I had great fun making this lovely recipe - a kind of cross between chorizo and pepperoni. It is easy to make, very cheap and most importantly, it tastes really good. It is simple to prepare and freezes well so it is worth making a double batch or even more.
Although there is a long list of ingredients, most of them are spices/herbs that you just need to measure into a small bowl. Other than that it only takes a few minutes to knead the mix then roll out the pepperoni sausages. Baking takes an hour and it needs turning halfway through so you need to be around - but that time can be used to other things! Just make sure to set an oven timer, mobile phone or whatever.
It uses vital gluten flour to create a firm-textured 'meaty' product. Obviously, this is not a good dish for the gluten or wheat intolerant but it is otherwise a good, natural source of protein and very versatile. Seitan/gluten products have been eaten in the Orient for centuries, if not thousands of years.
Product sourcing - we use three ingredients you might not be familiar with: vital gluten flour; tapioca flour and liquid smoke. The good news is that two of them are available from health food shops or Oriental grocers as well as online; the last online. There are plenty of uses for all three, not just this recipe! Making your own quick seitan at home can save you lots of money - try making vegan meatballs; savoury roasts... lots of potential here.
1. Vital gluten flour is available from good health food shops or online, eg
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita brand, health food shops, Ocado and some Tesco)
3 tbsp tapioca flour - see above
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground fennel seed
½ tsp whole fennel seeds
¾ tsp onion powder
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cayenne or mild chilli powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ cup water
2 tbsp tomato sauce or puree
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke - see above (if you can't get it, use another ½ tsp smoked paprika)
+ 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
Large mixing bowl
Steamed version - all above plus steamer with several trays and tinfoil
Baked version - all above plus baking tray and tinfoil
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Fill a small but fairly deep baking tray - about 23cm/9inches long - with about 1cm/½ inch of water. Measure the spice mix ingredients into a small bowl and set aside.
If you're making double or quadruple batches then increase the size or amount of baking trays - and factor in more tinfoil to wrap up each sausage.
2. In a mixing bowl, sieve the vital gluten and tapioca flour then add the yeast flakes. Add the spice mix to it and stir everything well. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet mix ingredients together with the crushed garlic. Stir this into the dry ingredients and mix in very well. Knead the mixture thoroughly for 2-3 minutes.
3. Divide the mixture into two even-sized pieces. Roll them into fat sausages about 18cm/7inches long. Wrap them in tinfoil so they are completely sealed on the edge and at both ends.
4. Bake the logs for 30 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 30 minutes. Unwrap and let them cool for about 15 minutes then transfer to the fridge in the foil and let them firm up for about 1-2 hours. The pepperoni can be thinly sliced with a breadknife when cool or cut into chunks.
5. Use as it is, eg on a pizza, or fry up as needed. Keep tightly wrapped in the fridge and use within 3-4 days. It will freeze for about a month.