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 and herbs for the sausage meat.
Irish sausages are made using ground pork, just like many American sausages. However, the flavor profile is not as powerful or zingy as with American sausages. There are not spicy sausages, but savory and lightly flavored with a delicate blend of herbs.
These are my favorite party food from Ireland. Irish people include sausage rolls on the menu for all kinds of parties, celebrations and get-togethers. They are very popular throughout the United Kingdom also.
And so, here’s my recipe for Irish style sausage rolls made with American ingredients…
Ingredients For Irish Sausage Rolls:
I use store bought puff pastry sheets for these sausage rolls. Defrost and thaw the pastry before getting started.
The sausage filling is made with ground pork, breadcrumbs and minced garlic that is seasoned with dried thyme, marjoram, basil, rosemary, parsley and sage. This is bound together with a beaten egg.
Some people like the flavor of fennel, but I find too much of this herb adds a strong licorice flavor. I’ve made this an optional ingredient.
You’ll find the exact amounts of each ingredient in the printable recipe at the end of this post.
Directions For Irish Sausage Rolls:
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 ¼ teaspoon of fennel, but be warned fennel has a very strong flavor. I only use ¼ 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 ¾ 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.
Re-roll 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 thermometer 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
- 3 puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg beaten for brushing pastry
Sausage Meat Filling
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ teaspoon dried fennel optional
- Grind the spices, salt and pepper in a coffee grinder.
- Add the ground spices and minced garlic to the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix together.
- 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.
- Using your hands roll the sausage, forming 4 cylindrical shapes about ¾ inches thick and 10 inches long. Set meat aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Open a thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface. Cut into 3 strips about 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.
- 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.
- Cut the pastry roll, then roll it back to brush the lower layer with egg wash. Re-roll and seal the lower seam.
- Using a sharp knife, cut two diagonal ½ inch slits in the top surface of the roll. Repeat the procedure to form 18 sausage rolls.
- Lay the prepared sausage rolls on the baking tray in rows and one inch apart. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.
- Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when golden brown on top. Cool the sausage rolls on a wire rack.
- Serve warm or cold as desired.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Purchasing Pre-Made Sausage Rolls In America:
A quick disclosure note: The link below is an affiliate link and I will receive a commission if you choose to make purchases using this link. Thanks in advance if you do utilize this link for your Irish shopping.
Over the past few months I have received many e-mails from readers requesting information on where to purchase Irish food items in the United States. And so for anyone in America interested in purchasing pre-made sausage rolls or other Irish food treats check out the Food Ireland website. They have a wonderful selection of Irish goodies which can be shipped throughout the United States.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and Blessings)
Irish American Mom
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