There is something rather great and British about sausages, whether sizzling on a barbeque or featuring on a fry-up menu we couldn’t live without a banger or two. We are definitely a sausage eating country. With more than 400 different kinds of sausage, we Brits consume millions of sausages every day and we can’t seem to get enough of them – indeed sausages for breakfast, bangers & mash for dinner, battered sausage from the chippy for tea and sausage rolls for anytime of the day.

British sausage love might dwindle though amidst new findings from the World Health Organisation that shows that just 50g of meat a day – which is around the weight of just one sausage, could increase a person’s chances of colorectal cancer by 18%. The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) analysed 800 studies from around the world and found that processed meats such as sausages and hot dogs, amongst other meaty culprits cause bowel cancer – well there is food for thought!

Thankfully vegetarian sausages are much healthier as they don’t contain animal fat. When making vegetarian sausages, you can’t really be concerned with trying to replicate a meat sausage instead you need to embrace a veggie sausage for its own merits.  A sausage that is made without meat has a different flavour and texture to a meat sausage, but I reckon a Glamorgan Sausage served with poached eggs, fried mushrooms and toast in a morning will give any meaty sausage a run for its money.

Perfect Glamorgan sausages.

These crispy little cheese sausages are a celebration of Welsh ingredients and are versatile into the bargain.  Delicious served as a starter or light lunch with a nice salad, great for veggie breakfast or for brunch served with soft scrambled eggs and laverbread.

Ingredients

50g butter

100g leeks, finely sliced

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

¼ tsp nutmeg

170g fresh breadcrumbs, preferably a mixture of white and brown

2 tsp thyme, finely chopped

2 eggs, separated

2 tsp English mustard

200g Caerphilly cheese

2 tbsp. milk

50g plain flour

 

Method:

Melt half the butter in a frying pan and sweat the leeks over a medium heat until well softened, but not coloured. Season well with salt and pepper and add the nutmeg.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the thyme together.  Beat the egg yolks and mustard together and combine with the breadcrumbs. Crumble the cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and stir in the leeks.  Mix well and add the milk.

Chill the mix for thirty minutes

After chilling shape the mixture into six sausages

Top tip:

A light smear of vegetable oil on your hands can help with the sausage shaping process as it helps to prevent the mixture sticking to you.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark four

Melt the remaining butter in the pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausages and cook until just golden on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until piping hot and a rich golden colour. Serve immediately.

A Little Snippet of History – British sausages are also known as bangers, but why?

It is certain that the term ‘bangers’ was in use in Britain as far back as 1919, but British sausages started to be more widely called bangers during World War Two, when meat was scarce, meaning sausages had to be made with more water and filler in the mix, which in turn made them more likely to explode when cooked.  Today we only tend to hear sausages called ‘bangers’ when we are talking about them being dished up with their classic partner mashed potato.

Italian Style Vegan Sausages

These meat-free and dairy free sausages are infused with Italian flavours and are nice served with herby mash potato and rich onion gravy.

Ingredients

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried tarragon

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried marjoram

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

3 tbsp. sundried tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 red onion (chopped)

125g natural wheat germ

235g butter beans (soaked and cooked)

1 red pepper (diced)

1 yellow pepper (diced)

170g mushrooms (sliced)

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3 Tbsp. of mushroom ketchup

 

Method:

If you like simple recipes to follow then these sausages are a must for you.  Assemble your ingredients together and combine everything together in a large mixing bowl, blitz the mixture in a food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse paste.

Divide the mixture into equal parts and shape each part into a sausage. Wrap the sausages individually in greaseproof paper and the wrap in foil and steam them for 15 minutes. I use a metal steamer that sits on top a large stockpot of boiling water. Following the steaming process let your sausages cool. Then refrigerate them overnight, this step is important as it will help to firm them up.

When ready to use, unwrap and cook them however you desire. I fry them for a few minutes in a little vegetable oil before baking them in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Once cooked serve and devour immediately, yum!

 

Feta and Beetroot Sausages

I love the pink colour of these vegetarian sausages both when making and when you cut open the finished, cooked sausage. For me these sausages are the ultimate impromptu supper dish, quick and easy to make and deliciously different. Great served with a sleek salad drizzled with balsamic dressing and a warm baguette or served on top of roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

Ingredients

250g cooked beetroot

400g cold mashed potato

200g feta cheese

1 whole egg (beaten)

80g plain flour

¼ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp garlic puree

2 tsp grated orange zest

Black pepper to taste

Method

This is recipe that is quick and easy to prepare and is tasty into the bargain.

Mash the cooked beetroot and combine with the cooked mashed potato. Add in all the herbs, spices and orange zest and mix thoroughly. Crumble in the feta cheese and stir in the beaten egg.

Give the mixture a really good stir and then refrigerate for twenty minutes.

After chilling shape the mixture into little sausages and either bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180C/350F/gas mark four or shallow fry on a low heat until golden and crispy.

So get your frying pans at the ready and cook up a meat-free sausage for tea – you’ll be missing out a great sandwich opportunity if you don’t!

 

 

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

Food has always been of great importance to Seren and despite her being renowned for her historical recipe recreations, her culinary skills were not honed, in the kitchens of top restaurants, but in the home kitchen from the age of being able to hold a wooden spoon. When Seren was born her mother was taken ill and so she spent her early years being cared for by her grandmother, Minnie. This was to prove instrumental in the development of Seren’s love of cooking, for her grandmother was an accomplished cook, who’s kitchen was always awash with terrine’s, home-made pastry and traditional puddings. Minnie’s love of good food and her zest for life meant Seren’s childhood was filled with days of hedgerow picking, baking, traditional preserving and cooking recipes from the depths of a family copy of, Mrs. Beeton. She learned from an early age how to make Victorian puddings alongside elaborate noble pies and perhaps this explains her love of pastry making and the reason she won an accolade from The Great British Pie Awards this year. Today Seren has great skill in bringing historical food to life and making it accessible and understandable to the modern cook and diner. Her enthusiasm and love of historical food and British cooking is evident in her presentations and she loves to revive forgotten recipes. She recently took part in ITV1’s Country House Sunday and has given live cookery demonstrations across the country at food festivals, historical houses and castles. Trained as a herbalist and nutritionist, she has a deep understanding of improving health through food. Her interest in historic remedies and herbal folklore eventually extended to researching British food history, and reignited her early passion for cooking. Fifteen years on and Seren has amassed extensive knowledge and is now renowned for her historical food recreations and interpretations. Seren’s interest in food history does not just extend to old recipes and cooking techniques, but to ingredients and manufacturers. From the age of fourteen Seren has collected food and drink packaging from early Victorian to the 1960’s. Her collection is now extensive and provides a wonderful snapshot in time that accompanies her vast knowledge of the development of British food and drink companies throughout history. She also has a huge collection of antique kitchenalia and moulds which she uses to replicate historical recipes and portray past eras. Her training in herbalism and nutrition has not been wasted for despite her merits as a food historian and period cook she also delights in creating British Classic dishes for those with food allergies and intolerances (such as gluten and dairy intolerant). Her botanical knowledge has made her a keen wild food educator and forager that lends unusual as well as historical twists to all her cooking. There are also many points at which food and medicine intertwine throughout history and Seren is able to portray these developments and has also undertaken a lot of research into the British spice trade. To Seren historical food is not a job, but a way of life. Visit Seren's blog: Serenity Kitchen