I generally don’t eat pretend meat (apart from as a student when I was utterly addicted to Meatless Streaky Strips, a microwavable bacon that resulted in something like a hot frazzle sandwich, I digress…) but I do lean rather heavily on the veggie sausage on work nights. They (and a glass of red) are my life support after a tough-ish day when I’m too weary to cook from scratch.
While I bristle and take plenty of umbrage when sneery meat eaters complain about the BBQd cardboard in their hot dog bun, they unfortunately do have a point. Veggie sausages are not very good. However, they are for the time being something of a necessity, convenience-wise. I’ve tried making my own with lentils, using a breadcrumb base, and using a gnocchi base. The bread crumb ones were the most successful but don’t do the job as convenience food. Then I found this recipe from Vegan Dad that he had adapted from veg blogging guru Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
It uses gluten flour (expect several trips to health food shops and delis in which you ask for gluten flour and they give you gluten free flour, before finally tracking it down on the internet).
This recipe is great. You steam the ‘sausages’ before grilling or frying or BBQing them, so can steam a whole batch and freeze for another time. I don’t use the nutritional yeast because I don’t trust those strange ingredients you see all the time in vegan blogs that purport to give a ‘cheesey’ flavour. I’ve made them loads, kind of planning to come up with my own definitive favourite flavours, but in the end I evolved a more pragmatic approach.
Now I start with a bowl with the gluten flour and add the beans (or chick peas) which are a necessity for the right texture. The beans must be lightly mashed, not pureed or the bangers come out too rubbery. Then add whatever you fancy; VERY finely diced veg, loads of herbs and spices, grated cheese, nuts, touch of Marmite…
I also made these with my niece and nephew, giving them a bowl of gluten flour each and lots of little piles of other ingredients so they could add what they fancied. (And followed by EXTREME segregation in the steamer so we couldn’t mix their sausages up). You shape the mix into rough sausage shapes and wrap in foil. The sausages magically expand in the steamer to make a perfect, dense sausage shape.