Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Merguez Sausage (Vegan) - DIY Pantry

Take a gander at that photo above, kind of eye catching, right? Not for its photographic qualities but for its meat-like qualities. Folks, what you see before you is a vegan, gluten-free, homemade sausage. This is the stuff of dreams, at least mine! It has the chewy texture of real meat without the gummy-ness of gluten based, vegan sausages. And such flavor! Even eaten cold, my omnivore friends pronounced it delicious!

And while I'm crowing about the look, feel and taste of this beauty, let me give myself one more pat on the back because this is my own recipe! After discovering the steaming technique for making vegan sausages with beans and vital wheat gluten that apparently took the vegan world by storm in 2011, I made a recipe but didn't follow the directions very well and ended up with super gummy, overly glutenous sausages that nearly destroyed my intestines. So I went tooling around the web looking for a recipe without gluten. I found a variety of them, but none of them looked very promising. Putting on my thinking cap I pondered how to substitute ingredients that would mimic what vital wheat gluten does.

Sticking with the bean base, I added several grain flours to act as binders: 1) oat flour since it has a slightly gelatinous quality when moistened and cooked; 2) Quinoa flour for its moisture absorption properties, and 3) chick pea flour for its similar expansion qualities when it is combined with liquid. The specific choice of adzuki beans and the remaining ingredients were for flavoring and coloring specifically to create a merguez style sausage.

If you are new to the steamed vegan sausage phenomenon, check it out here. While the majority of recipes in the blogosphere suggest using aluminum foil to wrap the sausages for their steam bath, I prefer to use parchment paper and have had excellent results with it. 

I can't wait to make other types of sausages with this formula - Sweet or Spicy Italian, Breakfast Patties, Bratwurst, Chorizo - the possibilities are endless!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Merguez Sausage
(makes 12)

2 cups cooked adzuki beans
1/2 cup water (if you make your own beans, you can use the cooking water)
2/3 cup chick pea flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons safflower oil (or any other neutral flavored oil)
4 tablespoons harissa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

In a blender or food processor, puree the adzuki beans with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Use a coffee grinder, mini-food processor or blender and grind oats and quinoa into flour. Pour bean mixture into large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix to combine very well, insuring that all the dry ingredients are well blended. Set aside for 30 minutes.

To assemble the sausage, tear off sheets of parchment paper the length of a baking sheet, cut in half and then cut in quarters to form rectangles that are about 5" x 8".  Place a sheet of parchment on the counter or a cutting board with the longest side closest to you. Spoon 3 tablespoons of mixtures onto the parchment on the edge of the sheet closest to you, leaving a couple of inches open on either side of the mixture. Shape it into an even, thin log and begin to roll the paper around it, leaving the ends sticking out. Do not worry about shaping the log into a perfect roundness since the steaming action will take care of that for you. Once you finish rolling, hold the sausage in one hand and and twist the ends like a tootsie roll wrapper, making sure to twist in opposite directions to seal the sausage in its paper casing.

Place in large pot with a steaming basket and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from pot and fry immediately. If you are not going to use immediately, allow to cool in paper casings, and then store (in casings) in an air tight container in the refrigerator or the freezer.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Grilled Corn, Feta and Balsamic Pizza at Very Culinary
Homemade Maraschino Cherries at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy Breadcrumbs at An Edible Mosaic


Reeni Pisano said...

These look like real meat sausages Kirsten! You're a genius. Have a good weekend! xoxo

Life Among The Bookshelves said...

Hi Kirsten, I found your recipe for vegan merguez sausages yesterday, and made them straight away - fantastic!! My family love them, my husband says he can't tell that they are not meat - he isn't vegetarian, poor thing. Have you got any other recipes for different styles of sausage? I would love to see them. Hugs, Lyn Oliver-Tasker (UK)

Freshly Baked said...

Thank you, after going gf I have been missing my sausages! I was excited to see the use of harissa!

Freshly Baked said...
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Helen said...

These were great. Thanks for the recipe

Unknown said...

Could i use this sausage recipe to make a ruben sandwich?

perogiejoy said...
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Adey said...
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Adey said...

i adapted these very successfully
16oz can white beans
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2/3 cup no chicken base stock (no additional salt)
1/2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs hot paprika (wet from a jar) or 1 tsp powder.

Kate Hadfield said...

These are awesome! Makes a big batch. I froze some still in the baking parchment and we grill them straight out of the freezer. They hold up perfectly

Emanuela Pirola said...

I need to try these!!😍😍😍 ..I don't like cumin, can I omit it or use something else instead? 😊

Kirsten Lindquist said...

You can omit the cumin, but it isn't very strong, I'd try it with it in first!