The jury is still out to the origins of the sausage roll, but research leads me to believe that it is one of the great ye olde food mash ups. It seems that the sausage roll may have been concocted in jest by the British to make fun of the French, done by using the much loved feuilleté pastry of the French and wrapping it around some pork. Despite the proposed jest, the British instantly took to the Sausage Roll which was consumed in abundance.
Here in Australia we love a sausage roll, and our love of these pastry wrapped tasties has surely come from the country’s British ancestors. Founded by Britain, Australia has many a great food traditions that evolved from the food of our founders, and while we now have a nation driven by multicultural cuisines, many hearts beat strong in support of the sausage roll and they can be bought from almost every bakery in the land.
With many different sausage rolls on offer, there are sausage rolls… and then there are sausage rolls. Many bakeries in Australia are famous for their sausage rolls (think Bourke Street Bakery in Sydney) thanks to a perfect combination of buttery flaky puff with a juicy meat filled centre.
The best thing about these Pork and Macadamia Mini Sausage Rolls is that they can be made and frozen for the moment your craving hits, requiring only a heat of the oven and a transfer from the freezer into the fire. I’ve been planning for some time to make sausage rolls (now, when I say planning, I really mean that a suggestion was coming my way every now and again from Scotty in the form of “you know what you should make for the blog?… Sausage Rolls”) so I recently gathered together my thoughts, decided what I thought would work well as a filling and got to work.
Given how well embraced the sausage roll is by Australia, my version uses pork and includes macadamia nuts and native Australian pepperberries for an Aussie twist. Combined with fennel, maple syrup and chilli, you’ll be licking your lips long after you’ve finished eating them – and craving more!
Pork and Macadamia Mini Sausage Rolls
- 10 pepperberries (or black pepper to taste)
- 1 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 100g macadamia nuts
- 500g pork mince
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sheets puff pastry*
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
Remove the puff pastry sheets from the freezer and set aside to defrost.
Pound the pepperberries, fennel seeds and chilli together in a mortar and pestle until finely crushed, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. In a food processor, pulse the macadamia nuts until finely chopped and add to the spices along with the pork, onion, garlic, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with your hands until well combined.
Cut down the centre of each puff pastry sheet, then turn 90 degree and cut again (so that you have 4 square quarters). Cut each quarter into thirds horizontally so you have 3 strips from each quarter. Taking each strip, place a tablespoon of the pork mixture in the middle then wet one end of the pastry with water and join the two ends at the top. Fold the pastry down and then turn the roll over.
At this point you can freeze the mini sausage rolls. But if you are baking them straight away, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix together the egg yolk and milk and brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, then sprinkle the tops with black (or white) sesame seeds. Bake on a lined baking tray for 20 - 30 minutes until the tops and bottoms of the sausage rolls are golden.
*I use the Careme pastry brand here in Australia.