I’ve been craving Field Roast sausages for a while now. I used to buy them all the time because their texture and flavor is impeccable and because as a starting vegan, I didn’t know how to cook without still having the space for meat on my plate occupied by something meat-like. As far as flavor and texture go, I think they’re the best vegan grain meat product on the market, and besides Gardein, the most texturally gratifying. But, hell, they’re kind of expensive to buy often, just like any good processed food is, vegan or non-vegan. Nowadays, I don’t even understand the need to “fake it,” but who can resist seitan?
So, with a recipe in mind for a Cajun inspired sausage and bean casserole (which I’ll post in a moment), I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and start making sausages from scratch. This way, I could make larger amounts, save a whole lot of money by using common vegan pantry ingredients I already had, and have the satisfaction of making something really cool and delicious. I was going to cook them in 15 minutes using my pressure cooker, but I couldn’t find my steamer insert and I figured that most people don’t have a pressure cooker so, this might be a more convenient way for most, although it takes 45 minutes longer. Trust me, it’s worth the whole hour.
These sausages are so very delicious and have a nice “chew” to them. Let’s all hail seitan for that! In fact, I ate two right out of the oven. I couldn’t wait. They are incredibly simple to make and don’t really require a lot of effort. Most of the time you spend on these will be waiting for them to come out of the oven; the prep will only take about 10 minutes. You can use these in casseroles, alongside your tofu scramble in the morning, in hot dog buns topped with onions and hot peppers, on pizza, in rice dishes, or pasta dishes — basically in any dish you would normally use sausage.
I hope you love them too!
(makes 8 sausages)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (Braggs is great!)
2 cups water
1 tbsp molasses (agave can be substituted)
1 tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oregano, rubbed
1 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 to 1/2 tsp more, if you want them “hotter”)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper (just a couple grinds)
1 and 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Add the garlic, vinegar, water, molasses, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until completely mixed. Pour into a large bowl.
Add the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, dried herbs and spices, olive oil and black pepper. Stir until well combined. The mixture should be thick and soupy. Now add the wheat gluten and knead into a dough. The dough should be wet and easy to knead.
Place the dough on a cutting board and form it into a ball. Cut the ball in half, then cut the two pieces in half, then cut those pieces in half as well, to make 8 balls of dough.
Place about 10 to 12 inches of aluminum foil on the counter and place one dough ball at the bottom end about a 1/2 inch from the bottom. Pull it into a small, roughly cylindrical shape and then roll it up with the foil. Tightly roll the dough into the foil, pressing down on it gently to form it into a sausage. Make sure you’re using enough foil to wrap each sausage. You should be able to wrap the foil around each sausage at least twice. This will prevent the dough from over-expanding as the gluten rises and from bursting through the foil. Each sausage should be fully contained with no way to burst through any openings in the foil. Twist the ends of the foil tightly being careful not to tear the foil. Repeat for remaining sausages.
Bake the sausages for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Keep the sausages in the foil until ready to eat to prevent them from drying out. Un-devoured sausages can be refrigerated.