January in the Kitchen – Sausage Rolls

January in the Kitchen – Sausage Rolls

These sausage rolls have been a big hit at parties, movie nights, and TV sporting afternoons. Sausage rolls are part of my English heritage, I remember my grandmother making them. She was wonderful with all kinds of pastry; I’m not nearly so clever. For those of you who are not familiar with them, sausage rolls are similar to “Pigs in Blankets”, an American favorite. But, much, much better! They are traditionally eaten on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas when the servants had a day off (if you lived in the Downton Abbey era).

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls

I’m going to give two sets of directions, one with the sausage made from scratch and one with doctored store bought sausage. I’ve done them both ways, both are good. I’m not talented with pastry and used commercial all butter frozen puff pastry from Pepperidge Farm; but I invite you to make your own if you are so inclined. They would be even better.

This recipe was adapted from one in the New York Times by David Tanis.

Sausage Roll recipe #1 (from scratch)

  • 2 pounds port shoulder, not too lean, have it ground coarse (you can have the butcher grind it for you or do this in a food processor with the metal blade)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon mace
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Sausage Roll recipe #2 (Cheater’s rolls)

Before you make the “cheaters rolls”, check the seasoning of your sausage by frying a bit in a skillet. The sausage may not need any extra spicing up and could be fine as is.

No one needs to know you didn’t make these from scratch.

  • 2 pounds mild pork sausage either bulk or removed from casings
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or ½ tablespoon dried

Pastry and Assembly

  • 1 package all butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  1. Defrost the pastry if frozen.
  2. Mix the pork with all the seasonings in a large bowl, incorporating evenly.
  3. With wet hands form the sausage into 4 logs or rolls about 9 inches in length. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  5. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper
  6. Working one at a time, roll each pastry sheet into a rectangle approximately 9 by 10 inches, cut in half to make 2 pieces each about 9 by 5 inches.
  7. Unwrap each sausage roll from the plastic and place it in the center of one rectangle. Wet one of the long edges with a bit of water to seal the pastry and roll it up, tucking in any pastry at the ends.
  8. With the seam side down, cut each log into 8 pieces.
  9. Lay the pieces pastry side up (seam down) on the baking sheets and brush with the beaten egg.
  10. Repeat with the other pastry sheet.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and brown, and the sausage cooked.

Cool for a few minutes before serving, these are good warm or served at room temperature. They are even good for breakfast the next day reheated in the oven. Serve with a good spicy brown mustard such as the one here

These are excellent with a cold beer (or champagne).