I love making my own "meat" at home now that I actually have a few successful recipes. Sausage, hot dogs and other tubed meat weren't something I really enjoyed as an omnivore, at least not in large quantities. But for some reason when veganized, they are one of my favorite treats. Using a pretty standard bean and vital wheat gluten base, I've made brats, italian sausage, chorizo, apple-sage sausage and andouille. All have had great results. I'm sure given some research you could do just about anything with this basic recipe.
Here is my latest night of vegan bratwurst-making, laid out step-by-step.
Before you dive in and start the bratwurst, get the cabbage on the stove.
|Red cabbage & carrot, stewing|
1 large head red cabbage, cut into quarters
4-5 carrots, cut into large pieces on a bias
4-6 cups "beef" stock
2 bay leaves
8-10 whole black peppercorn
1 bottle dark beer
Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Cover and heat on high until boiling, then reduce to a very low simmer and continue to cook for about 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are extremely tender. Remove bay leaves and peppercorns before serving. Adjust vegetables to suit your taste, using cabbage as the main ingredient. You could add onion, garlic, mushrooms, etc.
Step 1: Get the steaming setup ready. If you don't have anything specifically designed for steaming, just do what I've done here. Place a colander in the bottom of the largest pot you have, making sure the lid will close entirely. Fill the bottom of the pot with about 2 cups of water and start on medium-low heat. Cover.
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black peppercorn
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried coriander
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry garlic
1/2 tsp. dry onion
Other things you could use: nutmeg, white pepper, dry mustard, rosemary, mace, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, etc. It's up to you to adjust as you like - or just do what I did. :)
|Kidney bean puree|
Combine all of the wet ingredients with the nutritional yeast, beans, etc. in a large bowl. The spices you've already taken care of, so don't add any extra that might be listed in his recipe - just add what you've ground. And remember - you have all of that amazing beer broth stewing on the stove with your cabbage - use THAT goodness instead of making up new broth! It's divine! Mix well before adding the vital wheat gluten. It will setup and start feeling a bit gooey very quickly. At this point you know it's ready. The only thing I might do is adjust it for saltiness, but between the broth and spices, you may find it already has plenty.
Note: I made one change that I believe to be for the better. I increased the ratio of bean to vital wheat gluten in this recipe. I used about 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten to 1-1/2 cup bean puree. I think it gives the sausage a much better texture and flavor.
|Ready to be steamed|
Step 5: Place your wrapped brats into the steamer. You may want to check the water level at this point because they will be steaming for at least 40 minutes and you don't want it to go dry and burn! Cover, set and walk away. This would be a good time to open one of those dark beers.
|Ready to steam|
Step 5: Remove the brats from the steamer. Use gloves while unwrapping or wait until they have cooled somewhat. You could eat them now if you'd like.
|The finished brats!|
They taste amazing. They look convincing... let's not stop there.
Throw a few on the grill. They take very well to grilling and will form a nice crust on the outside. Just be sure to spray a little oil on them.
|Grilled bratwurst, Weber's mustard, beer-stewed cabbage and carrots. (from Instagram)|
Of course, there is only one mustard I would serve such a delicious brat with. Weber's horseradish mustard is by far the best. It is incredibly smooth at first, but will kick you swiftly in the nostril and make you say "do that to me again." Sadly, I can only acquire it by ordering online or stealing several jars from my parents' pantry when visiting home. Hopefully one day its Buffalo, NY makers will start stocking it in North Carolina. Wishful thinking...
|Barry Carotene will share his mustard with you|