Sausage rolls are a classic British and commonwealth food, mostly eaten as a quick snack by the working class. These days you can find sausage rolls at convenience stores, grocers, and even on the street! However it is quite easy to make these UK style sausage rolls at home. And you can customize them exactly how you want!
The first sausage roll I ever ate was at a bakery chain called Greggs in England. Apparently I later learned that it is quite the iconic food in the UK and other commonwealth countries. Since I don’t have much English or British cuisine on this site I figured why not start with the simple sausage roll. In fact I think the only other iconic UK recipe I have on the site is a simple cottage pie.
This recipe is quite simple and very customizable. While I don’t quite copy the Greggs sausage roll taste, my version is delicious, if I say so myself. The great thing about any type of sausage roll is that you can really play around with the spices and herbs used. For example I use white pepper in mine, which is an often underappreciated spice. In fact I use white pepper in everything from homemade Japanese mayonnaise to the most garlicky penne pasta. It really is an ingredient that often pops up in recipes on this site!
What Is A Sausage Roll?
When I first heard the term sausage roll when I was in England for a business trip, I had assumed it was going to be something like the American pigs in a blanket; Small pieces of chopped hot dog wrapped in puff pastry and served as party food or kid’s menu fare. While the UK style sausage rolls also use puff pastry, they are more like a hand pie than I previously assumed.
A UK style sausage roll is a raw sausage mixture that has been thoroughly kneaded into a sort of meat paste. It is then fried to cook off some of the excess liquid. Finally the filling is wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden-brown. These days every bakery has their own style and flavor so there isn’t one ‘true’ version. In fact, the idea of a sausage roll likely goes back to medieval times.
How To Make A Classic UK Style Sausage Roll At Home
While there are many recipes and variations, there is one recommendation I always suggest. Don’t use ground pork. Instead buy already linked Italian style sausages from your local high quality butcher. This will save you a ton of time since you won’t have to gather 20+ seasonings. In fact, I only add extra seasonings since the dough itself can be quite bland!
500 grams Italian Sausage – you can use any uncooked sausage you like. I am partial to the Italian style since they tend to use fennel which I think goes great in these sausage rolls.
500 grams Puff Pastry – frozen, store-bought is entirely fine. Making homemade puff pastry can be absolute hell so I always suggest buying it in your grocer’s freezer section.
3 tbsp Shallots – finely diced
5 cloves Garlic – minced
3 tbsp Green Onion – roughly chopped
1 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
2 tsp Granulated Garlic
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp MSG
Sesame Seeds – optional
This sausage roll recipe is super simple. Just peel the casing off the sausage meat and add the meat to the bowl. Also add in the shallot, garlic, green onion, white pepper, chili flakes, granulated garlic, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, and MSG.
Mix everything together with your hands, or use a stand mixer. This step actually takes a bit of time because you want the mix to get quite homogenized and paste-like. By hand this takes around 10 minutes, but I suggest you use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Once you have a mixture that is tight and sticky go ahead and fry it on a pan until browned. You don’t want to fry it to a dark brown, just a light brown is good. It will cook more in the oven, this step is just to render out some of the fat. Drain the meat and let it cool in a bowl for 10 or so minutes. You can start making the rolls when the meat is hot, it’s just easier to work with if it isn’t ‘burn your hands hot’.
Divide your roll of puff pastry into 5 even lengths (about 100 grams each) and then cut each length in half. Take a piece and flatten it a bit with a rolling pin. Then spoon on a row of sausage meat and roll tightly.
In a way it is a bit like rolling nalysnyky, except here the ends are left open. Try to roll the dough nice and tight, but even at the same time. Most of mine are pretty good, although the one at the top right in the image could use some work.
Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash onto the puff pastry rolls with a brush. I use a simple silicone pastry brush, but you can use whatever, even your fingers! You can also optionally sprinkle on some sesame seeds. This is a popular topping although it really varies by bakery.
Bake these UK style sausage rolls according to the instructions on your puff pastry package. For example mine were 12 minutes at 225C, but your dough might be different.
What To Eat With Sausage Rolls
Since your basic takeaway sausage roll is meant as a snack on the go, there isn’t really a complement associated with them. However at home you can pretty much eat them with whatever you want. Popular sauces are of course ketchup and mustard. I like to eat mine with a Turkish style garlic sauce or a Ukrainian style paprika sauce – both excellent choices!
UK Style Sausage Rolls
- 500 grams Italian Sausage you can use any uncooked sausage you like. I am partial to the Italian style since they tend to use fennel which I think goes great in these sausage rolls.
- 500 grams Puff Pastry frozen, store-bought is entirely fine. Making homemade puff pastry can be absolute hell so I always suggest buying it in your grocer's freezer section.
- 3 tbsp Shallots finely diced
- 5 cloves Garlic minced
- 3 tbsp Green Onion roughly chopped
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 2 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp MSG
- 1 Egg
- Sesame Seeds optional
- Decase your sausages and add them to a bowl along with the shallot, garlic, green onion, white pepper, granulated garlic, red chili flakes, salt, worcestershire sauce, and MSG. Mix everything well with your hands until you have a homogenous meat paste. This step is much quicker using a stand mixer so I suggest using that if you have one. (paddle attachment)
- Heat up a pan and add the meat to it. Mix it around until the meat is thoroughly cooked, but not darkly browned as if you were cooking ground meat. Drain the rendered fat/moisture out and place in a bowl to cool for a few minutes.
- Cut your puff pastry sheet into 5 even lengths of about 100 grams each, then cut those in half widthwise.
- Take a piece and roll it out a bit thinner using a rolling pin. Lay down a row of cooked sausage meat and then roll to wrap tightly. Place seam side down on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
- When all the rolls are done beat together and egg with some water and brush the egg wash over the tops of the pastry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish.
- Place the tray into the oven and bake according to your puff pastry instructions. For me it was 12 minutes at 225C but every package can vary slightly so follow your own instructions.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before eating, or serve along with your favorite dipping sauces! Enjoy!
UK Style Sausage Rolls
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