January Seasonal Ingredient- Glamorgan Sausages

I'm really excited to share this recipe with you as well as make you aware of a few changes to the Seasonal Ingredient monthly recipes. I've been experimenting with seasonal foods on the blog for almost two years and I've had so much fun making some delicious (and some wacky) dishes, but each month I would struggle to pull together two separate recipes; one sweet and one savoury that both use this seasonal ingredient and I found myself bypassing a lot of great ingredients just because I couldn't find a way to use them in one of the dishes, so for now, I'm scaling back and focusing on making one great dish each month with a seasonal ingredient. Maybe once my cooking and food knowledge improves I'll have the skills to go back to two dishes a month but until then, we'll do the best with what we've got! 

Enough rambling on about that, let's talk about this month's ingredient, leeks! The native food of Wales, leeks are a versatile veg that can be used in soups, stews, stir frys, casseroles, scones, or just about any savoury dish you can think of. I did some research and came across these traditional Welsh "sausages" called Glamorgan Sausages, these became popular during the Second World War when there was a shortage of meat, but a mention of them has been found as far back as the 1850s! "Poor Man's Sausage" Glamorgan sausages are Wales' own vegetarian sausages, they're packed full of breadcrumbs, leek, cheese (usually Caerphilly cheese), and herbs and although they might not have the distinctive meaty taste of sausages, their texture is scarily accurate, I had a go at making them and although mine are MUCH thicker than traditional sausages, it was all about taste and texture! 

Makes 6

1 Leek, sliced and diced
500g Breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Thyme
2 Eggs, separated into yolks and egg whites
150g Cheese, grated
1 tsp Mustard
1/4 tsp Sea Salt & Pepper
100g Plain Flour, for coating
200ml Oil, for frying

To start with we need to fry our leeks. Heat a frying pan on medium heat with a tsp of oil, tip the leeks in and fry them for around 5 mins until soft, then set aside. 

Now, in a medium-sized bowl put 200g breadcrumbs, thyme, egg yolks, cheese, mustard snd salt, and pepper then mix until well combined, it's ok if it's a bit dry we're adding in the leeks now. Using your hands, knead the leeks into the bowl until you have a mash-like consistency that should be firm but not dry. 

One at a time, mould the mix into 6 thick sausage/log shapes, place them on a non-stick baking tray or silicon mat and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 mins. 

While the sausages chill we'll make the coating. Get three bowls ready, in the first bowl place around 100g of plain flour, in the second whisk your egg whites until they're foamy then add a sprinkle of salt, and in the third pour in the remaining breadcrumbs. Once the sausages have chilled, roll each one in flour, dunk in the egg mix and then coat well in the breadcrumbs before returning them to the fridge to chill for an hour. 

About 45 mins in, heat up a deep frying pan with the oil on medium heat and leave to warm until you start to see small bubbles appearing in the oil, then turn down to its lowest heat and very carefully drop 2-3 sausages into the oil, let them fry for around 3 mins before turning over and repeat until they're crispy and golden! 

And there you have it, my version of Glamorgan Sausage! I know the shape needs some work and in all honesty, you could probably halve the number of breadcrumbs going in and double the amount of egg yolk because it was a bit stodgy, but I guess during war time when you needed a good meal but couldn't find meat, this was your best option...and it's not half bad! When I first took a bite I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't fried them until they were super crispy but then I got that thick meaty texture and the lovely tanginess from the leek and I was so surprised! I think the texture would also benefit from choosing a crumbly/softer cheese than the grated cheddar I used, which is why most recipes online suggest the traditional Caerphilly cheese, but I couldn't find any so I had to make do! 
The cooking and shaping time is actually very quick it's just the waiting around for them to chill that takes so long, so although this isn't a quick dish, you could always pre-coat them, leave them in the fridge to chill overnight and then cook them up for dinner the next day.
I really enjoyed them and I think just 2 or 3 of these would be perfect with some fresh steamed veg and chips as part of a proper meal, I promise you wouldn't be hungry afterwards! 

I hope you liked this recipe for Glamorgan Sausage because I certainly had fun making them! Next up we're going back around the world with another World Series Post!

H x