These Thrifty Vegetarian Sausages Were A WWII Favorite

Although Glamorgan sausages aren't a dish you're likely to see on too many restaurant menus here in the US, nor will recipes for these be popping up all over your news feed, this traditional Welsh favorite is quite popular all over in the UK. These meat-free "sausages" actually pre-date the current push towards plant-based eating by a few centuries — they rated a mention in that 1860s page-turner Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery. But 12th-century chronicler Gerald of Wales' comments about his country's dairy dependency leads The Guardian to speculate that having a cheese stand-in for meat is something the Welsh have been doing for the better part of the past millennium.

Glamorgan sausages really came into their own in Great Britain during WWII, however, as meat was rationed not only during wartime but for several years thereafter. While cheese was actually rationed, too (via Historic UK), if you were a country-dweller, it was probably a bit easier to come by a bit of off-the-books bovine byproduct. While this type of meat substitute may not be such a thrifty option today what with rising cheese prices, still, Glamorgan sausages are incredibly easy to prepare and can make for a fun, tasty, and soy-free option for your next meatless Monday.

How to make Glamorgan sausages

The simplest, Welsh-est, recipe we found for these sausages comes from a British Egg Information Service leaflet (accessed via the European Cuisines blog). This recipe for "Selsig Morgannwg" (the light-on-vowels Welsh name for the dish) is made from unspecified "cheese," although The Guardian calls for Caerphilly in their slightly more complicated recipe and The Pudge Factor suggests the easier-to-come-by sharp cheddar but says Swiss, Havarti, or just about any other cheese you like will do. Grate the cheese, 3 ounces of it, and mix it with 5 ounces of soft breadcrumbs. Add in one small chopped onion (other recipes call for a chopped leek), then season with salt and pepper to taste as well as a pinch of dry mustard. (Try a dab of prepared mustard if you don't have the dry kind.) Beat a whole egg with one additional yolk (save the white; you'll need it in a minute), then mix this in to bind the cheese and crumbs.

Divide the mixture into 12 even portions, then roll these into sausage shapes. Flour them lightly, dip them in that leftover egg white, and coat them in dry breadcrumbs (the recipe says to use "raspings," which The Free Dictionary defines as browned breadcrumbs used to coat food before frying). Fry the "sausages" in hot fat or oil — or butter, if you want to stay dairy-centric. Serve with a salad and a nice Welsh ale — assuming you can find the latter.