Smoky Dogs (VEGAN), 10p

On Thursday, I got a text message from my best friend asking if I wanted to meet for lunch and casually mentioning that it was National Hot Dog Day. Normally I side-eye those National Something Days but heck, National Hot Dog Day? There’s something I can get behind with aplomb. Gusto. Unfettered enthusiasm. And sausages.

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I’ve been making vegetarian sausages for years – originally based on a recipe by Irish chef Denis Cotter in his excellent and beautiful book For The Love Of Food. Over time I swapped the chestnuts for peanuts, the tofu for white beans, ekeing and tweaking in the way we all make things our own. And THOSE sausages are great. Joyous. An oral sensation. But they have eggs and cheese in, and today on this nationally sausagey day, I thought I would challenge myself out of my accidental culinary hibernation and make a vegan dog. I’ve been reading Peace And Parsnips by Lee Watson lately (follow him on Twitter at @lee_the_vegan) and it’s a PHENOMENAL book. Inspiring, beautiful, peaceful, funny, cheeky, and full of all the noms. Separate blog post to follow on this amazing guy but he’s inspired me to cook more vegan nosh these days and hence the sausage challenge – plus I figured my vegan readers would appreciate it too, and there’s a lot of you out there, hello fellow plant-noshers!

Makes 6 decent sized sausages at 10p each

1 small onion, 9p (from 1.5kg Basics bag, 90p)
1 small carrot, 9p (from 1.5kg Basics bag, 75p)
1/2 tsp paprika, 2p (50g smoked paprika, Sainsburys, £1)
1/2 tsp cumin, 1p (100g Rajah Jeera, £1)
1 tbsp cooking oil, 2p (3l veg oil, £3)
1 tbsp peanut butter, 8p (Sun Pat (£1.80/340g)
400g tin of kidney beans, 30p (Basics)
30g fresh breadcrumbs (1 slice of fresh bread grated or blitzed in a blender), 2p (800g loaf of Basics bread, 40p)

First very finely chop your onion and grate your carrot, and tip into a pan – frying pan, saucepan or saute pan, they’re not fussy, you’re just going to soften them up a bit. Add the spices and oil and bring to a medium heat, stirring to disturb them and stop them from sticking and burning. Stir for a few minutes to take that raw edge off, then remove and allow to cool to one side.

Drain your kidney beans and thoroughly rinse them, then test how soft they are – some canned beans are very soft and easy to mash as they are (super cheap basic and value ones), and some need a little more work (Napolina, I’m looking at you). Place one on your worktop and press the prongs of a fork against it with a medium pressure, if it yields and splits, you’re good to go. If it sulks and holds tight, pour the whole lot into a pan of water, bring it to the boil, reduce it to a simmer, and cook for 8 minutes to soften up. Remove from the heat and drain.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your veg, beans, and peanut butter and mix and mash until it forms a rough paste. You may need to loosen it with a splash of water but only a splash or they’ll fall apart later down the line!

When you’re satisfied that it’s all nicely mashed, add the breadcrumbs, flour and chopped herbs and stir through. Pop the mixture in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up – important otherwise they will fall apart in the pan!

Remove from the fridge, and roll into sausage shapes in your hands. Heat a little oil in your frying pan and gently, carefully place them in – they are fragile! Cook for around 8 minutes on a medium heat, gently rolling them at intervals to cook evenly. Remove (gently, carefully) and serve. Ta-dah!

Jack Monroe.
Twitter: @DrJackMonroe
Instagram: @MsJackMonroe

PS, I had a little help with these… Here’s my Small Boy making sausages…

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48 Comments »

  1. Great to see your blog back Jack – have missed you. Will certainly give these a try, but as I’m having to exclude wheat do you think I could substitute porridge oats and/ or a bit of gram flour (I hate gluten free bread and its so pricy)

  2. Er – Flour? what flour??? And I take it herbs are to personal choice? But nice recipe – thanks Jack, will try these out for tea!

    • @harddancing –

      Are you allowed to eat Sunflower butter? (I know they’re a seed, but, not sure if it would cause a problem for you or not.

    • I’m not an expert chef and don’t live in England, but I am on a limited nuts diet. If you’re going for the fullest nut experience possible, they make sunflower seed butter for nut allergies, though it’s more expensive unfortunately. (Also lentil butter or something but your mileage may vary. I hated it, tastes like nothing.) I’ve made my own peanut butter in a blender, you could probably make sunflower seed butter (or pumpkin seed butter) easily, but it turns out with lots of tiny chunks, (I vastly prefer this to either crunchy or plain peanut butter actually), not factory smooth, but this hotdog already has carrot pieces in it so maybe that doesn’t matter.

      But, it’s only a tablespoon of peanut butter for six whole hotdogs, maybe you could just substitute anything without affecting the recipe too much. Cook and mash something. Chickpeas / peas / lentils / *rice* (super good at being sticky) / cooked cornmeal / cream of wheat / blendered potatoes are a great glue / basically any grain you can make into a kind of sticky consistency (blendered oatmeal..) / a Tbsp more beans or carrots (but soft and mashed, and drained if needed), non-dried bread, maybe a Tbsp of egg if you aren’t going for vegan. (Egg helps bind cooked things, though it makes the raw dough more runny, and you’d have to be more thorough about cooking the hotdog fully.)

  3. Mmm this sounds good! I’ll add it to my list of things to make next time I have carrots (always a necessary list, I’m not a big carrot fan).

  4. Hurrah…….. you’re back, I was beginning to get worried about you!! Will definitely be trying this recipe sounds really good thank you.

  5. Hurrah! Have been missing your posts.. And this looks like another fab vegan recipe 🙂 going to try making it with the kids tomorrow. Thank you! Xx

  6. Goodmorning Jack,

    We still don’t know if you got Nada’s little plate, since you said they told you it arrived at your mailbox. The lttle plate with I REST MY SPOON on it. We hope all is well and send you our warm greetings.

    Frank & Nada Westerlo Belgium

    • Hi Frank, I haven’t had it sadly, it’s not the only thing to go missing my end as I have had a jar of maple syrup, a cookbook and a hand carved wooden bowl ‘not turn up’ – and those are just the things I know about. I have written to Royal Mail about my post issues as it seems to be a worryingly regular occurrence. I am so sorry and devastated that this has happened to such a lovely, thoughtful item. 😦

  7. I made these for dinner last night, very good! I cooked the beans from dried (with beans purchased from the Dollar Store), so this recipe cost around 50 cents total (I’m American). Your recipes are great for a broke grad student like myself! More vegan recipes please 🙂

  8. Just lovely to see you back and what a great recipe. I’m always looking for new veggie recipes and I think even my mini carnivore will love making and eating these.

  9. These are lush. A bit fiddly to fry without them disintegrating, but well worth the effort. I rolled mine in nigella seeds before frying for some extra seedy loveliness. Glad you’re back, Jack.

  10. Just found your blog – thank you so much for your great recipes. I love how many simple vegan options there are.

  11. Can anyone suggest how much flour and which herbs should be used? I’d love to try these but I can’t work out the rest of the ingredients.

  12. Jack, I completely adore the way you write and the way you cook. Do you have any advice on how to make vegan things feel a bit meatier? I’ve been a vegetarian for yonks and just haven’t been able to create a sausage, burger or fake-meatball that doesn’t fall apart the minute you touch it. Help please!

    • Oooh I have a few, I will post them over the next few days. Generally I add finely chopped mushrooms or nuts or kidney beans to any veggie burgers/sausages for oomph. As for falling apart, with any bean based things, always add a tablespoon or two of flour to the mix to form a paste that will hold everything together. I always chill bean-based mixes in the fridge or freezer for half an hour before cooking, it makes a huge difference to their viability. Cheese (or vegan cheese) is a good sticky binder, as is a small amount of finely blitzed tacky fruit like sultanas or prunes.
      It’s worth making a batch of veggie sausages/burgers and freezing some as they cook better from frozen, bit more solid and resilient.

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