Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Selsig Morgannwg (Glamorgan Sausages)

The idea for today's recipe came from that perennial font of culinary inspiration, the Guardian's food section. Glamorgan sausages are a fixture on UK pub menus, and there are many frozen, commercial versions, but they always contain cheese and eggs so I never get to have them. I hadn't thought about just making some myself until Felicity Cloakes featured them in a recent "How to Make the Perfect..." column, and thought I'd give it a shot, the results of which I'm happy to share.

As with Welsh Rabbit, one has the feeling this meatless dish has its roots more in austerity than in ethics, but any alternative to eating ground-up sheep, pigs, and cows (or rabbits) is all right in my book, regardless of its generating impulse. The recipe originally called for Glamorgan cheese (made from the milk of Glamorgan cows, pictured above), but since the breed is now all but extinct, Caerphilly or cheddar are most frequently recommended. My version improves on its prototype by sparing the calves and chickens as well; substituting margarine, ground flaxseed, and Daiya cheddar shreds (Cheezly would be even better if you can lay hands on it) for their animal-sourced analogues.

The finished product is more like a croquette than a sausage, but that sounds dangerously French so never mind. Whatever you choose to call these crispy little darlings, they're deliciously addictive in that particular pub-food way, and eminently kid-friendly. (NB that they're traditionally fried, but I chose baking for maximal crunch and minimal grease. If you'd rather fry them, go for it, but I'd keep a close eye because the crumb coating could burn easily!)

Glamorgan Sausages
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 2 leeks, chopped
~ ½ tsp. each: salt, thyme, parsley
~ Dash nutmeg
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2 cups grated vegan cheddar 
~ 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
~ 6 tbsp. water
~ ¼ cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 2 tsp. English mustard
~ 1 tsp. Marmite
~ 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs, divided
~ ¾ cup plain, unsweetened soy milk

~ Melt the margarine in a skillet and sauté the leeks over medium heat until well softened; about 5 minutes.
~ Stir in the cheese, salt, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper; mix well, and continue cooking until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
~ In a bowl or small beaker, whisk the flax seeds with the water until viscous (this will take a minute or two). Add the milk, English mustard, and Marmite, and stir to combine.
~ In a large mixing bowl, combine the leek and cheese mixture, the flax mixture, and 2 cups of the breadcrumbs. Mix well and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
~ Shape the mixture into sausages (I made mine about 4” long), and chill in the refrigerator for ½ an hour.
~ While the sausages are chilling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Arrange the soymilk and remaining breadcrumbs in two separate dishes. Dip each sausage in the milk, and then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat.
~ When all the sausages have been coated, place them on your preheated baking sheet, and give the tops a good shot of cooking spray.
~ Bake the sausages for 20-25 minutes, turning once at the halfway point, until golden brown.
~ Serve immediately with mashed potatoes (I made champ), onion gravy, and the vegetables of your choice.

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