Commemoration of John and Charles Wesley

On March 3rd we celebrate two more protestant saints, John and Charles Wesley.  These brothers were Anglican priests, who led a lay movement in the the United Kingdom and its colonies. Where Martin Luther refocused the church on grace, the Wesleys noted that grace means transformation. They encouraged both individuals and the society to move on to perfection, which for them meant love. John quickly set up class meetings, what today we would call support groups, for people to intentionally grow in their faith. These classes eventually became the Methodist Church.  Charles, the creative genius, wrote hymns (some say over 6,000) to strengthen the movement including, “Hark the Herald Angles Sing” and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” These hymns remain an inspiration to the wider church today calling all of us to go on to perfection in love.

To celebrate these brothers we recommend Glamorgan Sausages, a vegetarian recipe from Wales. We are highlighting a vegetarian recipe because of the season of Lent, but also because John Wesley was a vegetarian. He gave up meat for health reasons, but he also had an ethical dimension to his decision, writing,

“I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth (Cited in God’s Covenant with Animals, Lantern Books, 2000, xii).”

These “sausages” are savory enough that even a meat lover should be pleased and the dipping sauce is delightful.

Also, here is a Wesleyan table blessing to use today and other days: 

Be present at our table Lord
Be here and everywhere adored
Thy creatures bless and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee

John (1703-1791) and Charles (1707-1788) Wesley preaching in the open air at Bristol, 1739. Illustration by Francis Arthur Fraser (1846-1924) from ‘The Sunday Magazine’ (London 1868). Wood engraving.


Glamorgan Sausages (Vegetarian)

Total Time: About 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours; Makes 8 sausages

Ingredients

For the “Sausages”
1/2 tablespoon of butter
1 leek, trimmed and finely sliced
1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
5 oz or 2/3 cup Welsh or English cheddar, finely grated
2 eggs, yolk and white separated
1 teaspoon English or ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons of olive oil
Black pepper

For the Onion and Chili relish
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium red onions, finely sliced
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped (with seeds for heat)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup light brown sugar
5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

Instructions

For the Glamorgan Sausages

  1. Melt the 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the leek for 8 – 10 minutes, or until very soft but not brown. 
  2. Put 1 cup breadcrumbs2 tablespoons parsley1 tablespoon thyme and 2/3 cup Welsh or English cheddar in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Beat the 2 egg yolks with the 1 teaspoon English or ground mustard, and salt and pepper in a separate bowl. 
  4. Add the softened leeks into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix together with a large wooden spoon until well combined. Divide the leek mixture into eight portions and roll into sausage shapes. Place the sausages onto a lined plate or tray.
  5. Whisk the whites from 2 eggs until just frothy. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over a large plate. Dip the sausages one at a time into the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated, then place on the baking tray.
  6. Chill the sausages in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly until golden-brown and crisp on each side. Serve the sausages with spoonful of the relish.

For the Relish

  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick saucepan and cook the 2 medium red onions for about 20 minutes, or until very soft.
  2. Add the 1 red chili pepper and 2 garlic cloves and cook for a another five minutes, stirring regularly. 
  3. Add 1/3 cup light brown sugar and 5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook for five more minutes, or until the liquid is well reduced and the relish becomes thick and glossy. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool for a few minutes before serving with the sausages.