Bacon Roly Poly

Suet Crust PastryI was recently sent a Mermaid Pudding Sleeve and discovered that there weren’t that many recipes mentioning how to use one. I had never made a roly poly style pudding before and suet never features on my shopping list. This called for some old fashioned British cookery and I knew just the place to look, my grandmother’s old book entitled The Birds Eye Book of Britains Favourite Recipes. I had never cooked from it before as it seemed so dowdy and old fashioned (1964) but I knew all the old cooking techniques were covered in there. I wanted to find an alternative to the obvious Jam Roly Poly so was pleased to find a savoury dish in the form of Bacon Roly Poly. In the original recipe the onions and bacon go into the pudding uncooked but I didn’t fancy taking my chances with this so fried them up and also added mushroom and changed the onions to red ones. There is mace in the recipe which I bought specially and then promptly forgot to use so if you don’t have any don’t worry as it tasted delicious without!

I was very impressed with the way that the Mermaid Pudding Sleeve cooked the Roly Poly as the finished pudding was not like it had been purely steamed. Where the pudding had come into contact with the metal sleeve there was a slightly baked surface which I really liked. The original recipe was rolled up in pudding cloth and boiled for 2 hours so the texture would have been more spongy which you can see from the picture. Indeed I notice some recipes suggesting that you put your Roly Poly in the oven to crisp it up slightly after steaming – so no need with the Mermaid Sleeve! Why don’t you check out the Mermaid bloggers page where you find me and many other lovely bloggers

The boiled roly poly had more spongy texture. Dig that photographic style!

The boiled roly poly had more spongy texture. Dig that photographic style!

As this dish is made with fairly inexpensive ingredients I am entering it into this month’s Credit Crunch Munch which is run jointly between myself and Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours. I am also entering it into the Tea Time Treats challenge being run by Lavender & Lovage and What Kate Baked (who is hosting this month) where the theme is Perfect Puddings, both sweet and savoury. As this recipe is also made from scratch I also have to enter it into Made with Love Mondays challenge hosted by Javeline Warrior’s Cookin w/Luv.

Credit Crunch Munch


 Bacon Roly Poly

After mixing up and rolling out the dough you simply lay on the fried onion, mushrooms and bacon.

Suet Pastry After rolling up and sealing the edges with water, place into Mermaid Baking Sleeve.

SteamerThen simply place in a steamer for 2 hours topping up the water regularly.

Suet Crust PastryThen simply remove the Roly Poly from the sleeve and serve.

Suet Crust Pastry

As it says in the original recipe “an honest to goodness dish for tough guys” !

4.8 from 11 reviews
Bacon Roly Poly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old fashioned British Pudding brought up to date, bacon, red onions and mushrooms all rolled into a suet pudding casing.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Serves: 4
  • 200g / 7oz Back bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 2 Medium red onions, chopped finely
  • 120g / 4oz Mushrooms, chopped
  • Pepper
  • Powdered mace (optional)
  • 200g / 7oz Plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g / 3.5oz Shredded vegetable suet
  • Water about 5 tbsp
  1. Fry the bacon in a large non-stick pan in the oil until cooked and then set aside using a slotted spoon.
  2. Sweat the onions on a low heat in the same pan with a lid for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and sweat for a further 5 minutes under a lid.
  4. Sieve the flour, mix in the salt and suet and then add the water to give a firm dough which comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.
  5. Roll out the dough to a rectangle shape the same width as the pudding sleeve about ¼ “ thick.
  6. Lay the bacon and onions/mushrooms over the dough leaving a gap along the sides and the bottom edge.
  7. Season with the pepper and a little mace if using.
  8. Roll up the pudding and seal the sides and bottom edge with a dab of water.
  9. Put in pudding sleeve or roll up in a layer of grease proof paper and foil loosely (to allow for expansion) and scrunch foil to seal.
  10. Place in a steamer over boiling water for 2 hours topping up the water regularly.
  11. Once ready slice up and serve with your favourite vegetables and gravy or tomato ketchup if preferred.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/bacon-roly-poly/


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  1. Ursula Hunt

    very tasty

  2. Maddy

    I like the slightly crispy bits too!

  3. Ursula Hunt

    This has become a favourite in our house on a horrible day like today

    1. Camilla

      Really pleased to hear that:-)

  4. Hazel Rea

    This looks like just what is needed for the colder weather.

    1. Camilla

      Too true;-)

  5. Anne Dalzell

    I’ve only ever made herby dumplings with suet and have thought about making a fruity, christmas pudding with suet. Sounds delicious though.xx

  6. Anne Dalzell

    I’ve only ever made herby dumplings with suet and have thought about making a fruity, christmas pudding with suet. Sounds delicious though.

  7. William Gould

    Wow! This does look and sound great!

  8. Abigail Cullen

    Wow, this recipe looks amazing, love all the ingredients and looks very filling too.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, yes it’s proper filling comfort food:-)

  9. Charley

    Thank you. This is clearly a good idea. We are all having to be cost conscious until we win the Lottery.

    We have a dinner party on Friday and pondered over deep fried poussin, slow pork belly, 24hr shoulder of pork etc but this really fits the bill.

    You are absolutely right about cooking the filling first, especially if adding mushrooms. I remember this dish as a child and the pallid fatty bacon inside was unappetizing! I guess one could cover the rolled out suet with Pancetta, but more expense and not necessary.

    I shall need a sauce for this. A simple light white cheese sauce would do, but I plan an equally simple cream, brandy and green peppercorn sauce.

    Thank you once again for the inspiration.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you:-) Hope it goes well:-)

  10. Paul Wilson

    Looks sooo nice.

  11. bev

    It looks very filling!

  12. ashleigh

    yum this sounds great!

  13. Helen McCarron

    I’m on the look out for as many bacon recipes as possible for my fussy son. This looks like another winner as far as he’s concerned!

    1. Camilla


  14. Donna Kent

    This looks delicious. Its something just a bit different to put in lunch boxes.

  15. Daniela James

    Tomorrow`s dinner sorted! Thanks xx

  16. Claire Holtey

    haven’t made this for ages. OH loves suet puddings! I bought a lovely steaming basin from Lakeland but this shape will not go in – bit of fiddling needed I think.

  17. Jeremy Andrews

    This looks so good. I have to try this

  18. Cate

    Yum, this looks delicious!

  19. glennamy

    Looks delicious and not too hard for me as I am not the greatest cook! Will show my daughter (who is a fussy eater – but loves bacon) and give it a go. ;0)

  20. Susie Wilkinson

    That looks great, it can be a main course because of the bacon, mushrooms and onion, and then a second helping for dessert because it’s roly poly!

  21. Heather Haigh

    perfect comfort food, mmm

  22. Helen Bailey

    This is very similar to a ‘bacon roll’ that we make and seeing this reminds me we haven’t had it in ages. I think we might have to change that and have it later this week!

  23. Amanda Mallows

    Wow, have just come across your recipe – this would be my husband’s idea of the perfect meal. Will definitely be giving it a try!

    1. Camilla

      It’s such a popular recipe:-)

  24. Victoria Varley

    Will have to try this sounds lovely

  25. Ursula Hunt

    Made this for tea last night, thoroughly enjoyed by all. will certainly be making it again

    1. Camilla

      Brilliant, so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for telling me:-)

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