Justin North's pork and fennel sausage rollsI’d never made home made sausage rolls at home but this recipe was so easy (because I used my mini food processor whenever the recipe said to ‘chop’ or ‘grate’).  And the flavours and textures were unlike any sausage roll I’d ever eaten in my life.  I’ll be making these again at some stage – maybe for my son’s birthday later on this year…

The cookbook – Family Cooking by Justin North (a well renowned chef in Sydney) – was a Christmas present from my brother’s family this year (alongside a Heston Blumenthal book – which I haven’t yet mustered the confidence to even peak at) so a big thank you to them because I have seriously used about 30 post-it stickers to mark out recipes that I am interested in giving a go!  So stay tuned for heaps of Justin North recipes…

Anyway.. this recipe is nice and easy and you’ll definitely be impressed by how they end up tasting.  I’ve never been a huge fan of fennel – but I think my palate is maturing because I really, truly enjoyed this dish.  I served it with a huge salad for dinner.  Men can probably cope with two – but I think children and women will, as keen as they are to consume more, only be able to down a solitary roll!  But having refrigerated some overnight and re-warmed them the following day in the oven for lunch – they’re just as good the next day so don’t fret about wastage if you can’t finish them!!

Makes enough for at least 15 party-sized or 6 larger sausage rolls.

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 carrot
1 small bulb fennel
1 tsp salt flakes
a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
60 g sliced prosciutto
500 g pork mince
1 egg
flour, for dusting
3x30cm square sheets frozen all-butter puff pastry

Begin by finely chopping the onion and garlic.onion and garlic

Then roughly grind the fennel seeds in your mortar and pestle or spice grinder.fennel seeds

Place a saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp of the oil, followed by the onion, garlic and ground fennel seeds.pan fry onion, garlic and fennel seeds

Cook, stirring, for about 5-8 minutes without browning until the onion and garlic have softened, and the fennel is aromatic.

Meanwhile, grate the carrot and fennel bulb.fennel and carrot

Add to the pan, together with 2 more tablespoons of oil and the salt flakes and pepper.cook until soft and aromatic

Continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes until soft and aromatic.  Tip the contents of the pan onto a tray or large plate, spread out and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 190C.

Finely chop the prosciutto.prosciutto

Place in a large bowl with the pork mince and cooked vegetables.  Mix everything together well.mix everything together, including pork mince

To check the seasoning, take 1 tbsp of the mixture, roll it into a ball and flatten it into a small burger shape, then place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for a couple of minutes.  When it is cool enough to eat, have a taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.  Divide the mixture into thirds.

Crack the egg into a small bowl and lightly whisk with a fork to make an eggwash.  Dust your work surface with flour, then place the semi-thawed sheets of pastry on your floured bench.  Place a third of the pork mixture at one end of each sheet, spreading it out along the length in a thick sausage shape.  Roll the pastry over, brush the ends with eggwash and seal securely.  Repeat with the remaining  pastry and pork mixture.  Transfer the sausage rolls to a non-stick baking tray and brush the tops with more eggwash – this will help give them a wonderful shiny golden glaze.  Cut each roll in half, or into fives if you want party-sized sausage rolls.  (Before baking, feel free to decorate the eggwashed tops of the sausage rolls with a sprinkling of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds or cracked pepper.  Tomato chutney goes well with these.)wrap in frozen all-butter puff pastry and use egg wash

Bake for 18 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Cool on a wire rack, and eat while still warm and fresh from the oven.freshly baked home made sausage rollsJustin North's pork and fennel sausage rolls

After having both made and eaten these, I find it highly unlikely that I will ever buy a store bought sausage roll ever again.. xx

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