Vegan Bangers and Mash
Admittedly, I was never a huge meat-eater before going vegan. Steaks never held any appeal for me. I could easily pass on things like pork chops and burgers. They just weren’t my thing. One dish I was always absolutely crazy for was bangers and mash.
I mean, really. Deliciously juicy sausages drenched in savory onion gravy… Served alongside fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes… *Drool*
My favorite place to get them was The Irish Rover here in Louisville. They were absolutely to die for. It’s one dish I’ve definitely missed. That and their Scotch Eggs, which I’m still trying to figure out how to veganize. If anyone has any idea on how to replicate the flavor and texture of hard boiled eggs, please share!
Anyway, I’ve definitely missed that dish; but, I’ve finally developed my own version. The texture of the sausages is definitely a little different than I remember meat-based sausages being. However, the flavor of these is amazing and I personally believe they're just as satisfying to eat. So, of course, I absolutely had to share this recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day.
The sausages are made from the magical substance that we vegans call seitan. No, not Satan. Seitan (pronounced “Say-Tan”). Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten; which is basically just wheat flour that has had almost all of the starch removed. That way, just the protein remains. Bear in mind, this stuff is basically pure gluten so it’s absolutely not suitable for anyone with a gluten allergy. If you have trouble with gluten, you could try a mushroom or bean sausage recipe such as the one in this video.
Seitan dough is extremely tough and elastic due to its super-high gluten content. Much more elastic than your standard bread dough. This elasticity is what contributes to its meaty texture once prepared and cooked. It’s endlessly customizable and can be made in so many different ways.
This recipe is admittedly takes a bit of time to make. However, most of the time is hands-off and the steps are fairly simple. They're 100% worth the effort. It’s also totally fun because you can invite some friends over to help and then you all can make lots of inappropriate jokes about the girth and size of the sausages you’re wrapping.
Please note: you should totally follow this meal up with my Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Frosting (recipe coming soon). Seriously, you can’t go wrong.
Onto the recipe! If you try this recipe out tag me in the photo on Instagram @bitchy_baker or #BitchyBaker <3
Vegan Bangers and Mash
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil, such as canola
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
1 cup finely diced mushrooms (I used crimini mushrooms)
½ cup finely diced yellow onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 heaping tablespoon of smoked torula yeast (optional but highly recommended)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 ½ teaspoons ground dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten flour, reserve an additional half cup if needed
1 cup freeze dried apples, finely diced
½ cup finely cubed Yukon gold potato
Stout Onion Gravy:
4 tablespoons vegan butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups stout beer, such as Guinness
2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar, to taste
Salt + Pepper to taste
Vegetables, such as peas or any others that you like
Irish soda bread and vegan butter
1. Sauté the Vegetables: In a medium sauté pan, heat a teaspoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced celery, onion, and mushrooms. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add in the garlic and sauté for a moment more, until fragrant. Add in all remaining ingredients apart from the vegetable broth, coconut oil, vital wheat gluten, apple, and potato. Sauté for another two minutes to allow the flavors to begin developing. Remove from the heat.
2. Make the Seitan Dough: Add the spiced vegetable mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add in the remaining ingredients. Cover the food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to combine. Process on low and allow to run for a minute or two until the mixture forms a stiff ball of dough. The apples and chunks of potato should be visible but small and evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
Note: If the dough feels too soft, add another ¼ cup of vital wheat gluten flour before covering and allowing to process for another minute. If it still feels too soft, you can add an additional half cup. I ended up using 1 ¾ cup of vital wheat gluten in total; however, you may need more or less depending on the moisture content of your veggies and the brand of vital wheat gluten flour you use. You’re just looking for a firm, manageable dough that you can form into sausages.
3. Form the Sausages: Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and form into a ball. Cut the dough ball into eight even pieces. Form each piece into a sausage shape. You can make them as long or short as you would like, but bear in mind they will expand a bit as they cook. Wrap each sausage in a small piece of parchment paper. Then the piece in a small piece of aluminum foil before twisting the ends (like a piece of candy). If you would like a visual, please watch this video.
4. Steam the Sausages: Steam your sausages for one full hour. I used a bamboo steamer basket which I places inside of a covered pot of simmering water. Be sure to check your water every so often to make sure it doesn’t evaporate too much. You want at least a couple of inches in the pot to produce enough steam to cook the sausages through. After the hour is up, remove the sausages and set aside to cool. Once cooled enough to handle, remove the foil and parchment.
5. Fry the Sausages: Heat a small amount of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Place the sausages in the pan and allow to brown. Rotate the sausages every minute or so until they’ve browned on all sides. Set aside and begin making the gravy.
Note: the seitan sausage recipe was lightly adapted from this recipe by Mary’s Test Kitchen.
Onion Stout Gravy Directions:
1. Sauté the Onions: Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and sauté until they’ve softened and browned, about 5-8 minutes. I like to get a good amount of color on the onions as this adds amazing flavor. Add in the garlic and sauté a minute more, until fragrant.
2. Add the Flour: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour into the onions and stir to combine. Allow to cook for a minute before slowly stirring in the stout beer. Once the beer has been added, stir in the vegetable stock. Raise the heat to medium-high once more and allow the mixture to come to a boil while continuing to stir. The mixture will begin to thicken.
3. Add in the Seasonings: Stir in the soy sauce and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste the gravy and add 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar if desired. I found this helped temper the bitterness of the stout beer. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
4. Add in the Sausages: Place the sausages into the gravy. Turn them through to get them coated in the mixture. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for at least ten minutes. I like to do this while I finish making the side dishes.
5. Serve: Serve the sausages and gravy with mashed potatoes and veggies. This also goes amazingly with warm Irish soda bread and vegan butter. Enjoy!