Try out a great combination of flavours to jazz up sausage meat for these truly scrumptious sausage rolls. For the perfect result, invest the time in making your own pastry. (Make two batches – it takes the same amount of time, and you can freeze one for another recipe.)
For the puff pastry
- 125g/4½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 125g/4½oz strong white flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 225g/8oz salted butter
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, for brushing
- 2–3 tbsp sesame seeds, to decorate
For the caramelised red onions
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cranberry sauce
- 1 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
- pinch salt
For the sausage meat filling
- 1 x 450g/1lb sausage meat
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 red onion, finely grated
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 small braeburn apple, grated
- 1 chicken stock cube
- freshly ground black pepper
To make the pastry, place the flours in a mixing bowl with the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in 150ml/5fl oz water. Stir to combine, knead for a minute, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
The butter in half horizontally. Place a piece of butter between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out so it is 14cm/5½in wide and 13cm/5in long. Do the same with the other piece. Return both pieces of butter to the fridge until you are ready to roll out the dough.
Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle 15x45cm/6x18in. With a short edge nearest you, place one piece of butter on the bottom third of the dough and fold over, then put the second on top of the folded over section and bring the top section over to cover the butter. Pinch the edges together. Give it a quarter turn so that short edge is facing you. Roll out to 15x40cm/6x16in, fold as before, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, place the dough with a short edge nearest to you and roll out to 15x40cm/6x16in. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down. Give the dough a quarter turn, roll out and fold as before. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Repeat the previous step two more times. When done leave the dough in the fridge, wrapped in cling film until you are ready to use it.
For the caramelised onions, gently fry the onions in olive oil until very soft and lightly coloured. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for a couple of minutes until syrupy and season to taste. Place in small bowl and press a piece baking parchment onto the surface. Leave to cool.
To make the filling, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until well combined. Fry a little of the mixture for a few minutes until cooked. Taste to check the seasoning. Add more salt or pepper to the filling mixture accordingly.
Set aside a very small piece of pastry for making the crown decorations. Roll out the rest of the pastry into a rectangle 5mm thick, about 36cm/14¼in long and 25cm/10in wide. Roll the filling into long sausage shape and place in the centre of the pastry. Make a small indentation along the top of the sausage and add a small amount of caramelised onion into the indentation.
Fold one side of the pastry over the top of the filling. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg where the join will be. Bring the other side of the pastry over the top and seal to form a tight roll. Turn it over so the seam is at the bottom. Trim the ends. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
The sausage roll into 12 x 3cm/1¼in-thick pieces and place on the baking tray. From the dough you set aside, stamp out 12 small crown shapes to decorate. Brush the sausage rolls all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add a crown shape to each sausage roll then brush with egg wash. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Bake the sausage rolls on the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes until golden-brown and the filling is cooked through.