Irish Sausage Rolls

Sausage rolls are very popular in Ireland, served as party appetizers or sold in bakeries as take-away food.   Sausage rolls made using American sausages lack the distinctive flavoring of Irish or English sausage meat.

To recreate the flavor of my childhood I have come up with a recipe for sausage filling, with seasonings that mimic the original taste of Irish sausages.

 

When you look at the ingredients above you will notice a lot of spice jars.  The key to success is the right blend of spices for the sausage meat.  Here is the ingredient list:

  • 3 puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg (beaten for brushing pastry )

Sausage Filling

  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried fennel (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 egg (beaten)

Large spice leaves never speckle Irish sausages.  To create an Irish sausage spice blend, I grind all of the spices in a coffee grinder.  The photo above is a mixture of thyme, marjoram, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, salt and pepper.  I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of fennel, but be warned fennel has a very strong flavor.  I only use 1/4 teaspoon, but if you are not keen on the hint of liquorice it adds to the sausage meat, leave it out.

 

Grind the spices together until a dry powder results.

Toss the ground spices and minced garlic clove into the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.

Mix the breadcrumbs and spices together.

Add the ground pork and seasoned breadcrumbs together.

Use your fingers to mix the breadcrumbs and ground pork together.

Add half of the beaten egg, and mix through the sausage meat.  Only add the additional egg if it is required to moisten the sausage.

Use your hands to roll and form the sausage meat into cylindrical shapes about 3/4 of an inch wide.  At this point wash your hands well, before proceeding to handle the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Open the first sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface.  The puff pastry I buy already has three indentations where it has been folded over in the package. I use these as guidelines for cutting the pastry into three strips, each about 3 inches wide.

Place a piece of sausage meat on the pastry which comes very close to the pastry edge.

Roll the pastry around the sausage meat, overlapping the pastry by about one inch at the seam side.

Cut the pastry with a knife.  The puff pastry sheets I used yielded 6 sausage rolls.  Each one third strip ended up being cut in half.

Roll the pastry back a little, and brush the inner side of the lower piece with egg wash.

Reroll the pastry sealing it at the bottom.  Using a sharp knife cut two diagonal slits in the top of the pastry roll.  This will allow steam escape during the cooking process and prevent the pastry case bursting open.

Lay the sausage rolls 1 to 2 inches apart on the baking tray and brush the tops with egg wash.  Pop them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Make sure the oven is fully heated to 400 degrees F.  The pastry will not rise well if the temperature has not reached the desired level.  Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F after 20 minutes and cook for a further 5 minutes.  This ensures the sausage is cooked through, without burning the top of the pastry.

I stuck a food therometer into the center of a cooked sausage roll, to demonstrate how the temperature had exceeded the mandatory 160 degrees F for fully cooked ground pork.

Place the cooked sausage rolls on a wire tray and allow to cool slightly, before eating.

I always like to eat my sausage rolls when they are still warm, but I know some like to munch on them when they are cold.  These pastry snacks freeze well, and can be reheated in a toaster oven.

Hope you enjoy this Irish American spin on a sausage roll.  Remember they are a perfect appetizer for any party.  Here is the printable version of the recipe:

Irish Sausage Rolls

Serves 18
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Meal type Appetizer
Region Irish
Sausage rolls are very popular in Ireland, served as party appetizers or sold in bakeries as take-away food. Sausage rolls made using American sausages lack the distinctive flavoring of Irish or English sausage meat.

Ingredients

  • 3 Puff pastry sheets
  • 1 Egg (beaten for brushing pastry )

Sausage Filling

  • 1lb Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon Dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 Egg (beaten)

Sausage Filling (Optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried fennel

Directions

Step 1 Grind the spices, salt and pepper in a coffee grinder.
Step 2 Add the ground spices and minced garlic to the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix together.
Step 3 Add the ground pork to the seasoned breadcrumbs and combine using your fingers. Add half of the beaten egg and mix thoroughly until the meat mixture begins to stick together. Discard the excess egg.
Step 4 Using your hands roll the sausage, forming 4 cylindrical shapes about 3/4 inches thick and 10 inches long. Set meat aside.
Step 5 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Step 6 Open a thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface. Cut into 3 strips about 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.
Step 7 Place a 3 inch piece of the pre-formed sausage meat on the pastry close to the edge. Roll the pastry around the meat, overlapping underneath by one inch.
Step 8 Cut the pastry roll, then roll it back to brush the lower layer with egg wash. Re-roll and seal the lower seam.
Step 9 Using a sharp knife, cut two diagonal 1/2 inch slits in the top surface of the roll. Repeat the procedure to form 18 sausage rolls.
Step 10 Lay the prepared sausage rolls on the baking tray in rows and one inch apart.
Step 11 Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.
Step 12 Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Step 13 Remove from the oven when golden brown on top. Cool the sausage rolls on a wire rack.
Step 14 Serve hot or cold as desired.

Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

Sausage Rolls

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Comments

  1. Won’t be able to make the rolls since my husband has to be on a gluten free diet. However, I think that I could use your recipe for the sausage meat and then possibly mix that with some gluten free flour and make some sausage balls! I thank you for posting this! You are so clever to come up with this!

    Kay

  2. These look really delicious! I love sausage, but haven’t ever had these before. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  3. Michael Gordon says:

    I am a retired sailor. When I was visiting UK I love the food there. This recipe brings back those fun memories when I was there and the taste was very authentic. My family love it as well. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  4. Kathleen Devine says:

    Loving your blog!!Thanks for the link for Franks song,now we will be humming it all day!!Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year!:)

  5. Please email your sausage roll recipe
    To me. I have tried many imitations and they
    Are all weak and off the mark!!
    Thanks!

  6. WOW – these are going to be great for our kick-off for our in-house Irish Pub…we have called it “The Foggy Dew”. Friends will be over tomorrow night and I can’t wait for them to try these! Thank you for posting this recipe…BTW, LOVE your website!
    Slainte!

    • Rosie – I hope your friends enjoy a little taste of Ireland when they visit tomorrow for the opening ceremonies of “The Foggy Dew”. Have a wonderful time and thanks for your kind words about my website. I really enjoy writing in the evenings when all the kids are fast asleep.
      Slainte to you and yours also.

      Mairead

      • …little update…made the Sausage Rolls for our little kickoff for our basement Irish Pub (The Foggy Dew) and everyone loved them! I’m keeping this recipe – thank you! These are great with a big pint of Guinness!

        • Rosie – I am so happy your guests loved their Irish sausage rolls. Sausage rolls will definitely be on the menu at our house this St. Patrick’s Day, with a pint or two of Guinness or Harp to help wash them down.

  7. Just finished making these delightful sausages as part of my quest to find a good americanized version of irish breakfast sausage. After hand mixing the meat and spices I immediately could smell this was going to be a lovely sausage but not the breakfast sausage I am hoping to make.

    Do you by chance have any recipes for traditional irish breakfast sausage? My mother, who lives in Co. Clare in a small town in Inaugh (an American Expat) insists that no one will reveal their recipe as that is what differs the butchers from each other….I can’t imagine there aren’t any recipes floating out there, but my combing of the internet has left me empty handed for ages.

    Love your recipe page.

    • Andrew – I am afraid I don’t have another recipe for Irish sausage. The one you used was the best attempt I could come up with to recreate something close to the sausage of my childhood memories. I think your mother is correct about Irish sausage recipes. One of our neighbors in Cork used to work for the Galtee factory making sausages, and he guarded the secret recipe, never divulging it to any of us.

      Thanks so much for checking out my site and my recipes.

  8. Adrian Lowndes says:

    All I can say is THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!. As a Brit living in America for years, I have been craving proper English sausage rolls – not pigs in a blanket or some other contraption. I’ve been craving them so bad as to almost buy tickets to Ol Blighty just for the sausage rolls. You, madam are a miracle worker. Thank you soooo much. Your instructions were easy to follow along with your photos made it easy. Its VERY HARD to make the sausage taste like the proper English ones with the meat we have over here but bravo!!!!! And Thanks Again!

    • Adrian – I am so happy you enjoyed this recipe. We love them in our house – you can’t beat a little taste of home every now and then, and these sausage rolls go down a treat every time. Thanks for your kind words – it’s lovely to get such positive feedback. Best wishes!

  9. Kathie Lynch says:

    My husband is from Northern Ireland and has been yearning for sausage rolls. I have tried several other recipes, but these really hit the spot. I think what he really loved was the sausage. He said the spices were perfect. Thank you!

    • Hi Kathie – It is so nice of you to take the time to comment and let me know my sausage rolls got your husband’s seal of approval. It took a few trials and plenty of errors, before I came up with this spice blend which passed my husband’s taste tests. He says these sausage rolls are the next best thing to the ones from home – he is from Donegal. Now I have the seal of approval from two Ulster men. Take care and thanks again.
      Mairead

  10. April Carvelli says:

    I grew up in a very British family in Canada that had a strong Irish heritage and when I came down to the U.S. everyone looked at me odd when I talked about the food I missed. After all they were convinced that the British food I grew up with was bland and tasteless. My American husband is a huge fan of British cooking now and my in-laws are slowly being swayed. However they love my sausage rolls. I used to spice from scratch, but I have found that the Jimmy Deans breakfast sausage works decently in a pinch and makes it a little quicker if you use it as a start and season to taste.

    • Hi April – A few people have mentioned how well Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage works. I must give it a try someday, because I always love when I can quicken up the cooking process a little without overly compromising on the end result. British and Irish food really does get a bad rap here in America, but the tastes of home are what I really miss. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my recipes.
      Best wishes,
      Mairead

  11. Mairead, can you use already ground spices, instead of grinding the dried, and still get the same result? I’m dying to try these! I could still get them in NY, but haven’t been successful in locating them in New Orleans!

    • Tracy – If you can find the spices in pre-ground form they should work great in these sausages. I can’t get powder form of some of these dried herbs where I live, so I bought a little coffee grinder to solve the problem. In Louisiana sausage would contain dried leaves and appear as specks in the meat, but in Irish sausages the spices are not seen. That’s why I recommend the ground form of all the spices.
      Hope you like these and thanks so much for checking out my blog.
      Mairead

  12. Hi Mairead. I’m from South Africa and been in the US for quite a few years. One of my favorite snacks there was sausage rolls, which obviously came from the Irish and every time I go and visit and I eat so many just to catch up :-). I tried your recipe and they are excellent!! They don’t look as great as the ones in your pictures for some reason but taste fantastic. Thanks for sharing this. Now I don’t have to wait till I visit there.

    • Basil – So glad you like these sausage rolls. They really do taste pretty similar to real Irish ones. Don’t worry how they look – it’s the taste that matters. A fancy chef would never say that, but there is nothing too fancy about my Irish cooking. Plain, simple, good tasting food is what I like.
      All the best, and thanks so much for taking the time to let us know you give your seal of approval to this recipe.
      Mairead

  13. I jst got back from Ireland and was desperately missing sausages and sausage rolls. I made these last weekend and they were delicious! So glad to have found the recipe and the blog.

    • Aoife – So glad you like these sausage rolls. It took me a few trials and some disastrous errors to come up with the spices I add to the ground pork, but in the end I think this is pretty close to an Irish sausage roll. Happy you will be able to satisfy your cravings for sausage rolls in America now.
      All the best,
      Mairead

  14. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I found this blog, while looking for good cottage pie recipes. Between the fix for approximating Irish brown bread flour and now this recipe for the sausage rolls that I’ve missed since I moved ten years ago, it’s amazing.

    All it’s missing is a recipe for chicken balls and curry chips!

  15. Heather Phillips says:

    I love your recipes! Thankyou.

  16. Thanks for this recipe! This has become such a favorite. I make big batches for the freezer so I can have sausage rolls anytime. Any leftover sausage gets frozen in patties and used for breakfast with eggs or quick sandwiches. Just so tasty! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes soon. Thanks again!

  17. Hi Mairead! I found your blog just by looking for the recipe for sausage rolls and I’m so happy I did! I absolutely LOVE your blog! While I have been busy making the Irish Sponge Cake and these rolls, I am happy that my journey is over for a sausage roll!

    I was too cheap to actually buy the puff pastry sheets at the market so I actually found a recipe and made my own! It came out brilliantly with the sausage! I made a special trip to the store to get the ingredients to make this and saddened to discover I didn’t have any garlic! So I tried the recipe today without the garlic and it’s still super yummy! I’m going to make these again real soon with some garlic and share them with my friends. They’re going to love this! Now I know why people in the UK and Ireland eat these in the morning. They’re so breakfast-y!

    Again, I thank you for the brilliant recipe! You’ve made me so happy that I am jumping for joy! :D

    • Crystal – I’m delighted to hear you enjoy my ramblings and recipes. So glad you found my little corner of the world wide web. Thanks also for your kind words. Congratulations on making your own puff pastry. It is the most economical way. Glad you enjoyed these sausage rolls. They’re not as spicy as an American sausage rolls might be, but just perfect for my Irish palate.
      Best wishes,
      Mairéad

      • Hi again, Mairéad! I’m writing back to inform you that I made them again this morning (well, started the spices last night and the puff pastry again) but this time I used ground turkey as a more healthier option since my dad might enjoy these. He suffered a heart attack last year and he loves pretty much anything I cook. Unfortunately, he found out he was diabetic last year and since then we’ve been trying to eat healthier. I mastered the puff pastry recipe a bit better this time and the turkey makes it taste a little lighter but I think they’re still really good.

        Cheers to a lovely day!
        Crystal :)

        • Crystal – Thanks for letting us know this recipe turns out well using ground turkey. I hope your Dad is able to control his sugars by watching his diet, and that he has fully recovered from his heart attack.
          Best wishes to you and your family,
          Mairéad

          • Aww, thank you, Mairéad! My dad has made a splendid recovery and has bounced back stronger than ever! He has not tried them just yet but my oldest sister loves them so far. Only thing I must let you know about using ground turkey that I forgot to add was that you may need to add a bit more spice. I’m not sure how much yet but hopefully next time I make this with turkey, maybe I will try to add double the spices.

            Best wishes,
            Crystal

  18. Cheers Mairéad! I’m new to your site but found you when I was looking for sausage rolls. My husband is a Kiwi from South Island NZ, and one of the things he misses is his sausage rolls. I have a batch in the oven as we speak, and my husband is practically making love to the oven while they’re cooking! Love your site and recipes. Thanks so much for doing all you do, and PLEASE keep up the good work!

    All our best to you and yours,

    Ms T

    • Ms T – Thanks so much for your kind words about my recipes and ramblings. I hope you all enjoyed your sausage rolls. They’re the closest thing to an Irish sausage roll I could create in America.
      Take care and thanks so much for stopping by,
      Mairéad

      • They turned out fabulous! The absolute best compliment my husband said was that eating the sausage rolls took him home! Couldn’t ask for better! Thanks so much!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, thank you so much for this recipe! I have been looking for the right spice mixture to make Irish (English is close too) sausages! Now that we live in PA, I have found bangers a few places, but they are quite expensive!
    Can’t wait to try this out. Hubby will be pleased too. :-)

  20. Do you have any suggestions for a sauce to serve with it on the side? I am going to make these for dinner as a main course. We had something similar at an Irish Pub (here in the US) and they were so great, I had to try at home. Glad I found your recipe.

    • Bonnie – Since the sausage rolls are made with pork, I think any sauce that pairs well with pork will work. There are many options you could try. Here are some ideas:
      – honey, soy, orange, butter and cinnamon, like the sauce for a duck a l’orange
      – a creamy champagne sauce with shallots, thyme and tarragon
      – pineapple, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne – the basis of a good chutney
      – a honey and balsamic vinegar reduction
      – caramelized apples with a little cider and wholegrain mustard.
      Hope these ideas help you come up with the perfect pairing.
      Best wishes,
      Mairead

  21. Amy Brennan says:

    I absolutely LOVE your blog. My husband is Irish, and often longs for recipes from home. I always have a tough time finding recipes (with American measurements!) that he craves. Needless to say, your blog and recipes are Godsend! :)

    • Amy – Thanks so much for your kind words about my website. I’m delighted to hear my recipes help you cook Irish food your husband craves. I agree that it’s hard to find real Irish recipes, adapted for American measurements. My goal is to fill that little niche, and I’ll keep adding more and more recipes over the coming months.
      All the best,
      Mairéad

  22. Belfast-born husband has always loved sausage rolls. He works in a restaurant here, and one of the importers of Irish foods gave him some commercially prepared rolls as a sample, thinking they might add them to the menu. He was eating them, totally rhapsodic, when I said, “I think I can make those, they don’t look all that difficult.” Well, he told me no way no how could I make a sausage roll as good as those. So I took that as a challenge, found your recipie, and proceeded to make them. Needless to say, these rolls kicked the others square in the butt. The only problem is now I have to make them about once a week to feed his addiction. But that’s fine, because I still won. Thanks for a great recipie!

    • Hi Wendi – I’m so happy to hear this recipe won your family’s sausage roll taste test. That’s high praise indeed. I laughed when you said your husband is addicted to sausage rolls. My Donegal born husband has a very soft spot for them too. It’s always lovely to hear from readers who give my recipes two thumbs up. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope some of my other recipes will help bring more tastes of Ireland to your table.
      All the best,
      Mairéad

  23. These look great! We (Mom, daughter and I) went to Belfast and Co Armagh earlier this summer. My 5th gr grandfather came from the Gosford area around 1800. Best thing I had were the breakfast sausages! I have found nothing to duplicate them here in Louisville so far. Glad I found your blog!

    • Hi Michele – so glad you had a good trip to Ireland. The Celtic Shop, beside Molly Malone’s on Bardstown Road stock Irish sausage. They’re nearly as good as the kind you get in Ireland. We buy them there when we’re really longing for a taste of home. Hope this helps.
      All the best,
      Mairead

  24. I read your recipe on an empty stomach and decided that I had to try it. To keep the calories at a reasonable level for my wife, I used ground turkey instead of pork.The resulting product was superb. Great recipe and thanks.

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