Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls

Autumn has creep up very suddenly and any hope of wearing summery dresses and bare feet have now become a thing of the past… well, until next summer swings around. Bring out the dusty boxes marked ‘Winter Clothes’ and for the next 5-6 months our wardrobes will be filled with smart winter jackets, jeans and lovely boots. I must say I really do prefer summer, but I don’t mind the cosiness of winter. The soul warming soups, roast dinners and many a cup of tea. Yes, the colder months bring wonderful feasts and treats. Here is a recipe for some scrumptious pork and fennel sausage rolls by Andy Allen, the Masterchef winner from last year. Simple, delicious food that will warm you all over and make you jump about with excitement watching the puff pastry rise in the oven and become all brown and crispy.
Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls

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6 cloves garlic, chopped finely

6 green shallots, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped finely

1 small fennel bulb, chopped into ½ cm cubes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

¼ cup fennel seeds

4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

1 apple, preferably granny smith, grated

1 carrot, grated

1kg pork mince

Salt and pepper

40g fresh breadcrumbs

4-5 sheets ready made puff pastry

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Makes approx. 30 little ones

Method

1. Preheat oven to 190°C

2. Take pastry out of freezer, separate the sheets and thaw.

3. In a large frying pan, sauté garlic, shallots, chilli and fennel in oil over a medium heat for 3-4min. Add 2 tablespoons of the fennel seeds and thyme leaves. Stir for one minute until aromatic.

4. Add the apple and carrot and cook for a further 3 minutes. Allow mixture to cool.

5. Place the pork mince in a large bowl and add the cooled vegetable mixture. Add salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Using your hands, mix ingredients thoroughly for about 3 minutes to combine the mixture. Divide the mixture into eight pieces.

6. For small sausage rolls, cut each piece of pastry in half and turn one of the eight pieces into a log shape, and place in the middle of the pastry piece. For large sausage rolls, use a whole piece of pastry and roll two of the eight pieces together to make a log shape. Place in the middle of the pastry.

7. Brush along one edge of the pastry with egg wash, lift up the non-washed edge and roll it firmly over the filling and join with the egg wash underneath.

8. Place smooth side up and brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with remaining fennel seeds.

9. For small sausage rolls, cut the log into 4 pieces, and for large sausage rolls, cut in half. Place on a baking tray with baking paper to prevent sticking.

10. Bake for 25-30min or until golden brown.

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Little sausage rolls for a snack or finger food…

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Or a large sausage roll for a meal. Serve with salad.

Tip: Freeze any extra, uncooked sausage rolls in freezer bags. When ready to use, place frozen sausage rolls on a tray and cook as normal.

Mr McDonald’s remarks: “Mmm…I really like these. Fennel is a flavour worth trying!”.

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