Seitan (for seitanics)
Looks like this thing is such an abomination it would send a cold sweat on a rib steak. The fact is that it is a very fun and protein-rich imitation, which allows you to find a component of meat: a slightly firm and elastic texture, with a little chewiness.
The goal is obviously not to imitate a sole, which can happen quite quickly with seitan, but to have a somewhat firm texture, and not something soft.
In this seitan recipe, I assumed that seitan, regardless of the recipes I had tried before, was delicate and fairly easy to make chewy.
It must be said that gluten, which is often accused of many evils, is still very sticky and elastic, which means that it is not totally surprising that pure gluten gives results that are quite… Resistant.
In this recipe, I chose to use cooked lentils to cut the gluten a little, and bring fondant with less risk of the sole effect.
In equal parts, we still get something firm but melting! I chose lentils because they’re cheap, easy to find, go well with simili dishes, and are easy to cook from the dry.
The seitan is steamed for the first time (I have not tested it in water but for this immersion cooking, it is better to be wary of boiling which can be too strong), then we put it a second time in the oven, to brown it.
I advise you not to prolong this second cooking too long, otherwise the seitan will lose a good part of its water and become, in fact, a little stiff, whereas it is really very good when cooked normally (because after having eaten it all on its own, I might as well tell you that I tested all the cooking and overcooking by reheating it in my oven haha).
On the seasoning side, gluten can have a strong flavor, but in this case it absolutely does not take over since the lentils calm it down! I also chose not to use vegetable broth but to add brown miso, because I often use vegetable broth, and everything ends up tasting like broth. You can replace the water with broth if you want!
In terms of spices, I put a little coriander, ground garlic, but also smoked paprika to enhance the smoky flavor that I appreciate.
Seitan Roast Garnish
For a nicer effect than “just” seitan, I added chestnut stuffing, with a little carrot and onion. You can think of a whole bunch of combinations: dried fruits, oilseeds, vegetables, starchy foods, mushrooms…
I think the filling of the roast tofu would also be very suitable, with a few more vegetables.
I swirled it around but nothing stops you from doing like a simple wrapper for the stuffing like you would for a wellington roast. Just remember to season well.
Accompany the seitan roast
For my part, I like to eat this kind of dish with sauce, otherwise it loses a bit of its interest: the sauce is really the binder of family dishes!
There are several valid options for this recipe. The traditional mushroom sauce is a great classic, I find it really delicious with so-called “noble” mushrooms that are fairly easy to find and inexpensively frozen.
There is also the pepper saucea great family classic.
We can think of a whole bunch of variations of simple cream sauces, I will also soon share with you a recipe for chanterelle sauce on a cream base unlike the mushroom sauce recipe above.
Regarding the accompaniment, I cooked the roast with vegetables in the oven and I find that it was not necessarily the most suitable in the sense that the roast already takes up a lot of space, and that leaves quite a bit for vegetables, but also, cooking the roast a little longer tends to make it dry, but otherwise half-raw potatoes are fine. I therefore advise you NOT to do like me, and to cook the two separately.
I made a mixture of shallots, carrots, and potatoes. For even more of the end-of-year holiday spirit, also consider chestnuts, and possibly add a few green beans at the end of cooking.
This assortment was cooked in a juice composed of water, agave and low-salt tamari sauce. It’s very tasty and it has a little “cooked in juice” side that I really liked! I used a little of this juice to baste my roast, which gave it a nice tint and crust!
Finally, I really like its very old-fashioned roasted look: I used butcher’s twine that you can find in all supermarkets around the world, which also helps that the filling does not run away not.
Even if the idea of individual dishes is a nice alternative for the holidays, we stay here in the pure tradition of the single dish to be cut in the dish for the oven.
For the seitan
- 250 g green lentils cooked
- 250 g pure gluten in organic store
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 vs. coffee garlic in powder
- 1 vs. soup agave syrup
- 1/4 vs. coffee nutmeg ground
- 1 vs. coffee coriander ground
- 1 vs. soup smoked paprika
- 120 g water or broth
- 250 g carrots
- 280 g chestnuts
- 200 g onions
- 2 vs. soup olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 vs. soup parsley
- 1 kg potato
- 1 kg carrots
- 4 shallots (small)
- 60 g tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 150 g water
- 3 vs. soup agave syrup or maple
First mix the ingredients of the seitan, except the gluten and the water, to obtain a coarse but relatively homogeneous preparation.
Add gluten and water, then mix to combine and obtain a malleable dough.
Prepare the seitan filling. Peel and finely dice your onion.
Peel the carrots, then cut into very small cubes. It’s a bit tedious but it makes assembling the roast easier afterwards, and it’s more pleasant to eat.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt.
Then add the carrots, and cook for a few minutes, until the onions are cooked through and translucent, and the carrots start to soften.
Salt, add the parsley, and mix very briefly with the chestnuts (you can also crush them coarsely by hand or with a fork).
Roll out the seitan into a large rectangle, but not too thin either to keep a certain thickness of the dough, around 25 by 35 cm.
Arrange the stuffing, remembering to leave a margin on the edge because the stuffing will inevitably slip during assembly.
Roll tightly but not excessively, then tie with butcher’s twine, at least to hold the roast.
Put in a steamer: I laid out a sheet of baking paper to prevent the unenclosed filling from falling into the water at the bottom.
Cook for 1 hour: the roast will swell.
During this hour, prepare the vegetables and the cooking broth.
In a large oven dish, arrange the peeled or only well-rinsed vegetables according to your preferences (and also their quality, in organic you can afford to leave the skin on more than in conventional). cut the potatoes into pieces, the shallots into 2 or 4 depending on their size. Pour the juice on top, saving a little for cooking the roast. If this is not enough for your dish, add a little water or redo some of this preparation: once the juice has reduced it will be really delicious. This portion of vegetables is reduced, I’ve never cooked for 10 people so I’ll let you adapt as needed.
Then, once the roast is steamed, transfer to a baking dish.
Cook the vegetables first to make sure they are cooked through when the roast is ready.
Bake at 200°C for around 40 minutes. Stick a knife into the different vegetables and stir regularly so that they don’t dry out and are all soaked with juice.
Halfway through cooking, put the roast in the oven, which should cook for 30 to 35 minutes: it should brown a little but not too much otherwise it will become dry and a little stiff!
Serve with a sauce of your choice and vegetables.