We recently returned from two weeks in New Zealand, where we witnessed two of our dear friends get married. They couldn’t have chosen a more scenic country – New Zealand is, quite simply, breathtaking in its beauty. Everything around us seemed to have been saturated, magnified.
The blues were bluer.
The greens, lusher.
Even the mists seemed mistier, more mysterious (misterious?).
And on top of that, there were meat pies and sausage rolls aplenty. Give me a choice and I’ll pick a savoury pastry over a sweet one. I was in savoury pie mecca.
I found my favourite pie shop in Queenstown, a tiny place called the Ferg Bakery. During the six days we spent in the area, I must have made near daily pilgrimages there for mini feasts of sausage rolls and their numerous flavours of pie (it’s never too early in the morning for a venison/portobello or spiced lamb shank pie, washed down with a shot of espresso). And while my frozen store-bought puff pastry is nowhere near as buttery or flaky or shatteringly crisp, having one of these warm, porky rolls for breakfast will tide me over until New Zealand and I meet again.
These rolls freeze well unbaked, and you can bake them directly from the freezer – just add a few more minutes to the baking time. Serve with a dollop of ketchup, or if you’re feeling bold, Sriracha.
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, plus more for sprinkling on the rolls
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, cooked
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (half of a 17.5 oz package)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan until fragrant, about a minute. Do not let them burn.
Saute the onion in a pan with a swirl of olive oil until it is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the pork, salt and pepper, fennel seeds, parsley, garlic, paprika, onion and milk until combined.
Roll out the puff pastry to about a 10×12 rectangle and cut it into two lengthwise. Spread half the pork mixture down the length of one of the pieces and then fold the sides of the pastry up and around the pork. Pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the sausage roll into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how large you want them. Repeat with the other half of the puff pastry.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the sausage rolls on the baking sheet, seam side down.
Brush each sausage roll generously with the beaten egg and sprinkle a few fennel seeds on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes: 6-8 generously sized rolls.