This is a brand new and exclusive recipe from my new book Vegan(ish), published in December. I get a few questions about the title, so just to be clear, it’s a totally vegan book full of totally vegan recipes – I just describe myself as ‘veganish’ these days because I still occasionally work with animal products, but the book is 100% deliciously vegan. You can grab a copy here – I think it’s my best yet!
I fear that the term ‘everyday sausages’ somewhat underplays the magnificence of these simple beasts; but they are my favourite go-to vegan sausage recipe, and everyone in my household raves about them. The filling also makes incredibly delicious sausage rolls, fooling all of my friends and family into thinking they are the real thing, which, in my mind, they absolutely are. I use Violife Original cheese for these, it’s merely a binding agent rather than imparting ny particular flavour, so any faux cheddar or mozzarella style cheese will do the same job if you can’t get hold of it. Ideal in a fry-up, piled atop some creamy mash, stuffed in a bread roll with lashings of brown sauce, ketchup or mustard, or simply fingered cold from the fridge.
Makes 20 generously chunky sausages from 38p each – easily frozen for future use!
360g cooked chestnuts, £4.80 (£2.40/180g, Merchant Gourmet at Tesco)
250g silken tofu, £1.22 (£1.70/349g, Yutaka at Tesco)
1 large onion, red or white, 6p (50p/1kg, Redmere Farms at Tesco)
120g sage and onion stuffing mix, 28p (40p/170g, Tesco)
120g mild vegan cheese, £1.20 (£2/200g, Tesco)
1 tbsp soy sauce, 7p (65p/150ml, Tesco)
Plenty of black pepper, <1p (£1.80/100g, Tesco)
Tip the chestnuts into a small bullet blender or food processor and pulse them to a fine crumb. Tip into a large mixing bowl, and add the silken tofu.
Peel and finely chop the onion, as small as you can – you may find it easier to sling this in the food processor too, but I get a great deal of satisfaction out of pulverising vegetables with a large, heavy knife, although now I’ve committed that to print, I admit it looks a little unusual. Never mind. Add the onion to the bowl of chestnut crumb and tofu.
Add the stuffing mix, and grate in the cheese. At this point, I return the entire lot to the blender in batches to create a fairly smooth sausage mix – this is not essential, but as the mother to a Small Boy who is increasingly fussy about ‘bits’ in his food (my eternal shame, as a food writer, is rearing a wilfully culinary defiant progeny), I do it to save arguments in my household, and also, it makes for a superior sausage.
Transfer back to the mixing bowl and add the soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. It needs no further seasoning; the sage and onion stuffing mix does all the heavy lifting on the flavour front and the soy sauce adds all the salty depth you need. Leave it to stand for thirty minutes so the stuffing can absorb the liquid and swell and thicken. This is a good time to tackle washing the blender or food processor, as this mixture dries like cement.
When the mixture is firm, form it into sausage shapes. I have a method for this that is super simple and stops my hands getting too sticky. Grab a piece of baking parchment or greaseproof paper and cut it to a square. Fold it into nine equal pieces and cut those into squares. You will only need a couple of them, so store the rest somewhere safe – mine are in a freezer bag in the utensils drawer, marked ‘sausage paper’.
Lightly spray one square with oil, or brush a little over with your fingertips. Dollop the sausage mix in the middle. Gently fold the paper in half, and roll it with your palm to fingertips and back again to form a very neat, compacted sausage shape. Pop it in a lightly greased tupperware, and repeat. When the paper starts to get too messy, discard it and use another piece.
Separate the sausages in layers in the tupperware, using one of your helpful squares of Sausage Paper, lightly greased on each side, to stop them from sticking together. Repeat until all the sausagemix has gone, or you have made as many sausages as you need, for the mixture will freeze well to be used at a future date.
Pop the sausages in the freezer for 15 minutes to set – this makes them easier to cook and stops them from falling apart in the pan.
When set, place them in a nonstick frying pan with a little oil. Bring to a high heat, then reduce to medium. Cook for around 8 minutes, nudging carefully every now and then to ensure they cook evenly. Unlike regular sausages, there’s nothing in there that will harm you if eaten raw, as all of the ingredients are designed to be consumed straight from the packets (well, with the exception of stuffing, but there’s nowt so strange as folk). They’ll just taste a little less fantastic than I intend them to, so do make sure you cook them through.
Once cooked, serve hot. Or cold. Or however you please. They keep in the fridge for two days or in the freezer for a few months.
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.