A Basket by the Door, by NSW-based food writer and creator or the My Open Kitchen podcast Sophie Hansen, is inspired by “the best of country hospitality”. It features 140 recipes – for everything from dips, pies and biscuits, to ragu and chocolate mousse – which are ideal for food gifts or picnics and other gatherings.
Apple, Fennel and Pork Sausage Rolls
These sausage rolls are excellent for smoko break, lunch or dinner. If serving them as a main meal, add a big salad full of peppery greens and a spicy tomato chutney like the one below. Make up a double batch of sausage rolls and freeze them (uncooked) in long logs, ready to bake from frozen, and you’ll be ready to feed the hungry hordes in minutes.
1 Tbsp (20g) butter
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 granny smith apples, cut into small pieces
1 red onion, diced
500g pork mince
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
3 sheets butter puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sea salt
Quick tomato chutney (see below), to serve
Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add three-quarters of the fennel seeds and the apple pieces and cook for a few minutes or until softened.
Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix the pork and thyme with the cooled apple mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Take a third of this mixture and place it on one of the thawed pastry sheets, making a sausage shape along the bottom third of the sheet. Roll as tightly as you can to create one long sausage. Repeat with the remaining pastry and pork mixture.
If you’re freezing the sausage rolls at this point, wrap them in plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer. Otherwise, onwards! Using a pastry brush (or your fingers if you don’t have one), brush the egg over each sausage roll. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, sea salt and remaining fennel seeds over the top.
Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the sausage rolls are golden brown. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature with the tomato chutney.
Quick Tomato Chutney
Chop 1kg tomatoes and 4 red onions. Seed and chop 2 bird’s eye chillies (or to taste). Combine the tomato, onion and chilli in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in 1¼ cups (280g) firmly packed soft brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sea salt and 2/3 cup (170 ml) apple cider vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring often (so you don’t burn the base of the pan), for 40 minutes or until the chutney is thick and glossy. Divide among sterilised jars and seal. Makes about 4 cups.
Images and recipes from A Basket by the Door by Sophie Hansen, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99. Photography: Sophie Hansen.
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