Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 28, 2009: Vegan sausages

In addition to buying Michael a fancy dinner out for his birthday, I offered to cook him his choice of dinner and dessert at home. Michael ummed and ahhhed for days and eventually I began tossing out ideas to him. The first one to really stick was hot dogs, smothered in sauce and fried onions. I must admit to having a small ulterior motive - I'd noticed Alex publish a recipe for home-made vegan sausages on v-plates just a few days earlier and I was keen to try them out.

The sausage mix is an interesting one - lots of dried spices and some gluten flour, but also chickpea flour and refried beans. I bought the particular Woolworths brand beans that Alex recommended and was pleasantly surprised - they had a perky spicy smell, much nicer than the other brands of canned refried beans I've used in the past. The sausages get steamed for 40 minutes or so before being fried, and this was just the right amount of time to get my onions slow-cooked and caramelised. Another pleasant surprise revealed itself - once steamed, the sausages held together quite sturdily!

The verdict? Well, I must admit that Michael and I treat our sausages as vessels for condiments more than anything, and they fulfill that role with aplomb. Michael diplomatically remarked that their texture was a bit 'pastey' and I'd tend to agree. I think there are a few ways around this - for starters, I was a little timid during the cooking phase lest the sausages get too tough. They could probably do with more time in the steamer and/or frypan. My other idea is to bring a little toothsomeness to them using a grain of some sort - probably rolled oats, maybe ground up, or even some crushed Weetbix.

We followed these delightful dogs up with Martha Stewart's apple pie.

Vegan sausages
(a near-exact copy of a recipe by Alex of v-plates)

400g can Woolworths Select refried beans
2 teaspoons gravy powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/4 cups gluten flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup water
more vegetable oil, for frying

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, adding the water last to form an almost sloppy dough.

Take hunks of the mixture (about a 1/4 cup each?) and gently roll them into sausages. Place each sausage on a small square of the foil, rolling it to cover and folding over or twisting the ends.

Steam the sausages for 40-45 minutes, rotating them periodically for even cooking.

Fry the sausages up in a little oil until they have a golden crispy exterior.


  1. love your birthday traditions - these sausages sound so interesting - one day I will try the wheat gluten sausages - love the pic too - happy birthday michael

  2. Oh ... that looks trashtastic (which I mean as the highest of compliments). Is any meal not improved by the addition of fried onions?

  3. They are worth a shot, Johanna! The sausage dough doesn't require fiddly attention like kneading, just a solid steaming. :-)

    Any meal, Miss T, except when I'm eating dessert for dinner. :-D

  4. Hey M&C

    We just tried these sausages! They were a hit. We think we may need to give them a little more moisture in the next batch. In a strange twist, we were unable to source gluten flour, but did find 'gluten-free gluten powder'! That worked :)

    Thanks again :)

  5. Great! Ha, we have seen that gluten-free gluten powder around but never used it - glad it worked out.