I love homemade sausage rolls. A traditional british snack, sausage rolls always came out at Christmas time in my family. You can get them all year ’round in the UK, obviously, but my mother made lovely homemade ones which were always better than the pre-packed ones you get in the supermarket. I’ve had The Best sausage roll from a place in London called The Ginger Pig – a large, freshly baked delight that was served warm. Fantastic! But, sadly, not gluten-free, nor low carb… so I set out to create my own.
When I mentioned to The Boyfriend I was making sausage rolls, he was thrilled. Until I pointed out that I was making a low carb equivalent. To save any domestic dispute, I picked up some puff pastry from the shop and make a batch of ‘traditional’ sausage rolls for him. But this recipe is for a batch of my low carb creation. And I have to stay, they aren’t really sausage rolls, but they are absolutely delicious. And a great substitute when you are avoiding pastry!
I used tradition spanish botifarra, which is just basically a really good, really pure sausage. Unlike typical british sausages, botifarra is pure meat (and a few spices) rather than bulked up with bread and fillers. If you can’t get botifarra (which, if you aren’t in Spain, you probably can’t) you can use a high quality sausage meat, or equivalent.
Not Quite Sausage Rolls
Preheat the oven to 180*C.
Peel and finely chop the red onions. Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and slowly cook the onions until they are translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Throw the thyme in, mix about, and leave to cool.
While the onions are cooling, prepare the courgettes. Using a potato peeler, make long strips of courgette - make about 30 strips or so, depending on the size of the courgettes. Lay these is a single layer onto a paper towel, sprinkle a little bit of salt, and cover with another paper towel. Continue until you've covered and salted all the strips. Let these sit while the onions cool and you prepare the filling.
De-sausage your sausages! Make a slit in the casing and empty them into a bowl. Mix with almond meal and the now cooled onion mixture (it takes a while to do the courgette... well, it took me a while...)
On the work surface, lay a slice of courgette, then half a slice of bacon (cut each slice of bacon in half so you have two short slices), then a tablespoon or so of sausage filling. It's like you're making oblong meatballs. Roll 'em up. It's like the bacon and courgette are wrapped 'round once, then the courgette goes around again as it's twice as long as the bacon slice - or should be! You can see from the picture, more or less.
When you've prepared all the rolls, put them in the oven.Here's a tip - I used a wire rack to sit them on, so the fat drained out the bottom. It would probably work either way, but I like this one!
Bake for about 35-45 minutes. Leave to cool (if you can wait) before eating.The courgette stays a bit crunchy, giving that 'bite' of pastry. Fantastic for parties!!