky Aubergine Rolls


    For the shortcrust pastry
  • 150g plain flour, plus more to dust
  • sea salt
  • 75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
    For the filling
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 heaped tbsp sumac
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • Makes 4 chunky sausage rolls
  • First make the pastry: sift the flour with a little salt and add the butter. Rub quickly with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg and bring together with a knife (to keep it cool). Add a little water if needed. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour. 
  • Blacken the aubergine over a gas flame, rotating until it looks like there is no hope… that’s when it’s perfect! Let cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Sauté the garlic in the oil for a minute. Place the lamb and sumac in a bowl and tip in the garlic. Peel and chop the aubergine (don’t worry about little bits of skin that stubbornly remain). Add to the lamb with the coriander. Season to taste.
  • Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to 5mm thick; you want it to be sturdy. Cut into rectangles about 15x12.5cm. Place the lamb mixture in a line about 2.5cm in from one edge. Brush both edges with beaten egg, fold over the pastry and press. I also fold the pastry back towards the filling (see photo opposite) to ensure it is well sealed.
  • Prick holes with a fork or slash at intervals with a knife. Brush once more with beaten egg to ensure the rolls turn nice and brown. Cut into 10cm rolls. Bake for 25–30 minutes until crisp. I prefer these hot but they eat well cold too, and you can reheat them also.

    Photography copyright Georgia Glynn-Smith. An adaptation of this recipe appeared in Comfort & Spice published by Quadrille Publishers in 2011.



    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.