Apricot, Fennel Sausage, Sage and Almond Christmas Log

December 17, 2023

This an absolutely delicious Christmas treat that’s an instant gratification, and it’s an adaptation of Angela Hartnett’s recipe, shared in the December issue of Waitrose Food Magazine.

I love the combination of spiced meat with apricots, almonds and fennel seeds. The original recipe calls for any sausage meat, which can vary in flavour, depending on the choice you are going to make. Here in London at my nearest butcher’s there are two types of Italian sausages: spicy and with fennel seeds. I opted for the latter and it only complemented this festive and rich in flavour dish even more.

In case you don’t have access to fennel seed sausages*, just add a handful of toasted fennel seeds to your meat and apricot mix.

Serves 6-8 :

  • a large knob of salted butter, plus some more for greasing
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • a pinch or two of dry chilli flakes
  • 600 g of sausage meat (use fennel seed sausages if possible)*
  • 100 g of dry apricots, chopped
  • 80 g of white breadcrumbs
  • about 60 g of grated parmesan cheese
  • 50 g of blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 5 g of fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • a good handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • a few pinches of grated nutmeg
  • grated zest from half a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • black pepper

Preheat the oven to 210 C (190-200 C fan oven).

In a small frying pan melt the knob of butter over a medium heat, add the onion, season with some salt and fry gently for about 7 minutes or until soft. Now add the garlic and the chilly and carry on frying for further 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the cooled onion mixture and season well with salt and pepper.

Lightly grease a length of foil, put the mixture in the middle and roll into a sausage shape. Seal the aluminium foil on the top and on both sides by folding the edges and pinching them with your fingers.

Place the prepared log on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes. Unwrap and bake for further 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.