Bacon Roly Poly

Bacon Roly Poly - Fab Food 4 AllI 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!

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 Bacon Roly Poly (also known as a Clanger) 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

JWsMadeWLuvMondays 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.

Bacon Roly Poly - Fab Food 4 All

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

4.8 from 13 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: https://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/bacon-roly-poly/


1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Michael

    Our way of making this is to mince the (raw) bacon with the onion and some sage leaves in a trdaitional household mincer. This gives a wonderful mixture of the flavours and there is nothing to worry about over uncooked bacon because it always is cooked. We dont use mushrooms but thats a family/personal choice. We do however serve it with a cheese sauce as someone else mentions on here and that works really well. Green cabbage and carrots are also a good veg accompaniment .Totally rib-tickling stuff and just waiting for the promised wintery blast to justify having it…….

    1. Camilla

      That sounds like a great idea Micheal! I here we may be due some snow:-)

  2. Tracy Nixon

    This sound naughty but nice!

  3. Paul Wilson

    Mmmmm lovely.

  4. Alica

    This looks amazing! I will be giving this a go!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Alicia:-)

  5. Kavey

    Never even knew such a thing as a pudding sleeve existed!!!!

    1. Camilla

      Sadly the firm that made them doesn’t exist any more so they are rarer than hens teeth!

  6. bev

    looks dekicious!

  7. Angie Hoggett

    very different must try it!

  8. Susie Wilkinson

    This looks great, I’ve never seen anything like it before! I’ll definitely be giving it a go!

  9. kay

    Hi Camilla, have made this recipe so often, always delicious, if you have leftovers, I make an 8 ounce pudding for my husband and myself, then slice and fry the rest the next day, absolutely delicious. Can I make this in my new halogen oven,
    Yours sincerely, Kay Winser, (Rhodes, Greece.)

    1. Camilla

      Hi Kay, I’ve never used a Halogen oven but the pudding has to be steamed to cook so I don’t think Halogen would work. Camilla x

  10. june1948

    I made this recipe yesterday. Delicious & hubby asked for more. How dare he!!!

    1. Camilla

      Oh fabulous, so glad you enjoyed it:-)

  11. Ursula Hunt

    very tasty

  12. Maddy

    I like the slightly crispy bits too!

  13. Ursula Hunt

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

    1. Camilla

      Really pleased to hear that:-)

  14. Hazel Rea

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

    1. Camilla

      Too true;-)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. William Gould

    Wow! This does look and sound great!

  18. 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:-)

  19. 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:-)

  20. Paul Wilson

    Looks sooo nice.

  21. bev

    It looks very filling!

  22. ashleigh

    yum this sounds great!

  23. 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


  24. Donna Kent

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

  25. Daniela James

    Tomorrow`s dinner sorted! Thanks xx

  26. 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.

  27. Jeremy Andrews

    This looks so good. I have to try this

  28. Cate

    Yum, this looks delicious!

  29. 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)

  30. 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!

  31. Heather Haigh

    perfect comfort food, mmm

  32. 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!

  33. 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:-)

  34. Victoria Varley

    Will have to try this sounds lovely

  35. 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:-)

  36. Helen Allan

    This looks really nice. I’ve never seen a baking sleeve before. It’s definitely getting added to my wish list.

    1. Camilla


  37. Herbert Appleby

    would a bit of chinese 5 spice work with this?

    1. Camilla

      I don’t like Chinese 5 Spice but the original recipe had Mace in it!

  38. Ursula Hunt

    Great Heartwarming recipe, full of everything I love

    1. Camilla

      Yep, perfect for this time of year:-)

  39. Angie Hoggett

    love the sound of this, thanks for a great recipe xx

    1. Camilla

      I can’t beleive how popular it has become:-)

  40. Angela Walton

    That looks completely delicious, I will have to try this at some point. Looks really tasty for these cold days we’re expecting

  41. Tracy Nixon

    I made this and it went down well with the family! Thanks!

  42. Maya Russell

    That’s real winter warming, comfort food. You could add chopped sausage or sausage meat.

  43. Paul Wilson

    This looks really nice.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you:-)

  44. Maya Russell

    Yum! I’ve never seen a Mermaid pudding sleeve. Are they expensive?

    1. Camilla

      They’re not cheap but I’m sure you can shop around on the internet.

  45. Tracy Nixon

    Ohhhh looks nice! Different too!

  46. MsComp

    With the weather turning cold again and my thoughts turning to more hearty food, I was so happy to find this recipe. I don’t have the sleeve thing though so just a minor technical hitch. It looks fab!

  47. Carrie Talbot-Ashby

    Oh wow, My mum made this (But we called it a Bacon Clanger!) and we minussed the mushrooms and instead my mum would make spicy red chillies in ours for my dad, the king of spice! But this looks absolutely delicous! I admit I have attempted this once about tn years ago! It didn’t look half as nice but I haven’t got a steamer like yours, I think I know what I will be buying this weekend! Thanks for this, I shall let you know if mine worked!! lol

    1. Camilla

      Yes the steamer is fab, do let me know how you get on:-)

  48. Taylor J

    My parents used to make this, but instead of a sleeve they used a tied up tea towel, not quite sure how this worked as I was only young, but may be worth looking into!

    1. Camilla

      I beleive you can wrap the pudding in foil (well) and then float the shirt sleeve or tea towel on top of the water to steam:-) These days a steamer pan would be less fiddly.

  49. Tressa

    This is a meal I have been eating since I was a child & one my 10 & 7 year old love now. It’s their favourite. I don’t have a mermaid baking sleeve so I just pop mine in the oven at about 200 degrees for 30mins. It’s a very inexpensive meal that the whole family adore, I recommend serving with beans as the suet can dry out when cooking. My husband and I have outs with onions & mushrooms, but the kids just have plain bacon, it’s like a giant bacon pasty! So glad to see the classics coming back.

    1. Camilla

      I’m so glad I made this as it really seems to have struck a chord with many people. I imagine that baking in the oven would dry out the suet but in the pudding sleeve it just right. Beans do sound like a yummy combination with it:-) Thank you for stopping by:-)

  50. What Kate Baked

    Such a great recipe Camilla- my usual bacon risotto for tea tonight pales into comparison to this glorious dish! Thank you for a brilliant second entry into TTT!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Kate! Hadn’t realised I’d entered twice, well I’m a bit like buses then, no entries for ages and then 2 come along at once:-)

  51. Fuss Free Helen

    I am not telling Ed about this recipe. No. No. No. I am not.

    Well I could be a lovely girlfriend and make it for him? Wonder if I can wrap in foil and cook in my steamer?

    1. Camilla

      The original says wrap up in a pudding cloth but I’ve seen other recipes where you loosely wrap in baking parchement and then foil to allow for expansion, just make sure it’s sealed well:-)

  52. Mich Piece of Cake

    I have never seen a Mermaid Baking Sleeve… how interesting. And that bacon roly poly looks good.

  53. Victoria Lee

    “an honest to goodness dish for tough guys” I love the comments in these old-school cookery books – the ones in Be-Ro are amazing! Love the idea of this dish – anything with Bacon in is a winner in our house, and I think my own ‘tough guy’ will adore this! Thank you 🙂 (p.s. found you through Twitter – new follower on this site)

    1. Camilla

      Thank you for your lovely comment and I’ll be sure to return the compliment!

  54. Karen

    Another bacon clanger rememberer here! I do love those pudding sleeves, and remember my grandmother making a similar recipe, but regional, again, no mushrooms, but sliced potatoes were added! Great comforting grub.


    1. Camilla

      It’s lovely to awaken culinary memories for people and at the same time this is completely new for many of us too. I suppose it’s like fashion, these things come round again especially in this recession when we need to find new/old ways of saving money and having a hearty meall too! That is why I’m very passionate about Credit Crunch Munch it’s not just an abstract concept to me it’s very real.

  55. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand

    Congrats on getting on the Bloggers Page for Mermaid 🙂 Really like the filling and changes you have made to the recipe.
    Your dish looks far more appealing than the original – nice golden colour and slightly crispy round the edge. I think if I was making this, I ‘d probably pre-cook the bacon too (it would unsettle me otherwise). I wouldn’t have a clue where to start using a tin like this – so thanks for the clear descriptions 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Jacqueline, I think I was the last person to see the new Mermaid page because the DNS from Talk Talk was quering our pitch! We’ve fixed now so it was lovely to finally see what all the bloggers had been excited about:-) That was my cunning plan to put a pic of the original because my dish could only look better. I think I could have done the photography & styling for the book with all the huge shadows going on:-) I’m going to carry on delving as there are 2 of these books so I can bring more recipes up to date!

  56. serialcrafter

    That looks so tasty, I am a big fan of suet pastry but have never made a roly poly!

    1. Camilla

      I’d never made a roly poly, suet puddings, dumplings etc hadn’t realised how easy it was and the pudding sleeve made it even easier:-) Going to try something sweet next with the rest of the suet!

  57. Jane Willis

    It looks gorgeouns, real comfort food. And I have to say I think yours looks far more appetising than the original one. I’ve got really keen on proper old fashioned food recently, as you’ve probably noticed, and this is just the kind of thing I’m enjoying cooking. I think it must be the weather!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Jane. Yes all this cold weather definitely call for some traditional British cooking, hearty and comforting:-)

  58. Jen @ BlueKitchenBakes

    That looks delicious! I’ve never liked jam roly poly, think it was the kind of slimy texture from being boiled that put me off. Bacon is always a winner and I like the fact that the exterior has a baked appearance to it. Might to have to track down a pudding sleeve at some point so I can give it a go.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Jen. I was half expecting something I wouldn’t like but was completely surprised when it turned out so well and was so delicious too:-)

  59. Sally Lea

    True Valentines dinner for boys!

    1. Camilla

      Well that’s Valentines Day covered then LOL!

  60. Mark Whittaker

    I knew this, or a slight variation , from my childhood as a Bacon Clanger, It was a real economy meal, but I still love it. Its so filling and full of flavour. The only difference in my Clanger is the absence of mushrooms ( though as I love them will try it) and added sage. Its such a great meal to have on winters days and I serve it up at least four or five times a year.

    1. Camilla

      That’s so lovely to hear that you used to eat this and I hope you enjoy the addition of the mushrooms:-) Thank you for dropping by to comment.

  1. Top 10 Recipes of 2016 plus fellow food bloggers' top recipes - Fab Food 4 All

    […] Bacon Roly Poly – a truly traditional recipe I […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: