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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ocotober 10, 2009: Chorizo sausages

Ever since Kristy wowed us all at the last potluck, I've been itching to try to replicate her stunning 'chorizo' sausages. The first step, procurring a copy of Vegan Brunch, was dealt with quickly and easily thanks to a Readings voucher. The second step, procurring the key ingredient gluten flour, proved much tougher. Allergy Block has been our regular supplier, but they've not had it for weeks. Cindy rode up to Barkly Square to try the health food store there and failed again - it was like there was a gluten flour shortage in the inner-north. Luckily we were tipped off that Organic Wholefoods was stocked up, and finally we were ready to get sausaging.

Making the sausages is actually pretty straightforward - a bit of mashing, some mixing and then a whole lot of rolling and steaming and you've got yourself some of the tastiest meat-free sausages around. We made only one small change to the recipe - adding in a generous splash of liquid smoke to offset the lack of smokiness in our paprika. The texture is sausage-like, but denser and a bit chewier, and the flavour (while being almost nothing like actual chorizo) is rich and spicey with some lemon tang working with the smokey heat of the chilli, paprika and liquid smoke. The recipe in Vegan Brunch says that it makes 4 sausages, so boldly doubled it, ending up with 10 massive snags, which have been slotting into various meals all week. On the night we let them take centre stage, with roasted sweet potato and baby carrots on the side. Having discovered how easy these are to put together and how much better they are than pre-bought veg sausages, it seems unlikely we'll ever settle for Sanitarium snags again.

Chorizo sausages
(from Vegan Brunch) - makes 8-10 sausages

1 cup cooked pinto beans (we used canned beans), rinsed and drained
2 cups vegie stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons lemon zest
4 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 cups gluten flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1-2 tablespoons dry rubbed sage
2 teaspoons dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
A few splashes of liquid smoke

Before you even start make sure your steamer is ready and you've got the water on the heat so that you're not waiting for it to start boiling once everything else is ready - it doesn't take very long.

Mash the beans in a large bowl and then add all the other ingredients in the order listed above, mixing periodically with a fork to ensure a smooth dough. Once everything's in, stir it all through again and get ready to make sausages.

Tear off 8-10 sheets of alfoil, maybe 15-20 centimetres across. Pull out a small handful of dough (say 2 inches in diameter) and roll into a rough sausage, before placing it on one of the foil sheets and wrapping it up. The wrapped sausages need only be roughly sausage-shaped, as the steaming tends to shape them appropriately anyway.

Steam them in their wrappers for 40 minutes and that's it - your sausages are ready. We fried ours whole, but I've been given the tip that the texture is a bit more satisfying if you slice them up and then fry them. Regardless, they're a taste sensation and well worth the time and energy to make.


  1. this recipe is bookmarked for when I have gluten flour - I almost bought some at radical grocery last week and now I wish I did - yum!

  2. We try to have a steady supply of gluten flour at home now (recent shortage excepted) - we use it all the time!

  3. Cindy, can these be made in advance and frozen?

  4. They certainly can - make sure you steam 'em first, but the frying can wait until you want to thaw and eat 'em. :-)

  5. i am having trouble finding pinto beans and liquid smoke...where did you find yours? i am dying to make this recipe!

  6. Hey Louise - I can't remember exactly where I found pinto beans. It may have been Piedemontes in north Fitzroy. Or possibly the Spanish grocer on Johnston Street. I don't think these would suffer much if you just replaced them with a different kind of bean anyway.

    Liquid smoke is available in the deli next to the escalators in the Lygon Street shopping centre and at the Essential Ingredient in Prahran.

  7. thanks michael! i was thinking casa de iberica might have some...will have to check out the place in lygon street when i see a film there on thurs!

    i also read somewhere that usa foods (in oakleigh, ha, yeah right!) stocks liquid smoke for pretty cheap and also tofu trek in the vic markets, for future reference :)

  8. Yeah, I know Carla bought some cool flavoured smokes from USA Foods (still haven't journeyed over there, though I desperately want to!).

    We actually bought our first bottle of liquid smoke from Tofu Trek. When we went back for more, they were no longer selling it. :-(