There are some foods that have the power to evoke a flood of memories, don’t you think? Certain dishes that just remind you of home or a certain place or time in your life that you loved. Sometimes those memories aren’t just of a certain place or time, sometimes they are of a particular person and sometimes they are of the physical act of cooking. What dishes or people do you think of? For me it has to be my gluten free sausage rolls.
Perhaps it’s the memory of standing on a wooden stool, learning to make your Nonna’s secret pasta sauce recipe. Maybe it’s taking that first heaping spoon full of your Gran’s pavlova piled high with strawberries, kiwi fruit and passionfruit pulp after Christmas lunch, surrounded by the whole family. Or it could be the smell of freshly baked bread or cookies that seemed to perpetually waft through your Mum’s home.
Food has a magical way of transporting us
That’s the beauty of food and one of the reasons why I enjoy cooking and baking so much. It’s also one of the things that I truly hope to bring to life for my own child and eventually hopefully, grandchildren.
For me though there are lots of dishes that have powerful memories. But there is one particularly strong one that I think will stick with me well into my final years. Something that without a doubt makes me smile every single time I make or eat a recipe like this. And that is standing in my Great Grandmother’s kitchen over the Summer school holidays, fighting with my sister for bench space, making homemade sausage rolls.
Nothing compares to homemade Sausage Rolls
And I’ve been making them consistently throughout the years since I was all of 10 or so years old. The problem came of course when I was diagnosed as Gluten Intolerant, at first I just presumed I’d be able to make my nanna’s glorious sausage rolls just with different pastry and being careful with the ingredients. But alas, my first and pretty much every attempt since then has been a failure. And that sadly comes down to one factor. The Pastry.
Gluten free pastry just cannot replicate a good, honest puff pastry (even a frozen one!). Or so I thought. As I became more knowledgeable with gluten free flours and began experimenting with gluten free baking I realized it might not be lost to me completely. If you have a quick google there are very few people, food bloggers or chef’s that can make a decent gluten free puff pastry and that sadly is because it just doesn’t seem to work a lot of the time.
I have tried dozens of recipes with some of the oddest ingredients and yet have failed every time. It was then that I truly thought my homemade sausage rolls would be lost to me forever…. well unless I wanted to make them with gluten pastry and totally poison myself. But the point was I would never again eat these delectable things.
Homemade Gluten Free Sausage Rolls with store bought pastry?
Yes it can be done!
That is until recently. When I came across a decent looking frozen puff pastry at the supermarket. Now I’m not normally a big fan of frozen gluten free food as they tend to be so full of rubbish and fat that they’re not worth eating, and frankly taste horrid too. But I thought what the hell! Nanna J never made fancy pastry let’s give this one a shot!
So I did. But on something totally different, a dessert that is quite honestly so delectably bad for you but so freaking delicious you may just want it night after night. I’ll save that recipe for another time though! The fact was though, that it worked and I thought maybe, just maybe it might work for sausage rolls too.
Whats the name of this fabled perfect gluten free puff pastry I hear you screaming? Well it’s Simply Wize. They actually have a huge range of awesome products (hello spring rolls anyone?!). But their frozen puff pastry just can’t be beaten! I swear it has made perfect gluten free sausage rolls for me more times than I can count now. I just can’t stop making them!! (Of course no one in my family is complaining)
BUT HOW DO I MAKE THE DAMN GLUTEN FREE PASTRY WORK STACEY!
Yes I know, the sight of this tiny piece of hard gluten free puff pastry is kind disappointing at first, but please don’t stop now. There are a couple of tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years on how to MAKE gluten free puff pastry work for you and I’ve put it all in an awesome video over on my YouTube Channel. You can check it out below.
But trust me. Once you nail these few tricks with the pastry and whip up a batch of my decadent filling you’ll be convinced. Gluten free sausage rolls cannot only be done…. but they can be done so damn well NO ONE will be able to tell they’re gluten free!
I swear to you these are honestly the best homemade gluten free sausage rolls you’ll ever eat…. not a small statement I know! And you will never eat one of those frozen store bought ones again! Hell, you don’t even need tomato sauce with them! Hah! How blasphemous of me, how un-Australian!!
Now don’t forget to check out my delicious Gluten Free Pasties recipe while you’re here. Using similar techniques to what you used here you can create not one but two delicious and easy Gluten Free recipes!
The Best Gluten Free Sausage Rolls
- 500 grams Beef Sausage Mince gluten free of course. You can find this in the beef section of any good supermarket or your local butcher
- 1/2 Large Brown Onion finely diced
- 1 Carrot grated
- 1/2 Cup Baby Spinach leaves finely shredded
- 1 Garlic Clove minced
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste or Passata
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce check the label for gluten free
- 1 tsp Mixed Dry Herbs
- 2 Eggs
- 4 sheets Simply Wize Frozen Puffy Pastry
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds for decorating
- Preheat your oven to 180º Celsius Fan Force and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Set aside for now.
- Pull out your 4 sheets of pastry and leave them on the bench to thaw out, I recommend covering with a clean tea towel to keep them from drying out.
- In a large bowl pop the beef mince, onion, grated carrot, baby spinach, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and 1 egg. Combine thoroughly either using your hands or a large spoon.... Go on, get your hands in there!
- Once combined you can pop that to the side for a minute and work on your pastry. By now it should be soft to touch and ready to be rolled out. Now this is critical to this pastry being a success. Used as is without rolling out/thinning out any further it will be a tough, gutless pastry, totally not what you want. Instead you need to roll it out to a fairly thin line using just a standard rolling pin.
- Roll your pastry out on a piece of baking paper to stop it sticking to your bench. Once you have the pastry thin so that it is easily workable but not thin enough that you can see through it, you are ready. You'll need to have a pastry brush handy, a fork too for pricking and your last egg beaten in a small bowl.
- Now break your mince mixture into 1/4 and either using your hands or a spoon place a thick line of it down the center of your pastry being sure to take it right to either end.
- Using a pastry brush run a line of egg wash along the outer edges of your pastry and then fold one side over the other across the meat. Use the fork, dipped in a little egg wash, to gently push the top edge of pastry into the other to create a seal. Flip your long sausage roll over and prick your fork along the top several times to allow heat to escape during cooking.
- Add extra beaten egg to the tops of the sausage rolls to help brown them up. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Now you can cut your rolls as big or as little as you like, just remember that the larger they are the longer they will take to cook. I like to cut each roll into 6 pieces. Pop them straight onto your prepared tray and repeat the process with your remaining sheets of pastry.
- Place your rolls relatively close together on the tray as they shouldn't spread much, just puff up slightly. Place them straight into a hot oven for 25- 30 minutes (rotating the tray once for a nice even golden brown) or you can even cover with cling wrap and refrigerate if needed for later in the day.
- You won't need to roll the pastry out too much, it just needs to be thin and pliable. Just remember to keep a piece of baking paper underneath it (the stuff that separates each sheet in the box will do fine) and rotate and flip it every few rolls.
- Be sure to watch my YouTube video on how to make any brand of GF frozen pastry work, yes even the Coles Gluten Free Pastry. Watch till the end to see me make some sausage rolls briefly to see how I work with the pastry itself.
- If you'd like to keep these delicious bad boys on hand for future 'I can't be bothered cooking' evenings you can pre-cook them (for say 15 minutes), then just pull them out before they brown, wrap them in cling wrap and freeze. All you need to do then to finish them off is pop them in a hot oven to heat through and go golden all over.