This family favourite is made extra special thanks to fresh thyme, fragrant rosemary and sweet sundried tomato paste. Serve with a crisp green salad for a fuss-free crowd-pleasing meal.
- For the caramelised onions, heat the oil in a large frying pan set over a low heat. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and gently cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden.
- Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar (to taste). Continue cooking for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Set aside while you make the filling. (The onions will keep well, stored in a sterilised jar or plastic container and chilled, for up to 2 weeks).
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Heat the oil in a separate large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, until softened. Tip the mixture into a clean bowl and add the breadcrumbs, thyme, rosemary and sundried tomato paste. Stir to combine, then season well and set aside to cool a little.
- When cool, add the pork mince and sausage meat to the breadcrumb mixture; mix well. Roll the mixture into a 25cm (10in) sausage and set aside.
- Line a large baking tray with nonstick baking paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 30cm x 33cm (12in x 13in) rectangle and arrange on the prepared baking tray.
- Spread the pastry with the caramelised onions and arrange the rolled sausage in the middle, leaving a 2cm (1in) gap at each end. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal strips, spaced 5cm (2in) apart, along the length of the pastry.
- Fold up the ends, and then plait alternate strips of the pastry to neatly cover the sausage filling. Trim the excess pastry and brush all over with the beaten egg. Scatter over the sesame seeds and extra thyme leaves (if using).
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is cooked through. To test if it's ready, insert a metal skewer into the centre of the plait and hold for 3 seconds. Pull it out and tap the inside of your wrist – if it’s too hot to hold there for more than 1 second, it's cooked through. Serve warm or cold with a crisp salad, if you like.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make this delicious sausage plait ahead of time and freeze it, uncooked for up to 3 months. Simply wrap tightly in cling film until you're ready to use. Remove from the freezer, allow to defrost and cook according to the method above. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.