Pork, Fennel and Parmesan Sausage Rolls

, from Issue #113. February, 2024
Pork, Fennel and Parmesan Sausage Rolls

I’ve perfected this filling over the years and it allows the humble sausage roll to take its rightful place on the picnic table.

Makes: 12


1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and roughly ground
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, thyme or sage
3 tablespoons tomato paste
⅓ cup milk
1 large egg
1½ cups fresh white breadcrumbs
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
400 grams good quality, coarsely ground pork mince (not low fat)
400 grams good quality pork and fennel sausages, skins removed
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and ground pepper

500 grams good quality puff pastry (I used Paneton)
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons each black and white sesame seeds

EQUIPMENT: Line a large flat baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.


Heat the oil and butter in a medium frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and herb of choice with a good pinch of salt, cover and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside until fully cooled.

Whisk the milk and egg together in a large bowl then stir in the breadcrumbs and parsley to combine. Leave for 10 minutes. Add the cooled onions, pork mince and sausages and the cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper and combine everything together so it’s well mixed. (Hands are best for this). Filling can be made and kept chilled, 2 days ahead of assembling and cooking.

TO COOK: Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench to make it a little thinner then cut into two long rectangles.

Place each piece on baking paper and brush all over with egg wash. Place half the filling across the bottom third of one piece of the pastry and form into an even log. Roll up the pastry to enclose the meat tightly, then wrap in the baking paper. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry. Place each roll, seam side down in the fridge and chill until the pastry is very firm. Unroll and brush with beaten egg then sprinkle over the seeds. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 6 pieces.

Place seam side down on the lined tray and bake for about 40 minutes or until deeply golden brown and fully cooked.