Have you ever had a sausage roll? It’s essentially a sausage-like meat mixture wrapped in pastry and eaten with ketchup. Traditional British and Australian fast food.

I’ve given the humble sausage roll a bit of an upgrade, bringing it out of the fast food genre and into fine dining. The pastry is flakey; the meat is moist and oh-so-flavorful. I served it with ketchup and mustard out of allegiance to the traditional sausage roll, but to bring it up a notch you could plate each serving and drizzle with a balsamic reduction sauce.

Dice the onion and sauté it in the olive oil, salt and garlic over a low flame, until the onion is soft and translucent. This should probably take 20 minutes, and might take up to 30. It’s important not to scrimp on time, because undercooked or slightly burned onions will ruin the taste. We want juicy, plump pieces of onion just bursting with flavor.

Add in the grated carrot and cook another 3-5 minutes until carrots are slightly wilted. Throw in the pear and cook 2-3 minutes more. (Yes, pear is a weird ingredient to cook for a meat dish, but trust me, it adds a fantastic touch.) Remove the vegetable mixture from the stove and set it aside to cool.

Prepare to get your hands dirty—there’s no other way to really mix ground meat properly, in my opinion! Mix the ketchup, mustard, egg, basil and oregano into the meat mixture. Add cooled vegetables and mix until evenly combined. Gently mix in bread crumbs to firm up the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide the meat mixture into two equal parts. Roll each half into a snake, wrap with cling wrap and return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 and roll out your puff pastry.

Take out the meat, gently unwrap the first snake and place it along the edge of the puff pastry sheet. Gently roll it up until the dough fully surrounds the meat. Tuck in the ends and place the meat roll seam side down on a greased baking tray. Brush the top of the roll with oil, or spray with pam. Repeat the rolling process to make the second roll.

Bake the rolls on 425 for 30 minutes. Allow the rolls to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into half-inch pieces. Serve with ketchup, mustard or the condiment of your choice. To serve at a formal occasion, try plating two slices for each person, and drizzle each serving with a balsamic reduction glaze or a wine and mushroom sauce.

If you need to reheat the roll, do it in the oven—the microwave will kill your pastry.

The onions, carrots, pear and garlic give this recipe so much flavor and moistness, it’s truly spectacular. Dig in and enjoy! Oh, and don’t expect there to be any leftovers…


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ pear, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 1/3 cup matzah meal
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 sheets puff pastry


  1. Saute the diced onion and garlic in olive oil and salt over a low flame until soft and golden (approximately 20 minutes).
  2. Add the grated carrot and sauté until slightly wilted. Throw in the pear and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Remove vegetable mixture from frying pan and set aside to cool.
  4. Mix ground beef, ketchup, mustard, oregano, basil and the egg. Add in the cooled vegetables and mix until combined.
  5. Add the matzah meal and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll the meat mixture into two long snakes, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate another 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 425.
  8. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Place meat along the edge and roll until the pastry fully covers the meat. Tuck in the ends and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the second portion of meat and the second sheet of puff pastry.
  9. Brush the top of the roll with oil (or spray it with pam) and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve immediately.
  11. (To reheat, warm it in the oven, not the microwave.)

If you could gussy up any fast food item, which would you choose?