An easy snack, and delicious treat with drinks, these English sausage rolls will up your entertaining game with their savoury filling and flaky pastry. Your guests won’t stop thanking you!
Years ago now, I was travelling on the train in the UK for the first time. Being rather naive about the whole thing, I didn’t fully understand how the train stations worked. So arriving at Norwich station, I promptly missed my train connection and had to wait for another 45min for the next one. Slightly stressed, and annoyed by the whole affair I determined I was hungry, so went to a shop on the platform to get something to eat.
As I was still new to the country, I enjoyed walking inside shops to see what they sold that was different from back home. This shop had a warming cabinet with pastries in them, including sausage rolls. Now I had not had these before, but essentially it is flaky pastry with savoury sausage meat cooked inside. There is nothing remotely healthy about these, but boy are they tasty. A lot of people will buy them from bakeries, such as Gregg’s, but I’ve always found their sausage rolls a bit too greasy. It is, however (at least for my inlaws), a British Christmas tradition that you have sausage rolls during the festive season.
Better than Gregg’s sausage rolls
So, last year I decided as I was hosting Christmas dinner, that I would whip up a batch of my sausage rolls. I made a rough puff pastry and went to the butcher to get some fresh sausage meat. Now in the past, I’ve made cranberry sausage rolls, and a firm favourite, hickory-smoked sausage rolls. This time, however, I chose to go a little different. I wanted some fresh herbs, some spices, and after a little sleuthing got some ideas from different places that I amalgamated into these tasty parcels. For me, the best bit is the little fennel seeds on top that give it a good crunch.
They are so easy to make, these English sausage rolls will definitely be a crowd-pleaser this Christmas!
How to make sausage rolls
1. Make the pastry
Now, if you want to save the time, you can buy off the shelf puff pastry. If you want it to be extra special, check out my rough puff pastry recipe here.
- Make your sausage meat – Ask your butcher or meat department to give you some plain sausage meat, and add the spices and herbs yourself. Mix just until combined, and stick back in the fridge. You want the fat to be cold before you shove it in the oven.
- Roll out the dough into a long rectangle (give dimensions 20in by 5 in, about ¼ inch thick (about 5mm). If you are making an extra big batch you can make longer but keep the width similar. I’d suggest, though, just making two batches for ease.
- Wet your hands, and shape the sausage meat into a tube, about
an 1– 1 ½ inch in diameter. Place this onto the pastry 1 inch from the edge. Brush this pastry edge with a little egg wash and fold the other side of the pastry over the top of the filling to enclose it. Press the edges together lightly with a fork to seal.
- With a sharp knife or a bread knife, cut the giant sausage rolls into 2 ½ inch pieces, giving you about 8 rolls.
- Brush with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle with fennel seeds and place into your oven for 40min. Check the meat is fully cooked, if not give it another 10min and cool and enjoy.
What goes with sausage rolls
You need something to cut through the richness of the sausage rolls, so I’d go for either Pilsner or some Fizz.
Check out the new Christmas Feast playlist over in the Music section.
Here are some great dishes to go with English sausage rolls
- Sriracha Maple Snack Mix – Total Feasts
- Knäckebröd: Perfect Biscuits for Cheese – Total Feasts
- Jalapeño Bacon Ranch Cheeseball – The Beach House Kitchen
What is the difference between pigs in blankets and sausage rolls?
Even this question is different depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on. In the UK, pigs in blankets can refer to small sausages wrapped in bacon. Whereas in America, they are usually hotdogs wrapped in a pastry or bread. English sausage rolls, however, use pastry but uncooked sausage meat. So, essentially a mix of both.
What herbs can you add to sausage rolls?
Savoury works best here, herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme are classic.
What type of pastry do you need for sausage rolls?
Puff pastry is the classic, which you can make or buy (which I must admit, I do frequently). Personally, I enjoy a rough puff, which is easy to make and tastes delicious. If you want something cool, buy a pack of refrigerate crescent rolls, and make use this as your pastry to make some delicious sausage crescent rolls.
How long will sausage rolls last
Fresh, they will keep at least a day or two in the fridge. However, best eaten right away!
Can you freeze sausage rolls?
Absolutely, I do this all the time. Cook and cool the sausage rolls, then bag and freeze. Take them out a couple of hours before serving to defrost. They are best if you heat them in the oven for 5min at 350c to warm up.
Can you use ground pork in sausage rolls
This is a tricky one, as in theory, it is the same meat. There is nothing stopping you from trying this, and they will taste good. However, ground pork will not have the same fat content as sausage meat. This means it might dry out a bit more. Also, some ground pork does have a higher water content, which might make it soggy. I’d suggest 50% more breadcrumbs.
How do you stop the knife from sticking when you cut sausage rolls.
I used to be driven nuts by bits or sausage and pastry sticking to my knife. A simple trick to get a clean-cut, and a clean knife, is to run your blade under some warm water for 30 seconds. Also, keep a piece of damp kitchen towel near you. After every cut or two, quickly wipe the blade clean and keep it slightly moist.
English Sausage Rolls
- 2 lbs Sausage meat
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp sage leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup dry breadcumbs
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp flaky salt
- 1/2 pound ready-make puff pastry block Or make from scratch
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp milk
- Mix all herbs, breadcumbs and sausage meat until just combined, and stick back in the fridge.
- Roll out the pastry dough into a long rectangle (give dimensions 20in by 5 in, about ¼ inch thick (about 5mm). Whisk the egg with the milk to make egg wash.
- Wet your hands, and shape the sausage meat into a tube, about an 1- 1 ½ inch in diameter. Place this onto the pastry 1 inch from the edge. Brush this pastry edge with a little egg wash and fold the other side of the pastry over the top of the filling to enclose it. Press the edges together lightly with a fork to seal.
- With a sharp knife or a bread knife, cut the giant sausage rolls into 2 ½ inch pieces, giving you about 8 rolls. Place in the fridge for 10-15min to firm up.
- Brush with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle with fennel seeds and place into your oven for 40min. Check the meat is fully cooked, if not give it another 10min and cool and EAT!