Christmas is coming soon and in the weeks leading up to it, this blog is going to feature a few Christmassy recipes. We’re starting off with the big one, the main event, the roast meat replacement. The reason we’re posting this now, is that it contains Vital Wheat Gluten, which you might have to track down if you want to use this recipe, so I’m giving you time to do this before Christmas Day. I buy mine online, but if you have a local health store that stocks it all to the good.
I’ve come late to vegetarianism so I’ve never really been into the nut roast thing. I have two requirements for a Christmas roast – it should taste nice and you should be able to get cold cuts from it. I want to be able to have it in sandwiches! Seitan meets that last requirement, this loaf holds together well when it’s cold and will do very well with a bit of sage and onion stuffing between two slices of bread at 9pm on Christmas Day!
I’ve made the recipe with ordinary mushrooms and some dried shiitake mushrooms for added flavour, but you could make it with the same amount of shiitake mushrooms – it is Christmas after all. I cooked the lentil in enough water so that they were about the consistency of wallpaper paste. If yours are drier, just add extra water to the whole mix at the end. Use your own judgement about more liquid if it’s needed. It should be a fairly moist mix with about the same texture a bread dough, but if it’s too wet to hold together, add some more wheat gluten.
100g red lentils, cooked in water
2 leeks ,finely chopped
200g mushrooms, chopped to a medium fineness
10g dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or vegetable Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp marmite
1 tsp mustard
200g vital wheat gluten
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp vegetable buillon powder, or 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 white pepper
Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the fresh and shiitake mushrooms. When they have started to reduce down, add the leeks and cook until they are translucent.
Mix the wet ingredients together and stir thoroughly.
Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix together well.
Stir in the cooled leeks and mushrooms and the lentils.
Pour in the wet ingredients and stir well until everything is evenly distributed.
Tip out onto kitchen foil and form into an oval, loaf shape.
Wrap the foil around it and seal the edges.
Steam over hot water for 90 minutes.
Take it out of the steamer and open the foil. Let the loaf rest, uncovered for about 15 minutes before carving. This will help it to firm up.
Serves 4, with leftovers for sandwiches later