Impress your holiday guests with this stunningly simple Holiday Sausage Roll Wreath featuring English style pork sausage filled puff pastry. Make it in minutes with purchased puff pastry and a seasoned ground pork mixture.
Today I’m rolling out the dough…and sharing my best dough-based Christmas treats with you. Check out these super simple Mushroom Goat Cheese Filo Parcels featuring filo (or phyllo) dough. For the sweet tooths out there…these rolled Rugelach with tender pastry and a poppyseed, raisin, and orange rind filling are irresistable!
Holiday Sausage Roll Wreath
Don’t be scared…I’ve got you! This Sausage Roll Wreath looks fancy and complicated BUT I’m here to hold your hand while you make it. After it’s all over you can cover any flaws with fresh rosemary and cranberries, like I did!
I promise it is worth the effort. Everyone will oooh and ahhh as they gaze in wonder at the perfectly golden wreath with homemade pork sausage filling. Yep, you’re going to make the filling, too. The only ingredient for this Sausage Roll Wreath that you don’t make is the puff pastry.
Who wants to put in that amount of effort when there are a billion things to do before Christmas (not me). The bonus is, you can buy good quality frozen puff pastry at the store and thaw it to use whenever you need it.
While we’re speaking of crazy busy holiday prep…you’ll be pleased to know that you can make and bake this appetizer wreath, then freeze and reheat it before serving. Talk about a lifesaver!!
What Are Sausage Rolls?
Sausage Rolls are a handheld savoury meat filled pastry with Roman roots. It seems the Romans liked to wrap everything in pastry back then. The popular British portable snack, in its’ porcine glory (pork only) dates back to (surprise!) France. You know those French and their puff pastry; ooh la la!
Eventually, this popular street snack became popular in London in the the 1800’s during the Napoleonic wars. It became beloved by all Brits and many commonwealth countries, including Canada. While there are a few flavour variations, my version of a pork sausage roll contains a lot of pepper (an absolute MUST) as well as savory and sage.
My sausage meat mixture contains savory (a very popular East Coast herb used for stuffing), with just a touch of ground allspice and clove (spices often found in French Canadian Tourtiere as well as being a part of British mixed spice). I consider my version a truly Canadian Sausage Roll.
Ingredients for this Recipe
- Puff Pastry
- Ground Pork
- Black Pepper
- Ground Allspice
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Sage
Buy the best puff pastry you can find and make sure it contains real butter. You only need one large sheet of puff pastry. Since most packages come with two sheets, I use one to make the wreath and make regular sausage rolls with the other sheet.
It is important to source good quality of regular (not lean) ground pork that contains a medium amount of fat. The fat holds the pork mixture together and results in a flavourful, moist sausage roll.
Use fresh finely ground bread crumbs in the pork mixture. While they aren’t as important for flavour, they do work as a binder, helping the sausage filling to hold its shape.
Season the pork mixture, then season some more. There is a lot of freshly ground pepper in this recipe because it is a key ingredient. The amount is not a recipe error.
As always, it is important to use freshly dried herbs and spices in recipes for the best results. Since the recipe only contains ground pork and seasonings, invest in fresh jars of sage and savory. It will make all the difference!
Finally, if you are new to British flavours, the addition of allspice and cloves may be a surprise. They do add a touch of sweetness, while at the same time they help to cut through the richness of the sausage roll wreath.
How to Thaw and Use Puff Pastry
There is a slow way to thaw puff pastry and a quick way. Since I never remember to take mine out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge at least four hours, I usually follow the quick thaw directions.
You can thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature. It takes about 40 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. To thaw at room temperature, remove the pastry from the plastic wrapper and cover it with a tea towel.
Here are some useful tips for working with puff pastry:
- Let puff pastry thaw completely before starting your recipe or it may tear/crack.
- Work quickly with cold puff pastry and if possible, chill fillings and tools before starting. Cool surfaces work best for puff pastry.
- If the pastry warms up too much and starts to stretch, place in the fridge to chill for ten minutes.
- Thaw only the portion you need because you cannot refreeze puff pastry.
- Use a light touch to avoid compressing the delicate pastry layers.
How to Make a Sausage Roll Wreath
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Mix the ground pork with all the seasonings and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Really get in there with your hands or even a dough hook on a stand mixer. The trick is to break up the fat a bit so that it becomes a bit stringy and the mixture clings together. Set aside.
Lay the puff pastry out on a cool surface (leave it on the plastic sheeting for now). With your hands, take half or one third of the pork mixture and quickly roll it into a 2-inch wide log. Place it along the long end of the pastry sheet closest to you.
Repeat rolling the remaining meat mixture until you have one continuous long sausage along one long side of the pastry. Roll the puff pastry up around the meat and brush a bit of beaten egg to seal the pastry seam.
Roll the log over so that it is seam side down and set the other piece of pastry aside. Place the log on a piece of parchment paper. Next, use a sharp knife to cut the log into twelve equal pieces, stopping before going through the bottom layer of pastry.
Beginning with the middle pieces, gently twist each cut piece 90 degrees so that it is angled slightly upward. Start on one side before you work on the other, gradually working the pieces into a circle that meets at the top.
Brush the puff pastry with beaten egg and transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Remove the Sausage Roll Wreath from the oven and garnish with rosemary and fresh cranberries. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately with ketchup or cranberry sauce.
How to Freeze and Reheat a Sausage Roll Wreath
If you are making the Sausage Roll Wreath ahead of time, follow the recipe fully. Leave to cool until it is room temperature then place the wreath in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
To reheat the Sausage Roll Wreath, preheat your oven to 350 F and place the frozen wreath on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reheat for 25-30 minutes, while keeping a close watch.
If you make this Holiday Sausage Roll Wreath, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.