Roast Mock Lamb (Seitan) with English Mint Sauce

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DSC01146Succulent and tender mock lamb is pan-glazed with white wine, rosemary and lemon zest and then sliced and served ‘au jus’ and with a garnish of tangy mint sauce. This recipe yields about 1 and ½ lb. Please note: Mock Lamb requires chilling for a minimum of 8 hours after simmering to firm and enhance its texture before pan-glazing, so plan accordingly.

Dry Ingredients for the Roast
• 1 and ½ cup (225 g) vital wheat gluten
• 2 T portabella mushroom powder
• 4 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp ground white pepper

Liquid Ingredients for the Roast
• 1 and ¼ cup (300 ml) water
• 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 and ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt

Simmering Broth Ingredients
• 3 quarts water (12 cups)
• 3 large onions, peeled and quartered
• 3 ribs celery, chopped
• 3 large carrots, unpeeled and chopped
• small handful parsley stems
• 6 large cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 T portabella mushroom powder
• 4 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
• 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
• 1 bay leaf

Jus Ingredients
• 1 cup reserved simmering broth
• optional: ½ tsp beet powder
(crush the powder to eliminate hard lumps if necessary before mixing with the broth)

English Mint Sauce Ingredients
• ¼ packed cup fresh chopped mint leaves
• 3 T white wine vinegar
• 1 T hot water
• 1 tsp organic sugar
• 2 pinches sea salt or kosher salt

Pan-Glaze Ingredients
• 2 T non-dairy butter or margarine
• 2 T dry white wine or fresh lemon juice
• 1 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
• a few pinches coarse ground black pepper

Additional Items Needed
• baking sheet
• stainless steel cooling rack (not required but recommended)
• parchment paper or silicone baking mat

Preparation
Prepare the simmering broth and bring to a simmer in a large covered cooking pot at least 30 minutes before preparing and prebaking the dough. This will allow sufficient time to simmer the ingredients before adding the roast.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Place a stainless steel cooling rack on a baking sheet and line the rack with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The cooling rack is not required, but it is recommended, as it will prevent excessive browning which would occur from direct contact with the hot baking sheet.

Combine the dry ingredients for the roast in a large mixing bowl. Stir together the liquid ingredients for the roast in a separate bowl or measuring cup.

Pour the liquid mixture (not the simmering broth) into the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly with a sturdy silicone spatula to form the dough and begin developing the gluten.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead vigorously until very elastic. Test the dough by stretching. If it tears easily, knead a little longer and test again. The dough should be able to stretch considerably without tearing.

Now, form the dough into a thick, compact roast shape. Don’t worry about smoothing the surface too much, as some bumps and irregularities will yield a more natural finished appearance. Transfer the dough to the parchment paper or baking mat.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes and then remove from the oven. The roast will form a dry crust while baking. This is normal and will disappear when the roast is simmered.

Bring the broth to a boil. It’s not necessary to strain the vegetable solids; this can be done later after the broth has cooled.

Lower the roast into the boiling broth and immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave the pot uncovered and set a timer for 45 minutes. Monitor the pot frequently to make sure the broth is maintained at a simmer. Do not boil the roast but don’t let it merely poach in hot broth either. Turn the roast occasionally in the broth as it simmers to ensure even cooking. After simmering, remove the cooking pot from the heat, cover and let the roast cool in the broth for a few hours or until lukewarm.

Transfer the roast to a work surface and pierce repeatedly on all sides with a fork. Place into a food storage bag and add the jus. The jus is intended to mimic the juices of medium-cooked roast lamb (the beet powder is optional and if you choose not to use it, simply add ¼ cup of the simmering broth to the storage bag to keep the roast moist).

Seal the bag and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, or for up to 1 week, to firm and enhance the mock lamb texture before finishing. Chilling is very important so do not omit this step. The roast can be frozen without the jus for up to 3 months and then thawed and finished at your convenience.

Strain the cooled simmering broth into a sealable container and refrigerate. During this time, any seasoning sediment will settle on the bottom of the container. The broth can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for future use at your convenience. Decant the clear portion for preparing jus, gravy or sauce that can be served with the sliced roast; or use for other recipes as desired. Discard the sediment.

Finishing the Roast
Bring the roast (sealed in the storage bag) to room temperature for about 1 hour before finishing. Set the roast on a plate and set aside. Pour the jus into a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

Add the mint sauce ingredients to a blender and process as smooth as possible. The sauce will be thin. Set aside until ready to serve the roast.

Create the pan-glaze by combining the wine or lemon juice with the tamari in a small dish; set aside.

In a large, deep non-stick skillet, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the roast and turn it to coat with the butter or margarine. Lightly brown the roast, turning frequently. Add the pan-glaze mixture. The mixture will sizzle and begin to caramelize, turning the roast a beautiful deep brown color. Add the rosemary, lemon zest and pepper and continue to turn in the mixture to form a crust. Transfer to a serving platter and slice. Drizzle the slices with the warmed jus and the mint sauce just before serving.

Note: If pan-glazing has not sufficiently reheated the roast, place it in a shallow baking dish, cover securely with foil and reheat in a 350°F/180°C oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The roast can also be briefly heated in the microwave before slicing and serving.


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Spicy Italian Pancetta

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DSC00665-001Pancetta is an un-smoked Italian bacon that is seasoned with black pepper and other spices and herbs before rolling and salt-curing. My meat-free version is seasoned with my own blend of spices and herbs to impart a distinctive Italian flavor. For this recipe, two batches of dough will be mixed to create the pancetta. Dough 1 is for the light marble layer and Dough 2 is for the dark marble layer.

Aromatic Seasoning Ingredients
• 1 and ½ tsp finely ground black pepper
• 2 tsp dried basil leaves
• 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
• ¼ tsp ground fennel seed
• ¼ tsp ground red pepper (optional)

Dry Ingredients for Dough 1
• ½ cup (75 g) vital wheat gluten
• 1 T garlic powder

Liquid Ingredients for Dough 1
• 6 T (90 ml) water
• 1 T olive oil
• ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt

Dry Ingredients for Dough 2
• 1 cup (150 g) vital wheat gluten
• 1 T onion powder
• 2 tsp sweet paprika

Liquid Ingredients for Dough 2
• ½ cup plus 2 T (150 ml) water
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 2 T nutritional yeast flakes
• 2 T red miso paste
• 1 T olive oil

Additional Item Needed
• 18-inch wide heavy-duty aluminum foil

Warning! It is very important to use only heavy-duty aluminum foil for this recipe. Regular foil is not sturdy enough and can easily rupture from steam pressure which builds up inside the sealed package.

Combine the Aromatic Seasoning Ingredients
Combine the aromatic seasoning ingredients in a small dish and using the back of a spoon, grind the mixture until the oregano and basil are coarsely ground; set the mixture aside. This blend will not be added to the dough, but rather layered over the dough before rolling in the foil.

Preparing Dough 1
Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°F.

Combine the dry ingredients for Dough 1 in a medium mixing bowl.

Stir together the liquid ingredients for Dough 1 in a separate bowl or measuring cup until the salt dissolves.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Knead the dough with a spoon or spatula in the bowl until the dough offers some resistance to mixing. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Set aside.

Preparing Dough 2
Combine the dry ingredients for Dough 2 in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the liquid ingredients for Dough 2 in a separate bowl or measuring cup until the miso and yeast dissolves (the yeast will not dissolve completely).

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Knead the dough with a spoon or spatula in the bowl until the dough offers some resistance to mixing, about 2 minutes. Kneading can also be done in a food processor fitted with a dough blade attachment and processed for about 1 minute. Divide the dough in half.

Layering the Dough
Now you will begin the layering process which will create the marbling effect for the pancetta.

Tear off a sheet of foil (about 18-inches) and place on your work surface. Take a piece of Dough 1 (the light dough) and flatten into a disc. Place the flattened dough onto the foil. Sprinkle about ¼ of the aromatic seasonings over the disc of dough (don’t worry if some of the seasonings scatter on the foil).

Next, repeat with a piece of Dough 2 (the dark dough) and place on top of the first disc. Scatter ¼ of the aromatic seasonings over the disc of dough. Repeat with the second piece of Dough 1, again scattering ¼ of the aromatic seasonings over the disc of dough.

Finish layering with the second piece of Dough 2 and scatter the remaining seasoning over the dough. Firmly press down and stretch the stack against the foil until it is about ¼-inch thick.

Now, roll the dough into a cylinder and then use your hands to compress the dough into a thick compact log. Press any seasoning mixture that has scattered on the foil into the log.

Roll the dough in the foil to create a cylindrical package and twist the ends tightly to seal. Bend the ends in half to lock them tight. Repeat this wrapping procedure with 2 additional sheets of foil.

Place the package directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 90 minutes.

Cool the pancetta in the foil and then refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours. Chilling will firm and enhance the texture and make slicing easier – this is important. The pancetta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week before slicing and finishing or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For the best finished texture, use a very sharp knife and slice the pancetta as thinly as possible. Of course, if you prefer a thicker cut, that’s entirely up to you. The slices can also be cut into narrow strips if desired. Pancetta can also be small diced.

Finishing the Pancetta
Finishing the pancetta in the oven is my preferred method since heating is controlled. Sliced pancetta can also be given a “rippled” appearance using this method. To do this, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the slices (or diced pancetta) on the paper. Mist or brush the slices or dice with cooking oil. Use your fingers to “scrunch” the pancetta slices, thus giving them a rippled appearance. Bake for 20 minutes. Let the pancetta cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a serving plate. As the pancetta cools it will crisp up a bit while still retaining a nice chewy texture. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot any excess oil.

Optionally, the pancetta slices or dice can be briefly fried in a non-stick skillet with a light layer of cooking oil over medium to medium-low heat. Frying “low and slow” is preferable to frying at a high temperature. The pancetta will brown (and burn) quickly and the texture will become hard if the temperature is too high. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot any excess oil.

Serve warm; chop, dice or crumble in recipes; or layer on your favorite sandwich.


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Beer-Braised Shredded Beaf

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DSC00606Shredded beaf amazingly resembles slow-cooked shredded beef in texture and is superb for hot sandwiches when finished by skillet braising in a mixture of beer and savory seasonings.

Ingredients
• 1 recipe Stewing Beaf (from the Seitan and Beyond Cookbook)
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 T Dijon or spicy mustard
• 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper, or more to taste
• ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
• 2 T cooking oil
• 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 bottle or can (12 oz) beer of your choice

Preparation
Prepare and then chill the Stewing Beaf according to the cookbook directions.

Remove the foil and recycle. Using your hands, bend the roast in half to split it lengthwise; this will reveal the “grain”. Tear the roast in half following where it has been split. Bend and tear those pieces in half lengthwise. Now, with your fingers, pull the beaf into long strings or shreds, following the grain as much as possible. Tear those pieces into smaller bite-size shreds.

In a small dish, combine the tamari, mustard, Worcestershire, black pepper and thyme; set aside.

Add the oil to a large non-stick skillet or wok and place over medium heat; sauté the onion until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds.

Add the shredded beaf and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned. Add the tamari seasoning mixture and the beer and stir well to combine. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until almost all the liquid has evaporated but the beaf is still moist. Serve hot as a filling for sandwiches.


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Coq au Vin, Vegan-Style

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DSC00440Coq au Vin consists of tender chikun simmered in a luscious red wine sauce with mushrooms and pearl onions and garnished with parsley. Serve over cooked eggless noodles. This recipe yields about 4 servings.

Ingredients
• 1 recipe Chikun Drumsticks or Tenders (from the Seitan and Beyond Cookbook)
• 6 T Bacun Grease (from this blog)
• 8 0z cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
• 1 and ½ cup pearl onions, thawed from frozen
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups dry red wine (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon; Merlot)
• 2 cup chikun simmering broth (reserved from preparing the chikun)
• 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• coarse ground black pepper to taste
• chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation
Prepare and refrigerate the drumsticks or tenders according to the directions in the recipe. Reserve 2 cups of the simmering broth for the sauce.

Add the bacun grease to a deep non-stick skillet and place over medium heat to melt. Brown the chikun in the hot grease and transfer to a plate.

In the same skillet, sauté the pearl onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and golden and the mushrooms have rendered their liquid. Sprinkle in the flour and mix well. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.

Incorporate the wine in increments while stirring. Stir in the broth and add the chikun, thyme, bay leaf and salt; season with black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce and thicken the sauce. Season the stew with additional salt to taste and remove the thyme stems and bay leaf before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley after plating.


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Crispy Coconut Curry Chikun

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DSC00265-002Ingredients
• 1 recipe Chikun tenders or nuggets (from the Seitan and Beyond Cookbook)
• 1 cup non-dairy milk
• ⅔ cup rice flour or all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (your choice)
• 1 and ½ cup panko crumbs
• 1 and ½ tsp curry powder
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• finely chopped That basil or cilantro for garnish (optional)
• cooking oil for deep frying

Dipping Sauce Ingredients
• ½ cup pineapple mango jam or orange marmalade
• 1 T Asian chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek, or more to taste

Preparation
Stir together the sauce ingredients and set aside; or chill until ready to serve.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and salt to create a smooth batter. Set aside.

Add the shredded coconut, panko crumbs, curry powder and black pepper to a food processor and process into a very coarse flour. Be sure to leave plenty of texture. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Dredge the tenders or nuggets in the batter and then in the coconut crumb mixture until thoroughly coated. Set aside on a plate to dry for about 20 minutes.

Heat a sufficient amount of oil for deep-frying in a deep skillet, wok or deep fryer over medium-high heat.

When the oil begins to shimmer, fry the battered chikun until golden brown. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon to avoid dislodging the crumb coating. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain briefly.

Garnish with the optional Thai basil or cilantro and serve hot with the dipping sauce.


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Corned Beaf Hash

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Corned Beaf Hash topped with Sunny-Side Ups

Corned Beaf Hash topped with Sunny-Side Ups

Top the Corned Beaf Hash with Sunny-Side Ups, Over-Easys or Eggless Scramble from The Non-Dairy Formulary.

Ingredients:
• 3 T Better Butter (from either of my cookbooks) or vegan margarine
• 1 small onion, finely diced (about ⅔ cup)
• 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
• 8 to 10 oz. Corned Beaf (from The Gentle Chef Cookbook)
• 1 can (14.5 oz.) whole new potatoes or
1 lb. potatoes of choice, peeled, cut into chunks and boiled until tender
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
• 2 T finely chopped fresh parsley

Technique:
Finely dice the potatoes and set aside. Dice the corned beaf or pulse in a food processor until minced. Set aside.

Melt the butter or margarine in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.

Mix in the corned beaf, potatoes and parsley. Spread out evenly over the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and press down on the mixture with a spatula.

Do not stir the mixture. The goal is to achieve browning. After a few minutes, use the spatula to flip sections over in the skillet to brown the opposite side. Press down again with the spatula. If the mixture is sticking, add a little more butter or margarine to the pan. Continue to cook in this manner until the potatoes and the corned beaf are nicely browned.

Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.


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