Oct 012009
 

Vegan MoFo logo

For Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food) this year, I will be cooking my way around the world with interesting dishes from different regions.

Bangers & mash with onion gravy

Starting in my own country, today I’m featuring that classic British pub dish, bangers & mash with onion gravy.

Anyone following my blog previously knows that I’m a big fan of veggie sausages, and I’ve previously shared recipes for breakfast sausages, bratwursts, hot dogs & sundried tomato sausages.

I’ve been experimenting with a new ingredient for my sausages that I’ve used a couple of times now. I was inspired by Quorn, a brand of vegetarian meat substitute that has a huge range of different products. Quorn isn’t vegan, but the main ingredient in Quorn is mycoprotein, which is a type of factory fabricated fungus. Of course, I have no way of making this type of fungus in my kitchen, so instead I used a fungus which is available, i.e. the marvellous mushroom. I used mushrooms in place of the tofu or beans I usually use in my sausages.

The first time I made sausages with mushrooms, I used fresh shiitake mushrooms, which are ever so tasty, but freakin’ expensive. This time, I used half shiitakes and half ordinary white button mushrooms.

The sausages were a bit softer using shiitake/button mushrooms, than with just shiitakes. I’ll be experimenting further with using mushrooms in sausages, but for now I’ll post the recipe as I made it. The seasoning combo I used was deelish.

I served the sausages with Mr Thrifty’s special mash, along with onion gravy and peas. The recipe for onion gravy is here, the only modification I made was to use vegan margarine instead of butter. It was super scrummy.

To really get into the whole pub experience, the meal was made complete with beer (for Mr Thrifty) and homemade cider (for me).

Cheers!


Homemade vegan bangers

British American
22g ground almonds 3 rounded tablespoons
100g raw stemless shiitake mushrooms 3-1/2 ounces
150g raw white button mushrooms 5 ounces
40g coconut oil 3 tablespoons
3/4 vegan chicken-style bouillon cube 3/4
(enough for 1-1/2 cups water)
2 teaspoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons
water (see directions)
34g finely chopped onion 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaf 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt 1/2 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon mace 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon marjoram 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon thyme 1/8 teaspoon
150g vital wheat gluten flour 1 cup + 2 tablespoons

1. If you’re starting with whole almonds, grind them in the blender first while it’s still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.

2. Thickly slice the mushrooms, then saute in a bit of the coconut oil until excess moisture from mushrooms has evaporated. Set aside.

3. Put the bouillon cube into a glass measuring cup and add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water; stir to dissolve the cube. Add soy sauce to measuring cup, then add enough water to equal 125ml (1/2 cup). Add this to the blender.

4. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend smooth, add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture can be blended smooth. (I added three extra tablespoons of water.) Empty into a large mixing bowl.

5. Add gluten to wet mixture in bowl and mix well, until you have a uniform soft dough. If the dough is too soft to form into sausages, add more gluten, one tablespoon at a time, until dough is firm enough.

6. Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape. Wrap each sausage in baking paper and then in aluminium foil. Lightly twist the ends together.

7. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Arrange wrapped bangers in your steamer insert, with seam side down to reduce the likelihood of a foil blowout. (Packing the bangers tightly in the steamer also reduces this chance.) I arranged four on the bottom of the steamer insert, then another four at a 90 degree angle on top of them.

8. Steam for 40 minutes over gently simmering water. If you’ve arranged your bangers in two layers, switch their positions halfway through the cooking time (bottom ones on top and top ones on bottom). Turn heat off and let cool.

9. To cook, gently pan fry in a bit of olive oil until golden.

Can be frozen for future use: leave them wrapped and place in a freezer bag.

Makes eight bangers.


Mr Thrifty’s special mash

British American
450g potatoes 1 pound
1-1/2 tablespoons vegan margarine 1-1/2 tablespoon
1-1/2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise 1-1/2 tablespoon
1 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder (eg Marigold) 1 teaspoon

1. Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Bring a pot of water to the boil, then add potatoes and simmer 15 minutes, or until tender.

2. Drain potatoes, reserving a bit of the cooking water. Mash potatoes in the pot, then add margarine, mayonnaise and bouillon powder. If the mixture is a bit dry, add some of the reserved cooking water.

Makes two servings.

  15 Responses to “Bangers & mash with onion gravy”

  1. When making onion gravy, I sweat the onions in a little oil until soft. Then get the pan really hot and put in 2/3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and let it evaporate, then add stock and continue to simmer and thicken.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Isabelle 🙂

  3. Woah. That looks insanely good!

  4. Which chicken style bouillon do you use? I’ve never seen it over here!

  5. Hi Liz — Actually, I’ve been using a brand from Canada that I brought back with me after my last trip there (McCormick’s). But I find that Marigold bouillon powder is quite chicken-y, and I use that sometimes instead of McCormick’s.

  6. Hi Felicity,

    just discovered your wonderful blog.

    i’m in Canada and so can you please tell me which bouillon from McCormick’s you use specifically? and, from what store you purchased it from?

    Many thanks from Toronto,
    R

  7. Hi RRRR — The bouillon cubes I’ve bought in past were McCormicks chicken-style and beef-style (which were vegan), and I bought them at Safeway. I looked on the McCormicks website, and it doesn’t look like they make them anymore. But according to Bryanna Grogan, the cubes are the same as those made by Massel. You can contact Massel to find your nearest stockist.

  8. I made this last night and I loved the flavor but the bangers came out too soft. I’ve looked through some of your recipes and I know you like the soft texture, but to make them more “rubbery” or more similar to a regular sausage is it just a matter of adding more wheat gluten? If so how much more can you add? My dough was quite soft and I even added more than the cup + 2T of wheat gluten, but maybe I made my blender mixture too watery to get it to blend. Can you give an idea of what consistency your dough should be?

    jg

    • hi jg — If you want a more rubbery/firm sausage, you can add more gluten (or less water). It you’re adding more gluten, I would add a tablespoon or two at a time by using a sieve and evenly sifting it over the “dough”, then kneading it in by hand. Adding a thickener like arrowroot will also make the sausages more firm. I now add a teaspoon of arrowroot to my sausage recipes to make them firmer without making them rubbery.

      As for the texture of the dough… softer than bread dough, but the sausages should easily hold their shape and not stick too much to your hands or the countertop. The texture is a bit like playdough, I suppose. It’s a bit of trial and error to get the texture how you like it, but once you’re happy with it, you can do it the same way every time.

      I should mention that different brands of gluten seem to make the sausages more or less firm. I used to use a brand available in the UK, and the sausages were softer than those made with the gluten I use now, which is Bob’s Red Mill.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  9. Thanks for the feedback. Also wondering about adding TVP (I see you have a recipe for using that in your breakfast patties)? How is it different than wheat gluten (by the way I used the same brand as you did Bob’s Red Mill)? I was also thinking that dicing up the cooked onion and mushrooms into very small pieces (vs adding it to the blender) would add some texture to the bangers/sausages. My goal is to get a more “real” texture that would be similar to regular italian sausage. Any other thoughts?

    jg

    • hi jg — I think adding TVP, and using diced onion/mushroom (vs blenderising them) would all work to give more texture to the sausages. I’ve been veggie for more than 20 years, and rarely ate sausage before that, so I don’t actually know what the texture of Italian sausages is like. But if you’re after a less uniform texture, I think any of those ideas would work. I particularly like the idea of using the TVP. Keep me updated on your experiments!

  10. OK, well good news as I gave this a try last night and the Italian sausages came out amazing, with a texture that is very close to the real thing. I used a combination of your banger recipe along with your breakfast patties (and used italian sausage spices). If you would like I can post the recipe, and if so is the best way just to paste it into the comments for this page (not sure if there is a maximum character limit??)?

    • hi jg — that is great; would love to have the recipe. I don’t think there is a character limit for comments, give it a try and we’ll see! 🙂

  11. Ok, here is the recipe. If you make it let me know how it turns out.

    Italian sausages
    ———————–

    British American
    TVP mixture
    60g textured vegetable protein (TVP) 3/4 cup
    125ml prepared vegan beef-style broth 1/2 cup
    1 T soy sauce 1 T

    Oil / onion / garlic mixture
    20g coconut oil 1-1/2 T
    1-1/2 T vegetable oil 1-1/2 T
    (or use 3 tablespoons vegetable oil)
    100 grams large onion (finely diced) 1 cup
    1 clove garlic, minced 1
    10 cremini mushrooms (finely diced) 10

    Dry mixture
    140g vital wheat gluten flour 1 cup
    2 T dry breadcrumbs 2 T
    1 T nutritional yeast 1 T
    1 t arrow root 1 t
    1 t fennel seed 1 t
    1 star anise (whole) 1
    1/2 t smoked paprika 1/2 t
    1 T paprika 1 T
    1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 t
    1/2 t salt 1/2 t
    1/2 t black pepper 1/2 t

    2/3 cup water 2/3 cup
    1 T soy sauce 1 T
    2 t vegan Worcestershire sauce 2 t

    1. Make the TVP mixture ahead of time, as it needs to cool completely. Stir the prepared beef-style bouillon & soy sauce together in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add TVP and stir well. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

    2. While TVP mixture is cooling, saute the onion and mushroom in the 3 tablespoons of the oil until softened and lightly browned (and most water has evaporated), about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute or two. The mushroom/onion pieces should be quite small, so if need be give the mixture a few quick pulses in a food processor. Stir the onion/mushroom/garlic into the TVP mixture and set aside to cool completely.

    3. Use a mortar to crush the fennel/anise/red pepper flakes. Combine this with rest of dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the TVP/onion/mushroom mixture. Mix 2/3 cup water, 1T soy sauce and 2t worcestershire and then slowly add to TVP mixture while combining. The mixture will be quite dry and just hold together when made into a ball, and there will be stringy texture to it. Make 6-8 equal sized balls, and then roll them into sausage shapes. If they break apart a bit just squeeze them together and then wrap in parchment paper and then wrap in aluminum foil.

    9. Bring an inch of water to boil in the bottom of your steamer, then turn heat down to maintain water at a simmer. Steam sausages for 1 hour.

    Makes 6-8 sausages.

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