There is no better way to feed a crowd than with a plate full of homemade sausage rolls. They are really simple to make and everyone loves them.
Today we are jazzing up the humble sausage roll with a few of my favourite additions, sage and pancetta because our party just got a little bit fancy.
I tend to make sausage rolls at this time of year for State of Origin. They are quick enough make on a weeknight, but also they are the kind of thing you can prep when you get home from work and then just put them in the oven when everyone’s had enough crackers and hummus.
The perfect footy watching meal of course is one that can be eaten with one hand while the other is occupied with a drink. That’s what we are going for here with the mini size, but it’s really up to you how big you want the cut them.
A sausage roll can really be defined simply as meat wrapped in pastry. It is nothing too sophisticated, but when done right they are pretty darn good. The biggest problem is generally the question of what meat is actually inside, which is why making them at home is the best way as you control exactly what goes in.
How to Make Sausage Rolls
The first step is to grab some ready rolled sheets of puff pastry and let them thaw on the bench for about 10 minutes. While they are thawing, chop up your onion and pancetta.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and throw in your onion and pancetta along with some garlic and the sage leaves. Sage is a herb that has recently found its way back into my cooking and I love it. It adds so much flavour without being overly powerful and is perfect with the pork.
Once the onion is translucent, set the mix aside to cool down slightly.
In a large bowl mix together the pork mince, the onion and pancetta mix, egg, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix everything together, add more bread crumbs if it is too wet.
Divide out the meat into 4 and roll each section into a log the length of the puff pastry. Cut the pastry in half and place the rolled out meat on the piece of pastry. Roll up and seal with egg wash.
For this recipe I use an egg yolk only egg wash. I saw it on Masterchef and basically it just works really well at getting the tops of the pastries really crisp and golden. I then sprinkle sesame seeds over the top to add a little texture and to look a little pretty.
I also experimented with two different ways of baking the sausage rolls; cut before baking and cut after baking. Cutting first is the traditional way where you bake your individual pieces, while cutting after means you bake the full rolled logs and slice once they are cooked through. They both work, but I think my preference is to cut first as you seem to get more caramelised bits which I like. Cutting after though would let you more easily cut them into smaller slices for a platter. Just do what feels good.
For me I don’t know whether eating sausage rolls remind me of long car rides or birthday parties or if they just celebrate my love for all things pastry. Either way I know that if you bring these out at a gathering of any size, they will disappear.
This little twist on flavours using the sage and pancetta moves these sausage rolls away from just being kids food, and makes them worthy of the grown ups table.
This year, I’ll be watching game one from Queensland, being played in Victoria, but always a New South Wales girl at heart. Go the Blues!
Pork, Sage & Pancetta Sausage Rolls
- 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
- 500 grams lean pork mince
- 100 grams pancetta
- 8 sage leaves
- 1 small brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- salt & pepper , to taste
- 1 egg yolk , additional
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 trays with baking paper. Place two sheets of ready rolled puff pastry on the bench to thaw while preping the filling.
- Dice onion and pancetta, and heat olive oil in a pan. Saute diced onion and pancetta in the oil adding in garlic and roughly chopped sage leaves. Once onion becomes translucent, take off the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl mix together the pork mince, the onion and pancetta mix, egg, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix everything together, add more bread crumbs if it is too wet.
- Divide out the meat into 4 and roll each section into a log the length of the puff pastry. Cut the pastry in half and place rolled out meat on the pieces of pastry.
- Lightly beat the extra egg yolk with a fork. Roll pastry around the meat and seal with egg wash. Slice each roll into 6 and place on baking tray. Brush tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.