Vegan Sausage Rolls
These vegan sausage rolls are here for all your appetiser, picnic or finger food needs - because we all know they're the best part of any gathering.
As an Italian and American, I probably wasn't the best person to set out to veganise sausage rolls. I didn't grow up eating them and have never been particularly called by them (don't hate me). But what I lack in eating experience I make up for in dedication to the cause. I knew exactly how hearty, comforting and umami packed I wanted them to be.
When making hot dogs for this recipe, I set out to create a hyper realistic vegan hot dog sausage from scratch, using vital wheat gluten. This time, I decided to take a different approach, using a combination of minced and chopped mushrooms, along with walnuts, to create texture and bite in the sausage roll filling. The flavour profile develops thanks to the leeks, red wine, miso, mustard and pepper which not only create layers of deep and savoury flavour but also prevent it from having a strong mushroom flavour - it's a sausage roll after all, not a mushroom roll.
Puff pastry wise you can go two ways. You can buy it or you can make it. I did the former, but if you'd like to make your own you can follow Flo's guide to making the best vegan puff pastry. Whether you make your own or not, an important thing to ensure of is that you keep it cold. This will allow it to puff up the way it should when being baked. Make sure you follow the chilling instructions in the recipe below - it will make it easier to cut the rolls, and will allow the pastry to puff when being baked.
Last thing! I made these small - feel free to cut the sausage rolls into large pieces, or simply halve them when it comes to that step if that's what you're after.
30 mins (+chilling)
4 tbsp (60ml) olive oil, divided
1 large leek, thinly sliced (around 300g)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp (45ml) red wine
1 tbsp (15g) miso
1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
50g walnuts, finely chopped
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced leeks and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt and sauté for another 4-5 minutes, until the leeks are browning.
Whilst the leeks and garlic and cooking, blitz half of the mushrooms in a food processor to mince them. Roughly dice the remaining mushrooms by hand. Add all the mushrooms, along with ½ tsp salt and stir to coat them in the leeks and oil. Let the mushrooms cook for 8-10 minutes, untouched.
Add the wine, stir the mushrooms and let them continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Stir in miso, mustard, and black pepper, taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Fold in the walnuts. Set the filling aside, to cool slightly.
Lay two pieces of cling film or parchment paper on a clean surface. Split the mushroom mixture in half and place each half on a sheet of film/parchment. Use your hands to form the mushroom mixture into large “sausage” cylinders (for lack of a better description).
Tightly wrap them in the film/parchment, wrap the edges around, and roll them with your hands once wrapped, to even them out. Place both wrapped mushroom sausages in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
Five minutes before you remove the mushroom sausages from the fridge, remove the puff pastry from the fridge and lay it out on a lightly floured surface. Split the sheet in half lengthways.
Remove the mushroom sausages from the fridge, unwrap them and place one in the middle of one of the halves of puff pastry, and the other on the remaining half. Use your hands to carefully stretch the mushroom sausage out to be the height of the pastry, if need be.
Working with one at a time, wrap the sides of pastry around the mushroom sausage, bringing the edges of pastry to meet. Pinch the edges together. Repeat the process with the second half of pastry
Wrap each up in parchment or cling film and place in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes - this ensures the pastry doesn’t become too warm and makes cutting them easier.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Remove the sausage rolls from the freezer and place back on a lightly flour surface. Use a sharp knife to split each sausage roll into 6 smaller sausage rolls, or 3 medium-sized ones. Use a knife to make a small diagonal split on the tops of the sausage rolls.
Transfer the sausage rolls to a parchment lined baking tray. In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp plant based milk and 1 tbsp olive oil. Lightly brush that onto the tops and sides of the sausage rolls. Sprinkle the sausage rolls with sesame seeds.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they’re crispy and dark golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.