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 )
- 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:
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom