It's hard to go past a freshly baked sausage roll, with its luscious layers of buttery crisp puff pastry. But here's a much healthier version you can indulge in more often - and even I was surprised at how tasty these are! A commercially made sausage roll typically has more than six times the saturated fat, double the calories, and more than double the carbohydrates as these ones... so tuck in.
The new sausage roll
1 red onion, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
400g tin butterbeans or borlotti beans, drained well
2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
2 small or 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated
2 tbsp finely chopped sage
1 1/2 tsp ground fennel or toasted fennel seeds
1 cup instant oats
300g minced pork
1 egg, beaten, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
15 sheets filo pastry (from a 375g packet)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
poppy seeds, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place the onion, garlic and butterbeans in a large bowl. Using a stick blender or masher, work the mixture into a coarse paste.
Using your hands, squeeze out and discard as much excess liquid as possible from the grated carrot and zucchini, then add them to the butterbean mixture with the sage, fennel, oats, pork, beaten egg and salt. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix with your hands for about 1 minute, working the mixture until very well combined.
Remove the filo pastry from the packet and keep covered with a damp tea towel. Stack five sheets of pastry on top of each other on a clean work surface, spraying well or lightly brushing with oil in between each layer. Divide the filling mixture into thirds. Starting at the longest side closest to you, shape one portion of the filling along all the way out to the two shorter edges. Roll up to enclose the filling, then carefully cut into four sausage rolls. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the 2 tablespoons oil. Lightly and evenly brush the mixture all over the sausage rolls. Lightly sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame salt along the centre of each.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Enjoy warm, with tomato sauce.
TOP TIPS: You can shape the filling into a meatloaf and bake it in a 4 cup loaf tin at 180C, for about 40 minutes, until cooked through; I like to serve the meatloaf with a potato and parsnip mash. Instead of pork and sage in the filling or meatloaf, try beef and oregano, or lamb and rosemary.
MAKE AHEAD: Filo pastry doesn't freeze well once cooked, but you can refrigerate the cooked rolls in an airtight container for three days; gently reheat in the oven. A raw batch of filling can be frozen for up to three months, well wrapped and protected from freezer burn.
From Three Veg and Meat: More veg, less meat; flip the balance on your plate, by Olivia Andrews. Murdoch Books, $39.99.
Catch the television series Three Veg and Meat on 10play.com.au