Bacon and leek roly-poly

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  • This British classic, rarely made, deserves a revival. Assemble wetted muslin or oil-brushed aluminium foil and natural-fibre string before you begin. This is not suitable for a microwave or pressure cooker

    Serves 4

    3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 300g chopped pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
    1 medium leek (about 250g), white and green parts thinly sliced crossways 500g self-raising white flour, sifted (plus extra for shaping)
    3 tsp baking powder, sifted 2 tbsp vegetable stock granules 75g parsley, chopped 125g butter in 1cm cubes 2 large eggs, beaten 225ml milk 4x36cm squares clean cotton muslin, wetted, or 4 squares olive-oil brushed aluminium foil

    To serve
    Tomato-chilli type sauce or salsa

    Step 1) Put 1 tablespoon of the oil with the bacon in a large non-stick fry pan. Sizzle over medium heat until cooked and lightly browned. Add the leek slices. Cook over high heat, stirring often, for another 2 minutes. Leave to cool.

    Step 2) In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, stock and parsley. Cut in the butter, using 2 knives like scissors or fingers to rub it in, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Pour in the eggs and milk. Mix, using a knife, until the dough forms a ball.

    Step 3) Pat it out, on a floured surface, to form a large rectangle. Cut it into 4 small equal rectangles. With a rolling pin, roll each rectangle to a shape of about 18x12cm. Lift each on to its wetted cloth or oiled foil. Spread a quarter of the bacon-leek filling over each rectangle, but leave 2cm clear along one long edge. Wet this strip with a little water. Using the cloth or foil to help, lift, roll and wrap the roly-poly so that the filling-covered area is enclosed first and the wetted edge is sealed beneath. Loosely roll the cloth or foil to enclose the dumpling. Using a long length of string, tie one end loosely like a Christmas cracker, then spiral it loosely along the dumpling and tie at the other end. Repeat for the other 3.

    Step 4) Get the steamer hot. Place each roly-poly evenly in position. When cooked, the dough must be plump, risen, firm and hot. Steam for 18-20 minutes in a metal steamer, or 25-35 minutes for electric (both 2 tiers). Unroll each, slice and serve with a tomato-based sauce.

    Liked this? Why not try our Three potato papillotes with blue cheese or find more recipes on the Homes & Gardens website

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