A Little Vegetarian Butchery

If you are a dyed in the wool, gnawing meat from the bone carnivore, it can seem a little daunting cooking for a vegetarian. After all, you can’t just serve them what you’re already having, minus the meat part. A plate of vegetables seems a little meagre.
When I was a vegetarian, during my misspent youth, my mum used to spend hours pouring over Linda McCartney cookbooks, trying to find recipes that made my diet not only interesting, but nutritious. And it must have worked – I was never ill ,although I was skinny as a rake (perhaps I should consider taking up vegetarianism again, in light of our current dietary issues). There wasn’t the vast array of vegetarian options that you have today. Perhaps through fear of the unknown, my mother refused to cook TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) and to this day has a lifelong aversion to Tofu. Therefore, the bulk of my meals came from potatoes, cheese, onions and pasta. Fortunately for me, I adore anything starchy/carbohydrate heavy and it wasn’t until I started eating meat again that I actually put on weight.
But I digress. Whilst flipping idly through a copy of the Classic Cheese Cookery by Peter Graham, I came across a Jane Grigson recipe for an old Welsh classic, Glamorgan Sausages. There is little historical background as to how this dish first came into existence, however, it is fair to assume that it came about through necessity and frugality, rather than to please the local vegetarians.
Glamorgan Sausages are a rich combination of breadcrumbs, local cheese (Caerphilly is traditional) and leek or spring onion, seasoned generously with herbs and bound together with egg yolks. This mixture is then formed into small sausages, dipped in egg white and more breadcrumbs before being fried in a little oil, ‘til golden. We served them with a light tomato salad to cut through the richness of the cheesy sausages and indeed, they would be delicious served cold, dipped in ketchup or mustard too.
Instead of the Caerphilly, we used cheddar although you don’t want a cheese that is too strong or oily, but likewise firm with a good melting texture and robust flavour. We also thought that perhaps some frozen peas or sweetcorn stirred into the mixture would add a cheerful freshness. If you were feeling non-frugal, you could perhaps stir in some pesto instead of mustard, some toasted pine-nuts and roll the sausages in some Parmesan spiked breadcrumbs for an Italian feel.
But for now, here’s the basic recipe, to play with as you wish:
GLAMORGAN SAUSAGES – makes 6-8 depending on how large you roll them
145g Freshly Grated Caerphilly, Lancashire or Cheddar Cheese
120g Fresh White Breadcrumbs (although I used brown granary which gave the sausages a deliciously nutty taste)
2 Tbsp Chopped Leek or Spring Onion
3 Egg Yolks
½ Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 Tsp Mustard (I used Dijon)
Salt and Pepper
1 Egg White
Extra Breadcrumbs for Coating (Panko are delicious if you don’t have any fresh leftover)
Vegetable Oil for frying
Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan, over moderate heat.
In a large bowl, mix together the cheese, breadcrumbs and leek or spring onions.
Stir in the egg yolks, herbs, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well until a cohesive mixture is formed. Add a little water if the mixture is a bit crumbly, more breadcrumbs if too wet. The mixture should be moist but not sticky.
Form into 6-8 small sausages, dipping each into egg white and then into the reserved breadcrumbs.
Shallow fry them until they are golden on each side, about 5-7 minutes, and the middle is melting.


Kitty said...


do you think these would make a good vegetarian finger food, with a dipping sauce?

Deborah said...

I have never heard of vegetarian sausages before! We don't tend to eat vegetarian very often, usually it's just soup or pasta when we do. This sounds like it would be a wonderful, filling vegetarian meal!

T.W. Barritt said...

What a great idea - I must try this! Between the cheese, the breadcrumbs, the mustard and the frying, this covers all of my favorite foods!

Anthony said...

QUOTE [After all, you can’t just serve them what you’re already having, minus the meat part.] UNQUOTE

Why not? :-p

Lydia said...

This is just the kind of dish that will appeal to our vegetarian granddaughter (age 6) as well as to her vegetarian parents! Almost anything shaped like a log and fried is something I can get the kids to eat -- and if it has cheese (my favorite food group!), so much the better.

Chris said...

This is fabulous recipe! My mouth is watering as I read. Yummy!

Gattina said...

2 years ago because my heatlh problem my meals were mostly potatoes (but I love potato anyway)... similar to you, I actally lost weight and was able to maintain it. Your glamorgan sausages are so golden brown, how can I resist them?!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I'd love to try these and the alternative you offer, pesto, pine nuts and parmesan spiked breadcrumbs.

Kelly-Jane said...

These look delicious, mmmm.

Susan said...

Lovely meatless savory. I suspect they can be as addictive (and caloric!) as bangers, but I'm *not* going to quibble. Grigson is such a fun writer; you never know what funky recipe is going to pop up.

pom d'api said...

Very good foood!!!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Well, I looked at these and drolled and gained a pound. Never has gaining a pound been so enjoyable. I've saved the recipe to try.

sales said...

An interesting twist on sausage making.
I was expecting to come across some meat, but was pleasantly surprise with the ingredients.
Certainly worth a trial, which it will get on Thursday of this week.
We always like to follow the meal with a hot beverage, in this case our favourite Yemeni Matari coffee from The Tea and Coffee Emporium would seem the logical choice.
Thanks for the post and the opportunity to comment.