Travelling Tastebuds: Australia!

Each Tuesday I will be exploring a new location to satisfy my wanderlust while my feet remain firmly planted on Canadian soil. I’m so excited! I hope you’ll join me in these new adventures.

Welcome to Australia! This week’s Travelling Tastebuds is especially close to my heart. Australia is my very favourite place in the whole wide world. It’s true! Just ask my friends. They wish I’d stop talking about it. Believe me, they don’t care about what Hugh Jackman’s up to, or about the cliffhanger on the latest episode of Offspring. But I do. So let’s talk Australia for a little while.

Flinders St. Station, Melbourne

When you think of Australia, what kind of foods come to mind? Vegemite? Pavlova? Lamingtons? For me it wasn’t any one specific ingredient or dish. The confusing part about Australian food is that it appears to be similar to what you are accustomed to at home. But you have to be savvy. There were times when I bought ketchup (they call it tomato sauce), or Campbells soup and while the packaging looked the same, when I tasted them, they were very different.

Acland St. cake shop. A must see/eat!

But one of the best parts of travelling is trying new things. So once I realized I couldn’t rely on old standbys, I started to experiment and explore. It may sound silly to say, but while I enjoyed world class food all over the country, my very favourite Australian food, the thing that I miss the most now that I am home, is sausage rolls.

There really is nothing like a sausage roll (with tomato sauce, of course) and a peerless Melbourne coffee to dust the cobwebs away after a big night out. Or, as a mid morning snack. Or even for dinner for that matter. Sure, you can get sausage rolls here, but they are mostly sold as cocktail style nibbles. I want a big one. Not 10 little ones (should I have only had 5?) These things should be on every corner, like hotdog vendors. Am I right?

This week’s Travelling Tastebuds was the perfect opportunity to take my palate back to Melbourne cafés with this recipe from the divine cookbook, Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion. You got that right. This book has more treasures than a kangaroo’s pouch. The real ones, not the ones you find in souvenir shops;) Plus it’s a cookbook born from a Sydney bakery so the recipes are true Aussie treats.

There is a recipe in the book for puff pastry, but I used the store-bought stuff. There is no need to make your own. Seriously. I’ve been there. No need at all. Just remember to defrost the pastry overnight in the fridge or on the counter for at least 2 hrs.

With the pastry out of the way, this is a fairly easy recipe. You make a soffritto (a flavour base of onions, celery, carrots and in this case thyme and fennel) and let it cool. Then you add the veggie mixture, some bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the ground pork and give it a good old mix with your hands for about 2-3 minutes (it does something to the texture of the meat, apparently).

**I find overall this cookbook goes a bit heavy on the salt. This recipe calls for 1 Tbsp but I started with 1/2 Tbsp and fried up a bit of the meat mixture to test the seasoning. It was just right. But it’s important to remember that you want the meat slightly saltier than normal to take the pastry blanket into account **

Once the meat is ready to go, roll out your pastry and cut into sections as instructed. The puff pastry comes with two packages. I used one. I should have used both as there was a lot of meat. I will probably just make sausages out of the leftovers (the flavour of the mixture is delicious!).

Give it a bit of an egg wash and into the oven! Preheat to 400F and then turn down to 375F and cook for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and oozing juicy goodness. I can’t believe I’m saying this but…these may even be better than the ones I’ve had in Oz? Is that possible?!

Well, I hope you enjoyed that small part of Australia that I love. Have you been? What’s your favourite Australian meal? If you haven’t been yet, what do you dream of trying once you’re there?

Comments (13)

  • Australia is my favourite place too! I personally love meat pies. Also, I know exactly what you mean about things looking the same but tasting different (MasterFoods tomato sauce anyone?) Overall, great post! I’m glad someone else appreciates Aussie culture as much as I do!

    • Thanks Dani. Yes, I am definitely an honorary Aussie (self appointed, of course).

  • Haha Aussies do love good sausage rolls! I’m sure yours would be a hit at any party 😀
    I live in Australia and give you a massive thumbs up (as long as you provide lamingtons too 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Yay! You know, I’ve never made lamingtons before..another dessert to try:) Coming soon, I promise! Glad to have the Aussie approval.

  • The y look amazing!!!! Are they gluten free by any chance??????

    • I’m afraid not:( But the flavour of the sausage is amazing! Anyone have any gluten free ideas for Mum?

  • That looks delicious!!! I love your pictures so much! I stayed in Melbourne for a summer several years ago and fell in love with all of it, especially the people, but the food too. After reading this, my heart is aching for those days….

    • I hear ya, Sarah. It’s funny how somewhere that is so much the same is still so different in a way that you miss. Oh, and the coffee, the laneways, the accent:)

  • well this made me hungry .. :-)) they all look delicious I don’t think we have this in Philippines.. 🙁


    • Are the ingredients available for you to make them? What is your favourite snack food from the Philippines? I’d love to try it:)

  • “This book has more treasures than a kangaroo’s pouch” hahah I love that, and I love this post. I just booked flights to Australia for christmas for my best friend’s wedding, and I think I’m going to try out this recipe over the weekend to get into the spirit of all things Aussie (I realise Christmas is miles away but I’m clearly very excited!). Mmmmm and I bet the fennel flavour in here is magical!

    • Thanks so much. Australia is a constant source of inspiration for me:) And I’m so excited for you to spend Christmas down under for a friends wedding. It’s going to be such a good time! You’ll have to let me know how these go if you give them a try, and yes, the fennel sets these off like nothing else. Have a great weekend!

  • […] I stayed with the familiar, and quickly fell in love with Aussie sausage rolls. Aussies are big on their savoury breakfasts, and if I’m stuck for my morning meal and feel […]


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