Thursday, February 17, 2011

Handmade Vegan Sausages

I have this thing with buying items in the grocery store that I can make myself. 'Thrifty' side reasons with 'convenience' side and it usually goes something like this:

Thrifty: 'Oh! proooojeeect! You can save the $4.99 and make it yourself. And it will be fun!'

Convenience: 'Um, you may think you have time to do this but in actuality you are far busier than you used to be. Also? your time is worth way more than the effort it will take to make it yourself. Spend the $4.99 lady. Oh, also? It won't be that fun.'

Who wins? Usually thrifty. Depends on my mood though.

This little project though, was one I definitely wanted to take on. My delicious tomato vodka sauce and homemade pasta were just screaming for some sweet italian sausage.


For a little inspiration I turned to my good friend Google. True to form, the Googs directed me to yet another lovely blog that I highly suggest you check out. Vegan Epicurean not only had a great seitan sausage recipe, there are many others to check out. Super fantastic.

The sausages were very easy to make and turned out fabulous. Just like Tofurky's vegan sausages as far as texture and look; what I love about making your own is you aren't held down by their limited variety. Let yourself go and create any flavor you want.


Adapted from Vegan Epicurean

Need:
4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 cups bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons fennel seed
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon sea salt
10 oz vital wheat gluten

8 squares of tin foil, for rolling sausages (you can cut larger pieces down if necessary)

Do:
In a blender, combine garlic, vinegar, water and agave nectar. Blend until smooth.

Pour into a large bowl and add the bread crumbs. Stir until crumbs have fully absorbed the liquid. Add fennel, paprika, pepper and salt and stir to combine.

To your mix add the vital wheat gluten and knead to form a dough. Add more water by the tablespoon if necessary. The consistency you are looking for is a wet dough that is easy to knead. It should be softer than if you are creating a seitan roast.

Form your dough into a ball and cut in half. Cut each of those halves in half then cut each of those in half to create 8 balls.

Roll each ball out into a (about) 5-6 inch long sausage shape. Roll each sausage into a piece of tin foil, folding the ends of the foil on top to seal.

Using a large-ish pot and steamer, steam your sausages for 15 minutes with the lid on the pot. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to low and steam for another 15 minutes then turn off the heat.

Let sausages cool in the tin foil for about 10 minutes then remove.


Serve:
From here I continued with my recipe. These are also great barbecued or sauteed.

The lovely thing about these sausages is you can include any herb or spice you want, resulting in complete control of the 'flavor' of your sausages.

Give it a try and enjoy!

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