Welsh Witterings: For the Love of a Vegetarian Sausage
There is something rather great and British about sausages, whether sizzling on a barbeque or featuring on a fry-up menu we could not 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
This is a 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.