Veal and Fennel Sausage Rolls

bourke street bakery
An impromptu picnic with Bourke Street Bakery goodies on our walking tour of Surry Hills

I have extolled more praises about Bourke Street Bakery than I can count, from my daily trips to the Broadway store for coffee and crossiants, and my love of the recipes from the beautiful cookbook. There’s something magical about actually snagging a table at the Surry Hills store, and biting into the crackly crust of a ginger brulee tart. And the sound of the crust as you slice into a fresh loaf of sourdough. This is why I have chosen to cook a recipe from the book each month in 2010. You might remember that Mark and I cooked from the Tartine Bakery cookbook last year, and I wanted to keep with the theme. What better than Bourke Street, a Sydney institution and the home of some of my favourite delicious treats.

This month I have chosen a recipe for sausage rolls, to coincide with Australia Day. Sausage rolls are sold all over Australia, from the footy ground, to kids parties, to fancy bakeries. If we’re being honest, I never really liked sausage rolls. The frozen ones still scare me a little. It even took me a while to get up the courage to try one at Bourke St Bakery, but I’m so glad that I did. When done well, it’s thing of beauty. A flavoursome meaty filling, encased in delicious flaky pastry – it doesn’t get much better than this, except dunked in copious amounts of tomato sauce.

veal & fennel sausage rolls
Veal and Fennel Sausage Rolls. Photo by Simon

I cheated a little bit, not using the book’s recipe for puff pastry, but instead using the remainder of my home made batch that has been sitting in my freezer for the last few months. I have only recently been converted into liking fennel, after having shunned it since I don’t particularly like aniseed. But it was at Sparrow Kitchen & Bar that I changed my mind. The fennel seeds worked so well in the goat meatballs so I knew this recipe would be great. I swapped the pork mince for veal, which was a delicious substitution. I also cut down the pepper in the recipe below, because I think it had a little too much. I made half the recipe, but still ended up with about 16 small sausage rolls.

Unfortunately, the photographs I took didn’t turn out very well, but luckily Simon from The Heart of Food had snapped the one above. Thanks Simon!! These were enjoyed at the most perfect Australia Day lunch at Gourmet Rabbit’s lovely Balmain apartment. It was a fantastic lazy day of cooking, eating, and drinking some really excellent wine with some great people.

We also had goat’s brie, prawns, maple and soy marinated chicken wings, and the most incredible lamb shanks with roasted eggplant and purple sweet potato. For dessert, we had a fruit salad with some delicious Achacha ice cream and a bottle of dessert wine I had to go all the way to Adelaide to find! And that’s what Australia Day should be all about – good food and good friends. With lamb, and prawns, and sausage rolls of course.

Veal and Fennel Sausage Rolls
Adapted from the Bourke St Bakery Cookbook
Makes 12

• 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 30g fennel seeds, finely chopped
• 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
• 150g brown onions, finely chopped (about 2 small)
• 150g celery, finely chopped (4-6 stalks)
• 150g carrots, finely chopped (about 2 small)
• 1.2kg finely minced veal
• 40g dry breadcrumbs
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 teaspoons white pepper
• Puff Pastry (I used the recipe from Daring Bakers)
• Egg wash, for brushing
• Fennel seeds, for sprinkling

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the fennel seeds and thyme and stir together for 1 minute, or until aromatic. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly mushy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Put the veal mince in a large bowl and add the cooled vegetables and breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the meat quite forcefully to thoroughly combine. If you like, you can fry a little ball of the meat to test for seasonings.
3. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle, about 92 x 32 cm. Cut the pastry into six rectangles about 15 x 30 cm each. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
4. Divide the filling mixture into six equal size portions. On a clean work surface, roll each portion out into a 30cm log with a 3cm diameter. Place each log lengthways in the center of a pastry rectangle. Brush one long edge with egg wash.
5. Firmly fold the pastry over, pressing to enclose the log tightly, leaving the edge open. Cut each roll into 2 or 3 equal size pieces and place on baking trays lined with baking paper, seam side down. Brush the top of each roll with egg wash and sprinkle with fennel seeds.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C (375°F) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until they are a golden brown roll of steaming oozing goodness.

15 Comments on “Veal and Fennel Sausage Rolls”

  1. My god, these sausage rolls were something special. Far more than what their name would imply! The homemade puff pastry was so deliciously flakey 🙂

    So gotta try and make these for myself sometime.

    Thanks for the wonderful food that you prepared, as well as the company. One of the more memorable Australia Day's I've had to date 🙂

  2. Yum. I still remember how good those sausage rolls were from the bakery and I can imagine yours would be amazing freshly baked! Wish I could have been there!

  3. I must, must MUST get this cookbook. If nobody buys it for me, I'm buying it for myself. The bread! The tarts! The sausage rolls! The muffins! And their carrot cake, which converted me to the tribe of carrot cake lovers. I could have died in the Broadway store, perfectly happy…

  4. These sound amazing. There's something so special about homemade sausage rolls. I have the BSB cookbook but yet to actually make anything from it. This must be rectified – perhaps with a batch of sausage rolls sooner rather than later!

  5. Aw man, I for sure can't join you (though I will check Manila if it does come out there– a chance it might, unlike here in the US). They look fabulous (I've never been one to shy away from a sausage roll!). I can't wait to see more and I hope a review is coming out of this, heh heh 😉

  6. Well, my family enjoys pretty much anything that involves rolls so I’m pretty sure this is guaranteed to be a hit and thanks for the complement..

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