Sausage rolls are never better than when they’re filled with quality mince, have tonnes of flavour and are wrapped with flaky pastry. And no soggy bottoms either! To get that flavour boost, l saute onion, garlic, mushrooms and mix them through the pork mince along with a couple of teaspoons of thyme.
I’ve been working on a sausage roll recipe for quite awhile, and my decision to post it now was spurred on by the fact that Australia Day is just around the corner.
Sausage rolls are as quintessentially Australian as kangaroos or koalas. And yes, l know they are British in origin, but l will add that the concept of wrapping food in pastry dates as far back as the ancient Greeks (seems like my ancestors have come through yet again!)
THIS IS WHAT I ADD
Pork Mince. I steer away from sausage mince because l really don’t know what’s in it. And what goes into sausage mince may also vary from butcher to butcher.
Portobello Mushrooms. I wanted to add some form of vegetable into the filling, without running the risk of creating too much moisture. Portobello mushrooms are perfect because 1. they have more texture than flat or button mushrooms 2. they have a stronger flavour and 3. they release less water when sautéed.
Streaky Bacon. Simply put, bacon adds flavour and juiciness.
Thyme: Thyme has a lovely earthy aroma and adds lots of flavour to the filling. Although l haven’t tried this myself, you could substitute thyme with rosemary or sage.
GET THE BALANCE RIGHT
One of my pet hates when working with pastry is soggy bottoms.
It took a a fair bit of experimentation to get to the point where the filling is moist and the base is still nice and crisp.
Due to all that trial and error, l owe my family a big thank you for enduring weeks of sausage roll dinners.
Well, actually, my daughter Grace (pictured above) wasn’t too unhappy about it.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes Servings: 20
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic, grated
- 100 g/3.5 oz portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (note 1)
- 150 g/5 oz streaky bacon, finely chopped (note 2)
- 2 tsps dried thyme
- 500 g/1 lb pork mince/ground pork (not lean)
- 50 g/1.5 oz breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 2 1/2 sheets puff pastry cut in half (note 3)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- tomato sauce/ketchup
- Preheat oven to 180 C /350 F.
- Heat the oil in a medium frypan over moderate heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, streaky bacon, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute until the filling ingredients have softened and the liquid has evaporated. The filling ingredients still need to be moist but without any liquid on the bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool.
- Place the pork mince in a medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs and filling ingredients. Mix well (l prefer to use my hands for this bit). Check the seasoning by tasting a small amount of the filling (note 4).
- Divide the filling into 5 equal portions. I tend to use scales to weigh the portions as l don’t trust my eyes.
- Place one portion of filling about a third of the way from the long edge of the pastry. Make a sausage shape. Brush the opposite edge with the lightly beaten egg. Roll, making sure the edges are sealed.
- Cut each portion into 4 equal lengths and brush with egg.
- Place sausage rolls onto a large baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper (note 5).
- Place baking tray in oven. I position my baking tray in the top third of the oven (a bit above the centre of the oven).
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden in colour.
- Cool and serve with tomato sauce.
- I use portobello mushrooms for their firmer texture and stronger flavour. They also release less moisture than flat or button mushrooms.
- Streaky bacon adds juiciness and flavour. The other cuts of bacon won’t be as juicy.
- The puff pastry sheets measure 25 cm x 25 cm (10″ x 10″). When cut in half, they will form a rectangle. Thaw the puff pastry and set aside in the fridge until ready for use.
- As my mother would say, “If you don’t taste, you won’t know what it needs”.
- If you place 2 trays in the oven, remove the top tray once it has turned golden in colour and put the second tray in its place. I much prefer to use one large tray; less mucking around and the sausage rolls are ready at the same time.