Fathers are great characters aren't they? They can always be relied upon for an honest opinion or a fantastical tale. Mr NQN's eccentric father Roger is always up to something interesting and just recently we learned of his new plans for his brand new apartment. This is the man who applied for a DA to have a rope instead of stairs to connect the ground floor and the first floor of his house. Visitors were to climb up or down the rope to get up and down. The council needless to say intervened...
Roger has a new two bedroom apartment. One bedroom is for him to live in. For the other bedroom, he has decided to partner up with a mattress manufacturer to turn his second bedroom into a "sleeping room." Anyone interested in buying a mattress can sleep at his house and he will get a cut of the sale.
Mr NQN and I looked at each other - Roger was ahead of his time buying wheatgrass, tofu and spirulina decades before they were popular but this plan? We weren't sure... After all, would someone be willing to sleep in a stranger's home to test out a mattress? And would it perhaps be better to rent out the room? We await the results of his experiment!
As for my dad, he's a man of very few words but can always be relied upon to be completely honest. When I gave him his father's day present, he looked at the print by a famous Australian artist. "I don't like his work" he said bluntly and we all laughed. There's no glazed over smile and enthusiastic nodding at my home made mug for my father, nope he will tell you exactly what he thinks. I'm sure it has been re-gifted already.
This is a recipe for dads that are always there for you with a fantastic story and an honest opinion as today is Father's Day. It's a classic sausage roll slightly modernised with a pork and white wine sausage filling and grated beetroot. It was actually made with what I had in the fridge and freezer before grocery day. The knot of fantastic pork and white wine sausages were a purchase from Vic's Meat in Mascot a couple of months before-I think they were either $6.99 a kilo or $12.99 which either way isn't too bad considering the amount of sausage rolls made.
Even though there are only three beetroots, the colouring pervades through the filling and adds a wonderful sweetness. The fennel on top is a natural partner and the pistachios lend a little crunch. Well it turns out that the man that I married is also brutally honest when it comes to things. Thankfully these sausage rolls however got a bit thumbs up from my own man of very few words.
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you think of Roger's plan? And would you sleep in another person's apartment to test out a mattress?
Pork, Fennel and Beetroot Sausage Rolls
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Makes 8 large sausage rolls or 24 small party sized ones
- 900g/2 lbs pork and white wine sausages, removed from casing
- 3 beetroot
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 4 sheets puff pastry, thawed and refrigerated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1.5 tablespoons fennel seeds
Buyer's tip: buy your favourite pork sausage for this if you prefer one over a pork and white wine.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 220C/428F. Line two large trays with baking racks and place baking parchment on the bottom of the tray to catch any drips. The beetroot does leak out and the rack prevents the bottom from getting soggy and the parchment makes for easy cleaning.
Step 2. Peel the beetroot and trim the top and bottom. Grate the beetroot and set aside in a bowl (I use the grating attachment to save time). Switch to a processor blade then whizz up the pistachios. Then add the beetroot and sausage meat and process until it becomes a smooth, pink mixture. I usually taste the mixture by heating a little in a frypan to check for seasoning.
Step 3. Cut the pastry squares in half and brush each half with the beaten egg. Shape the sausage mince with your hands and create a long tube of it down the centre of each rectangle as shown.
Step 4. Roll up using the egg to get the pastry to stick together. Place on prepared tray seam side down. Brush with egg and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Cut into the size that you want with a sharp knife.
Step 5. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce.