At the time of year when drinks are flowing and homely cooked food is at its best, we thought we would share this very tasty recipe from our favourite foodie - the grumpy cook club!
Perfect for those winter evenings snacks or as a Christmas Party Canapé for all your friends and family, these sausage rolls with flavours of apple, apricot and fennel seeds are a must!
You can make them with the quick flaky pastry used here –www.grumpycookclub.com/sausage-rolls – or if pushed for time, a good all butter bought puff pastry works well.
You can use any apple you like such as Cox’s, but the Grumpy Cook Club uses a Granny Smith because of its crisp fresh tartness, which seems to help balance the sweet-sour flavour of the dried apricots.
Thyme works as the herb, but you can use sage if you prefer, as it does go brilliantly with pork.
Use quality pork sausages with a high meat content (I used 97% pork) and make sure you toast the fennel seeds in a small dry frying pan to release their natural oils and make them aromatic before using. It makes a difference.
Put the fennel seeds in a small frying pan over a low to medium heat and dry fry for a few minutes until they smell vary aromatic and are lightly coloured. Leave to cool.
Gently fry the shallots with a tablespoon of olive oil until softened and mix through the thyme leaves. Put to one side to cool.
For the apple glaze, boil the apple juice and sugar together until it becomes syrupy. Again, leave to cool.
Remove the sausage meat from the skins and put in a large bowl, along with the grated apple, chopped apricots, fennel seeds and now cooled shallots and thyme. Season and mix well.
Cover and chill.
Take the sheet of puff pastry, which should measure approx 30cm x 25cm and cut in half from top to bottom, giving two strips 15cm wide.
Take the chilled sausage meat and divide into two equal amounts. Roll each one into a long sausage, the same length as the pastry.
Carefully place the filling down the centre of each strip of pastry, pushing the meat together if there are any breaks in the sausage (which there probably will be).
Brush one edge of the pastry with some glaze then fold the pastry over the filling and join the edges together, making sure they are well sealed.
Cut into 6 or 12 and put in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 200℃/180℃ fan.
When you are ready to bake your sausage rolls, brush them with the apple glaze, sprinkle with some fennel seeds and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.