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Fennel & Garlic Sausage Rolls

Oh, I do love a good sausage roll. They remind me of picnics and my favourite bakery in Bristol (whose recipe I will never be able to match).  I remember making sausage rolls for the first time in high school, during a ‘food tech’ class. It was a revelation you could make these just as easy at home and they were MUCH tastier than the Gregg’s version I was used to. Still, it was a few years before I did actually try making them myself again.

I like having a batch of these ready for the weekend. I know some recipes will insist on enjoying warm straight from the oven. For me, I prefer them cold the next day. They make a really good lunchtime side to a bowl of soup. Or enjoy a plateful with large helpings of piccalilli.

Don’t worry too much about the perfect bake, it’s never something I personally strive for. Having baked a few batches of these, I’ve come to accept puff pastry has a mind of its own. They come out different every time! It’s okay if they’re a bit on the ugly side, they still taste delicious and won’t hang around long enough for anyone to judge.

Fennel & Garlic Sausage RollsFennel & Garlic Sausage RollsFennel & Garlic Sausage RollsFennel & Garlic Sausage RollsFennel & Garlic Sausage Rolls

Recipe for Fennel & Garlic Sausage Rolls

Ingredients

  • 600g free-range pork sausages
  • 500g puff pastry, room temperature
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • handful breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • olive oil
 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for roughly 15 minutes until soft and golden. Add the crushed garlic, 2 tsp fennel seeds and chopped thyme leaves, cook for a couple of minutes more then set aside to cool.
  2. Squeeze the sausage meat from the skins of the sausages. Add to a mixing bowl with the garlic and fennel mixture, a handful of breadcrumbs and season well before scrunching with clean hands to bind it all together.
  3. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a big rectangle roughly the thickness of a pound coin, then cut in half lengthways. Divide the sausage mixture in two, shape into a log and lay along the centre of each triangle.
  4. Brush one edge of each rectangle with the beaten egg, then fold the other side over and press with the back of a fork to seal the log tightly. Repeat with the other rectangle.
  5. Cut the long rolls into your preferred size and trim any excess pastry at each end. Place on a baking tray spaced apart and brush with the remaining beaten egg before sprinkling the rest of the fennel seeds over the top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.