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Mini Caramelised Red Onion Sausage Rolls

Sausage rolls are a staple of both British and Irish food. They are everywhere and why wouldn't they be? Beautiful, buttery puff pastry baked to a flaky perfection paired with a comforting meat filling made with pork, herbs and—in this case— caramelised onions.


This is a recipe that also allows for so much creativity. Add your favourite herbs and spices, swap out the onion for other vegetables. You could even try using different type of meat like beef or turkey. Make larger sausage rolls if you want to make a meal of them or use the mini sausage rolls for picnics, lunchboxes or a handy snack. Try it all and I would love to see your creations which you can send to my social media accounts or by email.


Make this recipe your own with the flavours and spices you like the most. You can even make a large batch and freeze them to have mini sausage rolls on hand for a last-minute dinner or an afternoon treat.


In this post:

 Mini Caramelised Red Onion Sausage Rolls

What pastry should I use for sausage rolls?

Sausage rolls are traditionally made with puff pastry but you want a healthier version you can try some alternatives. Shortcrust pastry works well and can give you the satisfaction of eating a 'real' sausage roll with less butter. I have never tried using filo pastry but it should work just as well— your resulting sausage rolls will be lighter and crisper. If you do decide to use filo pastry, check out my tips for using this particular type of pastry in my Leek and Potato Filo Parcels.

 

Why use breadcrumbs in sausage rolls

Using breadcrumbs in pork mince helps the meat stay moist (sorry for using that word). It retains moisture and stops the sausage meat from going hard once cooked. I use panko breadcrumbs in the recipe because they are the best at keeping in the moisture but you can use whichever type you want. In fact, this is a great way to use up stale bread. Just dry out your bread a little further (in the oven if you want to speed things up) and then place your bread in a blender to get that breadcrumb texture.

 

How to store mini caramelised red onion sausage rolls

Leftover baked sausage rolls can be stored for a few days in the fridge. You can enjoy the caramelised red onion sausage rolls cold or gently reheated in the oven.

 

Can I make these sausage rolls ahead of time?

These are great to make in advance. You can keep them uncooked in the fridge without the egg wash. Just before you want to cook them, brush them with an egg wash and then bake as normal.


Note: you may need to bake them for an extra 5 minutes to get that lovely deep golden colour.

 

Can I freeze mini caramelised red onion sausage rolls?

  • For the best results, freeze the unbaked sausage rolls before brushing with an egg wash.

  • If you are strapped for freezer space, freeze your sausage rolls on a baking tray for a few hours before placing them in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.

  • If you prefer to freeze the baked sausage rolls then let them cool down completely before placing them into an airtight container with parchment paper to separate the layers.

  • Sausage rolls can be kept in the freezer for two or three months.

  • When you want to defrost your baked sausage rolls, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Take them out of the fridge 5-10 minutes before baking.

  • To defrost you unbaked sausage rolls, remove them from the freezer and apply an egg wash. Bake according to the recipe (they may need a little longer to cook through) although they may need an extra 5-10 minutes for them to be fully cooked.

 

Flavour inspirations

This is a recipe that you can have fun with. If you like a bit of spice then you can add some chilli flakes. Want a bit more flavour? Add a bunch of your favourite herbs and spices like paprika or oregano. You could even try swapping out the mince for something different like beef or turkey mince. Go crazy and try whatever flavour combinations you think are best for you.

 

Tips for the best mini caramelised red onion sausage rolls

  • Sausage meat vs minced pork – I like starting with a blank canvas with my recipes, so I prefer to use minced pork in this one. You can't always be sure about what's in sausage meat and they also all taste different. So, making your own gives you so much more control over the flavour than buying ready-made sausage meat.

  • Sage – Umm pork and sage? A winning combination in my eyes. Usually, chefs will swear upon fennel in sausage rolls but I'm not a fan. It's definitely sage and pork for me but you can replace the sage in this recipe with some ground fennel seeds.

  • Caramelised onions – Caramelising your onions before you add them to the sausage meat also greatly improves flavour. Putting onions in raw will also release too much moisture during the cooking process and will result in soggy pastry. I have some great tip for caramelising onions in my Red Onion and Goats' Cheese Tartlets recipe.

 

How do I prevent sausage meat from drying out in the oven?

A common problem with sausage rolls is that they can dry out when baked but here are a couple of tips to get it right every time.

  • Breadcrumbs – this is a great ingredient to lock in moisture (sounding a bit like a hair conditioner advert there). They keep the meat moist whilst also providing a little extra structure to your sausage meat filling. This is because, as the meat cooks it will release fat and the breadcrumbs help to capture some of the fat so you don't end up with a crumbly dry mess.

  • Non-lean pork – you kind of need to forget your diet if you want to make a great sausage roll. When choosing your pork mince, you want to aim for at least 15% fat, 20-25% is preferable though.

  • Don’t work the meat too much – if you overwork the pork you can end up with meat that is horribly tough. So, when mixing the filling just blend until the ingredients are just combined and no more.

 

Mini Sausage Rolls vs Giant Sausage Roll

Really it just depends on what you prefer and what the occasion you need the sausage rolls for. For a picnic or buffet style snack I will make mini sausage rolls. If I want to make them for a meal though, I will make large sausage rolls but it all depends on what you want. I would say 90% of the time I will make mini sausage roll but that's because I love mini, individual foods. I also think mini sausage rolls are less messy to eat but that's just me.

 

Mini Caramelised Red Onion Sausage Rolls (extended)


Prep time

45 minutes

+45 minutes refrigeration

Cook time

50-60 minutes

Makes

24

Ingredients for caramelised red onion sausage rolls

1 Red onion

1 Garlic clove

1 tsp Runny honey

500g Mince pork

6 Sage leaves

1 1/2 tsp Salt

Pinch of black pepper

1 tbsp White wine vinegar

2 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs

320g Puff pastry

 

Caramelising the red onion

Peel the onion and garlic and then finely slice the onions.

Place a frying pan on a low heat. When it is warm add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the onions and crush the garlic into the pan. Fry for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the honey and then fry for a further 10-15 minutes until they are a dark brown and very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Tip: the longer and slower you cook the onions the more intense the flavour.

 

Making the sausage meat filling

Add the pork, caramelised onions, sage, salt, pepper vinegar and breadcrumbs to a food processor and blend. Blend all the ingredients together until mostly smooth and there are no large lumps of any ingredient.


Note: you can do this bit by hand but it'll just take a little longer.

 

Assembling the sausage rolls

If you don't have a ready rolled puff pastry sheet then roll your puff pastry to make a 36x30cm rectangle of pastry which is about 1 cm thick. Cut the rectangle into four strips that are each around 9cm wide.


Divide the sausage meat between the four strips and then arrange it down the length of the pastry. Keep the sausage meat to one side of the pastry strips as a long tube of meat.


Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg and then fold the pastry over the sausage meat. Seal the edges and then place the sausage rolls in the fridge for, at least, 45 minutes.

Remove the sausage rolls from the fridge and place on the table top. Using your eye and a very sharp knife or pizza cutter, score and then cut each sausage roll into six mini sausage rolls. Place on to a lined baking tray, leaving a couple of centimetres between each one.


Note: if you are working in a hot kitchen, you may want to put your mini sausage rolls back in the fridge for a little bit to make sure they puff up in the oven.

 

Baking the mini sausage rolls

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Brush the mini sausage rolls with a beaten egg and then poke two holes in to the top of each one. Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are a dark golden brown. Enjoy warm or cold with your favourite condiments.


Note: the egg wash gives the pastry a lovely golden colour but you can leave it out if you prefer.

 

Did you make this recipe? Send me pictures of your baking masterpiece over social media or by email.

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 Mini Caramelised Red Onion Sausage Rolls


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