Sausage rolls are one of the Aussie staples that I missed while living in the US. I'm not sure why they haven't caught on in the US, but you can find sausage rolls anywhere here in Australia. They range from basic sausage wrapped up in puff pastry to form a sort of skinny log, to gourmet sausage loaded with extra flavors and add-ins wrapped up in flaky, golden crusts that form a beautiful fat log of savory goodness.
I had never made a homemade sausage roll, but in all honesty, they couldn't be easier. I could have been enjoying them during my time in the US if I had only made them myself! I found a yummy-looking recipe in the August 2010 issue of delicious. magazine for calabrese sausage rolls. This recipe can be be eaten already prepared at Desmond & Molly Jones cafe in Surry Hills in Sydney, but since I don't live anywhere near Surry Hills I made the calabrese sausage rolls myself.
The best sausage roll I've ever eaten! Inside of this golden puff pastry is calabrese sausage (pork sausage with hot peppers!) with fresh parsley and thyme, peas, red onions, garlic and parmesan cheese. On top of the puff pastry is a sprinkling of fennel seeds.
Fennel seeds. I have to digress on fennel seeds. Fennel seeds bring back memories. My mom and dad liked this particular pizza from a place called Sunshine Pizza. They were the only pizza joint that did deliveries in our small town. I, however, hated their pizza. I always requested their spaghetti (which wasn’t great, but it was better than their pizza). What did I hate about that pizza though? Was it soggy? Was there not enough cheese or mushrooms? Oh no, those weren’t the reasons. I hated their pizza because there were fennel seeds in their pizza.
At that particular time I didn’t know that those were called fennel seeds, I just knew that there was some taste in that pizza that made me hate it. While eating a slice, I tasted one of those seeds separately and I knew that that little seed was the reason I never wanted to eat Sunshine Pizza’s pizza again.
Later, I finally learned what the seeds were called. And I knew that they had no business being in pizza.
I was a little reluctant to put them on these sausage rolls, but I figured that they were in the recipe for a reason, and I have to say that, while I haven’t done a complete 360 about fennel seeds, they tasted much better with these sausage rolls than they did on pizza.
My pictures of the inside don't really look that great (the plate was too small too!), but I want to show you the inside of the sausage roll anyway.
Sausage rolls are usually eaten with some sort of condiment, ketchup being the most popular choice, I believe, but for these sausage rolls, you should serve tomato or mango chutney (which is sort of like a relish).
These were so delicious. If I ever find myself in Surry Hills, I'll stop by the Desmond & Molly Jones cafe and see how mine compares to theirs. 🙂
Calabrese Sausage Rolls
- 1 kg calabrese sausages or other good-quality Italian pork sausages, skin removed
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 cup 120g frozen peas, blanched
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup 40g grated parmesan cheese
- 3 sheets frozen puff pastry just thawed
- 1 egg lightly beaten with a spash of pure (thin) cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
- Good quality tomato and mango chutney to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the sausage meat, herbs, peas, onion, garlic, lemon zest and parmesan in a large bowl, then mix with damp hands until well combined.
- Lay the pastry, with the plastic backing still intact, on the bench. Divide filling equally among the pastry sheets, then form each into a long, high log along one side of the pastry. Use the plastic to help roll up the pastry to completely enclose the filling. Press down gently to seal, then score the seam lightly with a knife. Halve the rolls with a damp knife using a sawing motion, taking care not to squash the filling.
- Place rolls, seam side down, on tray leaving a 3cm gap between each. Brush tops with egg mixture and cut 3 slashes into the pastry. Sprinkle with fennel seeds and bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is cooked and the pastry is golden.
- Serve the sausage rolls hot with a generous spoonful of chutney.