Gourmet sausage rolls.

It never made sense to me as a child that sausage rolls were served at every single kids birthday party. I thought they tasted awful, and back then they were pretty cheap and nasty. I stayed away from them for decades until a work colleague mentioned making her own. The idea of adding fillings of your own choosing suddenly made them a much more appealing prospect. And when it’s as simple as seasoning some mince and wrapping it in pastry before either baking or freezing, it’s a no brainer: this is something you will want to make and eat. And with a kiddies birthday party coming up I thought I would share my versions of these traditional party favourites.

  • Chicken is a good way to go for small children, and sneakily adding some grated vegies makes them reasonably healthy. Think carrot, zucchini, mushroom, onion, leek, or even some chopped baby spinach. Bacon works well with chicken too.
  • Take some lamb mince and go Middle Eastern: season them with cumin, smoked paprika, add a finely diced onion, and some freshly chopped parsley. Think kofta’s in pastry. Or try the more classic lamb and rosemary combination.
  • Pork and fennel is a classic in any guise, and this works beautifully in a sausage roll. I mean seriously, would you rather your mince stuffed into stomach lining or wrapped in flaky buttery pastry?
  • Another pork version is chorizo style, with some smoked paprika and garlic, and maybe even some chili. {Though I’d probably skip the chili if making them for kids.}
  • There’s nothing wrong with beef either, for a classic sausage roll without the nasties. You could season them simply with a little salt and pepper, or add garlic, herbs, or finely diced vegies to jazz them up. You could also make chilli con carne style with beans and chilli.
  • For a vegetarian option you can go with spinach and ricotta, maybe with some fetta crumbled through. Or think falafels and mix up some canned chickpeas, tahini, herbs, onion, seasonings {cumin, coriander, salt, pepper} and maybe a little yoghurt. Mix really well with the egg and breadcrumbs so that it resembles a mince like texture.
  • Making them is as simple as mixing your mince with any flavours, seasoning, or vegies you want to add. I always add one egg per 500 g of meat and a handful of breadcrumbs. With most beef fillings I also add a tablespoon of tomato paste. Shape into a log as thin or thick as you like, lay on a sheet of puff pastry, and roll into a log. Brush with a little beaten egg to seal the join, cut into the desired size, brush the tops with beaten egg, and bake in a moderate-hot oven {about 180 C} for about thirty minutes. They also freeze well, separated with sheets of baking paper and stored in a container. If cooking from frozen give them an extra ten minutes, and test the centre with a knife to see if it’s cooked through.
  • For grown ups I serve them with a garden salad, and to go all out I also offer up fries or wedges.

  1. The tradition is new to me, is it an Aussie thing or a Croatian thing?
    So cool that you added a vegetarian option!

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    1. It’s a very Aussie thing. Very traditional kids party food, and the vegetarian ones are my favourite. Especially the falafel version.

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      1. Falafel is one of my very favorite foods so I’d love to eat that one. Yummm

        The yucky sausage rolls of your childhood do not sound good but your version sounds awesome, our kid party food is generally: popcorn, pretzels, chips, pizza, soda, cake sometimes ice cream, sometimes fruit salad or dip. Then again I liked that when I was a kid but seems crappy now!

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        1. I think party food is generally unhealthy, but that’s the fun I guess!

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          1. Except when it’s cheap, crappy pizza! My parents always sprung for Pizza Hut which was like 3 steps up=)

            I think I’m kind of a roll, for me anyway, with making treats from your blog, I’ll let ya know when I get to the vegetarian “sausage” rolls.

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    1. Yep, I ate more than my share!

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