Beef Sha Bhakleb
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What: It’s one of those foods you can’t help but love: minced pork and herbs wrapped into pastry and baked to golden, flaky perfection. It’s also one of those foods no one knows much about, origins-wise—and nor do they really care, if they’re in the presence of fresh-from-the-oven sausage rolls. But it’s safe to say that these meaty snacks have been consumed in the U.K. at home, in pubs, during parties, and as appetizers for something like centuries now. Now have another.
Where: Our sausage roll is from the top-notch Holly Bush Pub (22 Hollymount) in pretty Hampstead, not far from sprawling Hampstead Heath.
When: Daily, noon-11pm, though food is served: Mon-Fri, noon-3pm and 6pm-10pm; Sat, noon-4pm and 6pm-10pm; Sun, noon-5pm and 6pm-9pm
Order: The pork and sage sausage roll (£3.75), its pastry a supple golden-brown, was flawlessly executed: fresh, buttery, bursting with earthy, fragrant flavor, and served with a simple side of England’s finest: brown HP sauce. This pub changes up its menu seasonally, so be sure to get this if it’s available. Pair it with a real ale, like a classic London Pride from Fuller’s, and then follow it with anything from fish pies to smoked wood pigeon to regionally sourced sirloin steak. Be sure to end with the outrageously good sticky toffee pudding if you can.
Alternatively: Sausage rolls are common pub grub in London, but you’ll find the tastiest—with the best-quality meat—at gastropubs and markets, such as Borough Market (Thurs-Sat; 8 Southwark St., map), where handmade sausage rolls are peddled alongside Melton Mowbray pork pies at Mrs. King’s Pork Pies and among the butchered meats at Ginger Pig. For a quick bite on the go, try regional chain Pieminister (multiple locations including at Borough Market and on the South Bank at Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, map), which emphasizes regional, free-range, all-natural ingredients in its yummy meat pies and sausage rolls.
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