Cheat’s Mince and Cranberry rollups..


It’s important to remember, especially at Christmastime, that there is no rule that says you have to make everything yourself. There’s shocking pressure on everyone to be some kind of magical Jamie or Nigella, and I definitely do not subscribe to the idea of putting yourself under that kind of pressure. So buy the mince meat, buy the cranberry sauce, and for heaven’s sake buy the puff pastry!

I do this stuff because I like it, but if you find it all just a bit too stressful or time-consuming, then dump the guilt, and be sure to check out my ‘Cheat’s Range’ of recipes – they’ve been my constant companions (like Mrs Bennett’s nerves!) for many years.

The great thing about these wee mince and cranberry rolls, is that you actually do make them yourself, but they are so simple that it’s virtually no effort at all.


  • a baking tray, or two
  • non-stick kitchen paper

INGREDIENTS:  This recipe usually makes me about 12-16 delicious buns!

  • A packet of ready-rolled puff pastry – (I used the reduced fat one for the buns in the picture here)
  • Mincemeat – a jar of good-quality bought, or your own home-made.
  • Cranberry compote – as above – bought or made.
  • 1 egg, and a splash of milk


  • Heat the oven to 180 Fan
  • Line the baking tray with the non-stick paper
  • Carefully unroll the pastry, keeping it on its packaging paper
  • Turn it so that the long side is facing you.
  • Put a thin layer of mincemeat over the entire sheet of pastry, apart from about 1cm at each of the long ends; make sure it goes right out to the edges at the right and left hand side.
  • Put a generous line of the cranberry sauce down the middle of the sheet. As in the picture below:



  • Starting with the edge nearest to you, start to roll up the pastry.
  • When you get to within a cm or two of the end, wet the clear edge with water, finish rolling up the pastry, and turn the whole thing so that the seam is sealed and on the bottom of the roll.



  • Using a sharp knife, start to cut the roll into slices and place them cut side up, about 2cms apart, onto the baking tray.


  • Beat the egg gently and add a drop of milk, then paint the buns generously – this gives them a nice golden, slightly shiny finish.
  • Pop them onto the middle shelf of the oven and give them about 20 minutes until they’re nicely risen and golden. I find with my oven that I have to turn the trays around about halfway through the cooking time to get them evenly baked.
  • Remove and let them cool on the tray
  • If you’re feeling fancy, you could drizzle a tiny amount of icing over them when they’re cool. (I don’t usually bother)
  • ENJOY!


  • When they’re fully cold, store them in a large air-tight box, with a layer of the non-stick paper between the layers.
  • If they’re not iced, they can be reheated, by giving them 5 minutes or so in a medium/hot oven.

Goats cheese and red onion marmalade rollups (3)


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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