I wanted to make something for a big event which was easy to eat with one hand while holding a drink and a squealing child in the other. A batch of homemade pork and fennel sausage rolls seemed like the perfect dish. My go to sausage roll recipe usually features pork, sage and bacon and I’ve also been known to turn out a fiery set of chorizo sausage rolls but I wanted something a little tamer which the kids could also eat. So I turned to one of Australia’s most famous sausage rolls – the Bourke Street Bakery pork and fennel sausage rolls. Most of these ended up ground into the floor (one year olds are so unappreciative) but those that did make it to the adults were pretty damn tasty. Just be careful not to overdo the fennel as it can easily overpower the rest of the flavours – you want a slight fennel kick rather than a sausage roll that tastes like strong licorice.
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, plus extra to sprinkle
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
80g sliced pancetta, chopped
450g pork mince
1 1/2-2 cups (105g-140g) soft white fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, lightly beaten
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed
Sesame and poppyseeds, to sprinkle
Tomato chutney or sauce, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking paper. Toast spices in a dry frypan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Pound the spices in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Set aside. Return pan to medium heat. Cook onion and pancetta for 5 minutes or until onion softens, stirring. Add spices, then cool. Add onion mixture to a large bowl with pork, crumbs, parsley, zest and half the egg. Season and mix well, then refrigerate until needed.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a 5mm-thick, 40cm x 28cm rectangle, then halve into 2 long rectangles. Shape pork into two 40cm sausages, about 4cm wide. Place 1 sausage on each pastry rectangle, then roll up to enclose. Turn rolls seamside down, brush with egg and sprinkle with fennel, sesame and poppyseed. Cut on an angle into 5cm pieces, then place on tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked. Serve pork and fennel sausage rolls with chutney.