With its light, flaky pastry and delicious meaty filling, sausage rolls really are the best party food. They’re perfect picnic fare for balmy summer days and are equally enjoyable in the midst of winter, when life just calls for a good old-fashioned food hug. Double the batch and freeze half for impromptu guests.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat then cook the onion for 8-10 minutes until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
- Add the sausage meat, mustard and bacon to the bowl with the onions and mix together. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.
- Unroll the pastry and cut in half lengthways to make 2 long strips. Halve the sausage mix and lay each half along the long edge of one of the pastry strips in a thin sausage shape.
- Tightly roll up the meat in the pastry, finishing with the join underneath. Press lightly to seal the join. Brush all over with the egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Cut each roll into 4.
- Space the rolls out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden, crispy and cooked through. Serve with ketchup mixed with crushed chillies, if you like.
Fresh and zesty: Mix sausage meat with chopped pancetta, crushed fennel seeds, lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with a few fennel seeds before baking.
Fragrant and herby: Add fresh thyme leaves, chopped fresh sage and a grating of nutmeg to the sausage mixture.
Spicy and smoky: Fry chopped red onion and garlic over a low heat. Mix half the sausage meat with the same weight of chopped, skinless cooking chorizo sausages, chopped parsley and smoked paprika. Sprinkle with smoked paprika before baking.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
You can freeze the cooked rolls. Allow to cool completely, wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven.
See more Picnic recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.