Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Four ways with bratwursts

Over the past month we have become smitten with bratwursts, vegan ones of course! My interest in bratwursts began when Joey of Flicking the V's posted about a tasty sounding European stew she had made based on a recipe in The Guardian. A few months later Cindy and Michael of where's the beef wrote a post from their travels in Berlin that gave me a severe case of food envy. They had eaten doner kebabs where the seitan was cooked on a spit and currywurst. I had never heard of currywurst previously but vegan sausages covered with a curry ketchup sauce sounded pretty darn tasty to me.

Now that there were two recipes using bratwurst I was keen on trying, a decent vegan bratwurst recipe was all that I needed. Mihl of Seitan is my Motor came through with the goods in a single post, a currywurst recipe plus seitan bratwurst. The seitan was a little different to others I have made as it included tofu in the mixture, I've seen plenty that incorporate mashed beans but never tofu and my eyes brightened even more when I noticed that it called for smoked tofu! I'm not fond of mashing things to put into seitan as the texture of the dough can be uneven and harder to work with so I chose to whizz the tofu up in my blender with some water instead. The smoked tofu gave the bratwursts a wonderful aroma as well as adding to the flavour.

The bratwurst stew recipe from The Guardian was full of many elements that we usually enjoy although I don't recall pairing mustard with sun-dried tomatoes before. This was a very hearty meal and apart from using finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes rather than a paste, vegan sausages and vegan chicken stock, I didn't change a thing about it. Stews don't usually get my gents enthused although anything with seitan is usually popular so we all enjoyed this meal.

Next up on the cooking agenda was currywurst and chips. It's not meant to be the healthiest of meals and is usually served with fried chips. I lightened it up by serving the saucy sausages with some oven baked potato fries and peas on the side. The currywurst sauce was rather spicy using only a pinch of cayenne so perhaps the curry powder I used gave it some extra heat. This meal was another household success!

A few weeks after the batch of sausages were used up, the man asked if I could make bratwursts for a special request. He was keen to have one of these sausages in a hot dog roll loaded with fried onions, vegan cheese, ketchup and american mustard. This turned out to be a wonderful idea and it was perfect for a quick, not so healthy dinner on a Friday night. I wasn't in the mood to style the hot dog nicely which is why I don't have a photo of this.

I was out of smoked tofu when the second batch of bratwursts were made so I used plain tofu instead and added smoked paprika to the dry ingredient mix which worked out fine. A recipe for bratwurst stroganoff from landed in my rss reader just after I had made the batch and given the perfection of the timing, I had to give it a try. When I read the ingredient list I smirked a little as it was so far from being vegan yet I had bits of leftover cashew cream, tofu bacon in the fridge and of course the seitan sausages to stand in for the animal based products. The man adored my recent attempt at tempeh stroganoff although the young man and I weren't as keen on it so it was great that we all loved this version equally.

All of these recipes were very quick to prepare as the seitan had been prepared at least a day in advance.  Next time I make a batch it will be difficult to decide which way to serve these bratwursts as these 4 ways were all fantastic.

Seitan bratwurst (Adapted from seitan is my motor)
Makes 8 large sausages

2 cups gluten flour
4 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
4 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (if not using smoked tofu)
130g firm tofu (use smoked if possible)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
400ml cold water

Combine the gluten flour, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, marjoram, onion flakes, salt, pepper and smoked paprika (if using) together in a large bowl. Place the tofu, garlic and water in a blender and process until no lumps remain. Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl and mix everything together thoroughly.  Knead the dough until it becomes smooth then allow it to rest for 5 minutes.

Briefly knead for 30 seconds then divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a thin sausage shape, place it in a piece of aluminium foil and wrap it up securely. It's important that there is some room for the sausages to expand whilst cooking so don't wrap them too tightly otherwise they may burst out of the foil.

Place the sausages into a steamer and cook for 30 minutes or cook in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes. Allow them to cool completely then refrigerate overnight before using in recipes.

Currywurst (Adapted from seitan is my motor)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 seitan bratwurst sausages, cut into 2cm pieces
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the sausages. Cook until lightly browned then flip over and cook on the other side until browned.

Mix the ketchup, water, soy sauce, curry powder and cayenne pepper together in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat for 1 minute.

Serve the fried sausages topped with the curry ketchup sauce and chips on the side.

Sausage stroganoff (Adapted from

olive oil spray
4 seitan bratwurst sausages, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced into thin half moons
3 cloves garlic, minced
350g mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup vegan beef or vegetable stock (I used Massel beef stock)
8 slices pre-cooked tofu bacon, chopped
¼ cup cashew cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Heat a deep sided frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with olive oil. Cook the sausages until lightly browned on one side then flip over and brown lightly on the other side. Transfer the cooked sausages to a plate.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir through the garlic for a minute, then add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft and beginning to release liquid. Add the paprika, tomato paste, beef/vegetable stock, pre-cooked sausages and tofu bacon and stir thoroughly. Allow it to cook until bubbling then stir though the cashew cream and dill. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. We buy sausages a lot and I keep thinking I should try making them - have tried a few recipes on my blog but none that I keep coming back to - but I have a recipe I really want to try which is similar to this but without the vital wheat gluten when I am not keen on (I know it is good for binding)

    Love all your experimenting and I love that the man was enthused enough to ask for them again! Just before I went veg I discovered the bratwurst stand at the vic market so I would be really happy if I could make something like those

    1. Most vegan sausage recipes default to using vital wheat gluten however I've seen some gleegan recipes around that use brown rice flour and xanthan gum. I'm interested to try one of these recipes for comparison and because I'm a bit wary about eating too much seitan as well.

      I was glad that the man asked me to repeat something that was an easy recipe, he's usually keen on the meals that have taken me forever to make...

  2. That stroganoff looks delish! Sounds a bit similar to Swedish sausage stroganoff, which was my favorite dish as an omnivorous kid. The Swedish version is made with falu sausage though (I need to veganize that sometime!).

    1. Thanks for stopping by Love! I've never heard of Swedish sausage stroganoff or falu sausage before so I've learnt a few new things. :) I'm not very familiar with Scandinavian cuisines.

  3. I am definitely a bratwurst novice, to the extent that I would have struggled to describe it and what makes it bratwurst as opposed to a different dish. This has been a very informative post! I do like veggie sausages and think perhaps I need to experiment with some of your recipes here.

    1. I might have eaten the meat version of a bratwurst once in my life so I'm hardly an expert. It was fortuitous that I happened to track down a recipe from a German blogger who expertise in that area would be far better than mine.

  4. I love making my own brats! Yours look awesome--and I love how good that recipe looks in the Guardian. Definitely going to make it this winter.

    1. The Guardian recipe was really good and it was so easy to prepare, I've tried a few from there previously but this would be my favourite so far.

  5. I am a big fan of bratwursts, as you may have guessed! I tried making a bratwurst katsu not so long ago - breaded the bratwurst and served it with curry sauce. It was.... erm, interesting! But I really like the sound of that bratwurst stroganoff.

    1. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the The Guardian recipe, we all enjoyed it! I've never heard of a bratwurst katsu before, I'll have to look that up now.