Pork and Fennel sausage rolls, a real staple here at Fork & Twist HQ. There is something about Pork and Fennel that just works so well, and when that is wrapped around freshly baked puff pastry it’s a dream come true. Honestly, we believe this will become a family favourite for everyone who decides to make them.
If you don’t know what fennel is, let us explain. Fennel is a flowering plant that has a large white “bulb” looking bottom with green stems and dill like feathery leaves. The flavour of this vegetable is aniseed like – think a subtle liquorice. In this recipe we don’t use fresh fennel, but in fact Fennel Seeds that are dry toasted in a pan to release the aromas and crushed with a pestle and mortar.
A lot of you may have already tasted fennel without knowing it. If you have ever had a dominoes pizza (in the UK) cthat has their signature sausage e.g. Mighty Meaty, there is a hint of fennel in that. This sausage roll reminds us of that exact flavour.
How Do I Make a sausage roll?
The sausage roll has two key stages: the filling & the pastry. For our sausage roll the filling comprises of good quality Cumberland pork sausages and some toasted and ground fennel seeds. The puff pastry is a shop bought block,
The tricks to making great sausage rolls are:
- Use ready made puff pastry, it’s just as good as homemade without the added hassle. Try to buy the block instead of the pre rolled. It just works better.
- Work fast with the pastry. First let it come to temp for 10 minutes, and then work fast with it, rolling out on flour and having the filling ready prepared.
- Prepare the filling first. this allows you to ensure the pastry does not sit out for too long.
- Toast the fennel seeds for about 1 minute and crush by hand using a pestle and mortar. The flavour unlocked from doing this is far superior than not toasting and crushing by hand.
- Buy the best sausages you can. These are the base of the flavour, so the better the sausage the better the sausage roll.
- Egg wash to top with yolk only to get a rich high gloss shine. Use the egg whites to seal the pastry round the edges.
- Add slits into the top of the pastry to allow the sausage rolls to breathe during cooking. Will ensure the pastry does not get soggy.
- Pre heat the oven. A hot oven will kick start the cooking and make sure that pastry puffs up and gets super crisp.
- Watch our video below on how to roll out the pastry easily, how to fold the pastry over the filling and how to seal the pastry.
That all there is too it really guys. Super simple and super delicious. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!
Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowl
- Frying Pan
- Pestle and Mortar
- Pastry Brush
- Greaseproof Paper
- Baking Tray
- Probe (optional)
- 250 g Puff Pastry ready made block is perfect, avoid pre rolled.
- 400 g Cumberland Sausages, skin removed
- 1 egg Yolk and white separated
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add the fennel seeds into the dry pan
- Toast in the pan for a minute or so until fragrant
- Pour into the pestle and mortar and grind into a fine dust
- Remove the skin from the sausages and add the meat to a mixing bowl
- Add the ground fennel to the sausage and mix well.
- The filling is now done - set aside.
- Get the pastry out 10 minutes before use.
- Put the block on a lightly floured surface Top Tip - a cold surface works best i.e. granite worktop.
- Flour the top of the pastry lightly and roll out into a rectangle with the length of about 40cm and the thickness just less than the size of a £1 coin.Top Tip - use the rolling pin as a measure for the length, it should be as long if not longer than the rolling pin.Top Tip 2 - halfway through rolling, flip it over to avoid sticking to the bottom.
- Test the width of the pastry by placing the rolling pin 1inch from the edge and folding the pastry over tightly. If it fits easily no need to roll out any further.
Constructing the Sausage Rolls
- Place the sausage meat filling roughly 1 inch inwards along the longest edge of the pastry. The meat should be quite thick, almost the width of your rolling pin.
- Egg white wash all the bare pastry, not just the edges.
- Fold the pastry tighly over the top of the sausage meat.
- Press down on the edges to seal well.
- Crimp the edges with a fork twice over.
- Trim off the ends to clean it up
- Using a sharp knife, cut into large individual pieces Top Tip - if you cut them into 7 rolls, this should be about the right size, but it is all down to personal preference.
- Using the sharp knife, cut two slits into the top of the pastry.Top Tip - make sure the knife penetrates through the pastry.
- Place onto a greaseproof paper lined baking tray Top Tip - Leave enough room between the rolls to allow them to puff up.
- Optional - place in the fridge for 30 minutes, or whenever you need them. This helps them to puff up nicely.
- Brush the tops of the rolls with egg yolk wash
Cooking the Sausage Rolls
- Pre heat an oven to 200c (fan assisted)
- Place the sausage rolls into the middle rack and cook for about 17-18 minutes.Top Tip - if making more than one batch adjust the cooking time a bit longer to allow them to cook through.Top Tip 2 - make sure the filling is at least 75c internal temp before removing from the oven
- Once coked remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before eating.
- Ready made Puff Pastry block is perfect, avoid pre rolled as it's difficult to work with in comparison. During tests a block rolled out by hand yielded far superior results.
- When rolling the pastry try to use a cold surface if possible.
- Halfway though rolling the pastry, flip it over to avoid sticking to the bottom.
- Add slits to the pastry to ensure crispness.
- When placing on the baking tray leave enough room between the rolls to allow them to puff up.
- Egg yolk wash adds a fantastic glaze that can't be achieved from a whole egg wash.
- If making more than one batch of sausage rolls adjust the cooking time a bit longer to allow them to cook through.