Friday 18 March 2022

Food For Hard Times: Poor Man's Sausage

I was scrolling aimlessly through Pinterest on a recent, rainy evening and came across a recipe from "I Cook and Paint," for Poor Man's Sausage.  I'm trying to find ways to stretch my food budget. I rarely buy sausage any more. I miss it, so I pinned the recipe and, a few days later, gave it a try. 

Poor Man's Sausage dates back to WWII; a recipe devised during a time of stringent rationing.  Meat was in short supply and this dish was intended to provide a substitute acceptable to a nation that grew up on meat and potatoes; folks who missed their morning fry-ups and Sunday roasts a lot. Because it originated during a time of hardship, the ingredients are common and simple as is the preparation.  The finished result is surprisingly good, similar in texture to a ground beef patty, and well flavoured. This recipe could be an appealing choice for those who buy the "Beyond" meat substitutes. It's far less expensive and has fewer additives.

I didn't have on hand all the seasonings listed in the recipe and I reasoned that going out to buy them would defeat the purpose of sparing my budget. I didn't have fennel so I left it out altogether, and I didn't have chili flakes so I increased the amount of black pepper. The finished patties were flavourful but less like Italian sausage than they would have been if I'd added the fennel. I'd add less poultry seasoning next time, but that's a personal preference. You could probably adapt this recipe to resemble any type of sausage you prefer simply by changing the seasonings and the simmering liquid.

I wasn't invested in keeping the dish vegetarian or vegan so I used a strong beef broth for the simmering stage in the cooking process. I reckoned it would add to the meaty flavourof the finished dish. Were I to keep it vegan, I'd want to choose a flavouring with lots of umami, so either soy sauce or liquid aminos.  "I Cook and Paint" thought this stage in the prep was intened to improve the texture of the patties, and I agree, but I also think it also helps the flavours of the seasonings to distribute throughout each patty.  Don't skip the simmering.

Here's the recipe as I amended it.  Please click through to the original recipe post for the preparation instructions. 

1 cup quick cooking (not instant) rolled oats
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 extra large eggs, beaten
2 cups beef stock

The posted recipe says this quantity will make 4 or 5 patties but if you're intending to use them for breakfast sandwiches or burgers, you may want to double the recipe and make larger patties.

I had two of these patties as part of my main meal today. I enjoyed them but I think I'd like them better if they were served with a sauce or gravy. They could also be chopped or broken into crumbles and used in sauces or on pizza. 

This meatless sausage really is worth trying. I've printed it out and added it to my recipe binder. I'm sure I'll make it again and again.

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