Sausage is a prized ingredient in our homes during the holiday season. Added to stuffing, sausage offers bites of spice and smoke. Beside eggs, it's a dense complementing texture and a seasoning punch of flavor that balances the fat and softness of the egg. Added to lentils, soups, meatballs—you name it!—sausage provides a transformative flash of flavour that can't be ignored.
Our vegan and vegetarian team members swear by this farro sausage by Erin Wysocarski of Olives for Dinner, but even our more carnivorous coworkers have been known to swap out traditional links for this magnificent grain based delicacy.
In the recipe, farro and vital wheat gluten are revolutionized by the savory flavors of shiitaki powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and onion and garlic powder. Herbal fennel seeds add a recognizable sausage flavor (and we always add a skosh more because they're phenomenal!). The seasonings permeate the grains through a long, slow steam that infuses the flavours and produces a sturdy sausage-like roll speckled with farro for a magnificent texture.
Now, as always, we add our own modifications to the recipe but we assure you Wysocarski's recipe is to die for just on its own! In addition to the listed spices, we often include celery salt, cayenne, sage, savory, paprika, and coriander. Depending on our mood, we've been know to throw in a pinch of allspice or thyme to enhance the warm or herbal notes of the sausage. Regardless of whether you experiment with your seasonings or rely on the undeniable brilliance of Wysocarski, this farro sausage is a phenomenal dish that is endlessly versatile and will enhance any holiday meal!
I love farro. It’s nutty and chewy, is super versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Because it’s got such a great texture, I’ve used it before in vegan crab cakes, as a filling for “pork” stuffed wontons, burgers, and even in these German chocolate cake truffles.
Here I’ve grinded uncooked farro and boiled it to create a base for vegan sausages. Vital wheat gluten and spices are then added to the mix before it’s formed and steamed to create a soft but sturdy texture. Those little chewy farro pieces are a great textural component in these sausages that you can crumble or slice for pizzas, pasta dishes, scrambles, sandwiches, hashes and more!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 80 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 sausages
1/2 cup farro, crushed in a coffee grinder
3/4 cup shiitake powder (crush about 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms in a coffee grinder)
3 cups water
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB refined coconut oil
1 TB vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 TB liquid smoke
1 TB sesame oil
1 TB fennel seeds
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten, plus more if needed
Place the crushed farro and shiitake powder into a medium-sized saucepan, then whisk in the water. Boil for about 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the next 10 ingredients and allow to cool. Add in the vital wheat gluten and stir. You want the mixture to be soft, but just firm enough to be able to be formed into sausages. Add up to 1/2 – 3/4 more of the VWG, 1/4 cup at a time as needed, to achieve this result. No need to work or knead the dough.
Divide the mixture into 4 portions, then roll into 6-inch long sausages.
Spray 4, 8X8 inches pieces of tin foil with a little cooking spray. Place a sausage onto each piece, then roll up, twisting the edges to form a seal.
Place a steamer basket over a large pot with water and place the wrapped sausages inside. You want to fill the pot with just enough water that it doesn’t make contact with the bottom of the steamer basket.
Place the sausages inside and cover. Bring the water to a boil, then steam for one hour. You will need to keep an eye on the water level, replenishing the water as needed as it evaporates.
Let the sausages cool completely in the tin foil. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.