Cajun Seasoned Seitan Sausages

2 Sep

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!

Ingredients:
(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

Directions:

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.

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4 Responses to “Cajun Seasoned Seitan Sausages”

  1. Gail February 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I tried making the Cajun seitan sausage and they exploded in the oven and landed all over it. I followed the recipe… Any thoughts ? Thanks

    • Melody M. February 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      Hi Gail,

      I’m sorry you didn’t have any luck with these! The only thing I can think of is that you might not have used enough aluminum foil to wrap them in. This happened to only one of the sausages I made in my first batch because I ran out of foil and so, it wasn’t as tightly and well wrapped as the others. So, there was a little space where the dough broke through the foil and burst out. If you don’t use enough foil to wrap them, then they will not be tightly contained as they bake and as the gluten rises, which will cause the dough to over-expand. Thank you for letting me know that this happened, I’ve changed the directions so that they are more clear about this. I hope you try the recipe again! If this doesn’t help, maybe try baking them at a lower temperature for a little bit longer.

      • mike February 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

        I’ve had it go both way. Exploding,and perfection. I feel the secret is the liquid to gluten ratio, and kneading time. I admit, I like things spicy, so I play with the ingredients to make different flavor profiles.

        Seitan is the evil child of repetitive cooking. If the water content or the non gluten ratios are a bit off anything can happen.

        I make the basic mix but because I vary the dry components I hold back 1/2 cup of clear water. I add the one cup of flavored liquid to the 1.5 cups of vital gluten and yeast then give it an aggressive spoon fold wetting all the ingredients. And then, well, experience take over. It needs to form a cohesive blob that stays together. Any further kneading will lengthen the gluten stands and the end result will be more chewy-rubbery. Too little mixing and the seitan is just going to be spongy.

        I’ve also steamed this recipe and it was unique as the temp stayed at 208 but the time was increased to 1.5 Hr.

        Also I found, and this is just my pallet that I almost double the “spicy” ingredients. I also did a little validation using a temp probe stuck into the center of the product. in the oven it quickly got to 212 and pretty much stopped there. I’m guessing its venting the water as steam. If done right the end result is a better than animal sausage that most can’t tell the difference.

  2. angie October 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I’m excited to try this recipe. I just got a pressure cooker and am learning how to use it – could you give some details for your method of using the pressure cooker for this recipe? Thanks!

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