Friday, 3 March 2017

Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots (vegan) with Onion Gravy

I've featured vegan Welsh Faggots on my blog in the past, but have always wanted to enhance them textually and visually.  I was able to do this a few days ago for our homely St Davids Day Welsh Vegan Menu with the addition of another Welsh delicacy Laverbread.  
For those of you not  from Wales and not familiar with Welsh faggots, well in a nutshell Faggots were traditionally made with the innards of pigs. The pate like mixture was then wrapped in the lacy casing of the animals caul and oven roasted slowly.  

I remember reading a while back, that the Welsh faggots is what haggis is to the Scots and is often referred to as Welsh Haggis in some parts of Wales.  There may be some truth in this as The Scotsman also make reference to haggis being popular in the Welsh Valleys of Wales, but they still credit the Scots for the haggis jokingly writing that a Scottish haggis escaping to Wales in 1690, hence its popularity in Wales. 
Faggots are still made in Wales and are still quite popular.  Faggots are traditionally served with mushy peas and onion gravy or brown meaty gravy.  My Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots are of course is suitable for vegetarians and for vegans and so is the onion gravy. 

D absolutely loved the onion gravy.  He didn't mind the Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots either.

Welsh Bara Lawr Laverbread Seitan Faggots (Ffagod)
Makes about 16 more or less
140g vital wheat gluten
30g nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon mace
Salt to taste

160ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tamari
2 - 4 tablespoons laverbread (either from a tin or fresh if your lucky to live in Wales)
1 shallot or small onion, shredded or minced
You will also need pieces of foil to wrap around the seitan balls.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, in the other bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Then pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine with a spatula.  
Knead again for a couple of minutes.

With you hands, form into balls - its up to you what size they can be gold size, I have even seen them tennis ball size, but I would not recommend that big.
Place on foil together and wrap firmly around the dough. 
Twist ends of foil to secure filling. 
Repeat with the remaining pieces.
Place each directly into a steamer and steam  30 minutes.
Allow to cool for an hour before using, or for best results chill overnight. 

Store it in fridge tightly sealed or freeze.
To use, shallow fry in some oil until golden on all sides.

Put in oven to keep warm while you make the onion gravy.
Onion Gravy
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 generous tablespoon plain flour
1 pint of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Method for Onion Gravy
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and cook gently for about 30 minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelised to a rich golden brown.  Lower the heat and stir in the flour, then gradually whisk in the water, stir continuously for 20 minutes or until it begins to thicken and the liquid begins to reduce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
This onion sauce can be made in advance.
When ready to serve, pour over the Welsh Faggots.
Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables and enjoy each mouthful, slowly. 


  1. I have to admit that I have never tried laverbread or any type of faggots before. I do love to try new things though and I'd love to try these as I'm sure they're lovely with that onion gravy! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    1. Hi Corina, its a very Welsh dish - so I guess you will have to come to Wales to try it.

  2. I love your Welsh cooking and these look really nice, nice and hearty dish.

    1. Thank you VegHog, St David's Day gives me more of a n excuse to blog about it, but that really should not be the only time I share Welsh recipes, so hopefully more over the year.

  3. I'm so glad your version exists so I can appreciate the Welsh haggis without any of the animal stuff in it. All the ingredients are just things I really love cooking with!

    1. Thanks Joey,
      I am so pleased you like this. There are no places in Wales selling vegan haggis. I did for a little while in my veggie eatery but that was a while back, so its unlikely you will find it anywhere, unless of course you attempt it at home. The onion gravy is worth trying for sure - good on mash!

  4. Ok, so I have to admit that faggots sound kind of gross when they aren't vegan... but your veganized version sounds good! And the pictures are lovely. They kind of remind me of American meatballs.

    1. Thanks Kimmy, the real thing are meatball like and made with pork and indeed they grossed me out too, but they are very popular in Wales. I always saw them featured when passing Welsh butchers growing up. I have never eaten the real thing either, so was very pleased with my recreation.

  5. So glad you veganized these! Innards of pigs would never have sounded good to me even when I ate meat. I love your version though - they sound delicious! Totally trying that onion gravy on potatoes too! Yum!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for Healthy Vegan Fridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    1. thanks Mary Ellen , I agree, I just wanted to offer a veg alternative of Welsh traditional dishes made with meat.

  6. these sound really delicious and so much nicer than pigs innards - did the laverbread given a lot more texture? I can see it gives some more visual texture!

    1. Thanks Johanna. They were okay, I would not go far as decribing the faggots albeit ones delicious, but the onion gravy was. The laverbread did give is more flavour and colour in its texture.

  7. Oooh Shaheen these sound lovely and look just like regular ones! x #CookOnceEatTwice

    1. Thanks so much Kirsty. I am so pleased you approve.

  8. Homemade Seitan tastes lovely. I bet these taste so much better than any meat equivalent!

    1. Thanks Amy, I am so pleased I can get my hands on vital wheat gluten now, so many mock meat experiments ahead and many good meals.

  9. Oh my goodness this sounds AMAZING! That onion gravy especially, yum! Thank you for sharing with the no waste food challenge! :)

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. The onion gravy was delicious, the seitan faggots are I guess just another version of a veggie meatball.


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