A splendid savory, meaty delight to shine as the star of your dinner table. Moist, tender, rich, savory, just the right amount of bite….it hits all the marks for a good roast, and the leftovers (or maybe the whole thing) makes for some pretty darn good sandwiches to boot. Inspired by the less animal-friendly turkey roast, this happily slides right in to fill the place, and can be gussied up however you’d like or used as a substitute in recipes calling for “the real deal” without skipping a beat. The texture here is rather fine, like a standard vegan roast, perfect for slicing and without being dry or grainy in the least, and seriously, sandwiches….i can’t say enough how amazing it is on sandwiches!
410g | 3 ⅓ cup vital wheat gluten
300g | 1 ⅓ cup cold water
55g/60ml | ¼ c refined coconut oil
26g | just shy of 3 Tbsp fauxltry broth powder
20g | 3 ½ tsp shiro (white) miso
2g | ¾ tsp fauxltry seasoning
6g/ml | 1 ¼ tsp chinese light soy
3g/ml | ¾ tsp liquid smoke
300g | about 1 ½ cups cooked lima/butter beans
20g | about 3 Tbsp unflavoured pea protein powder
For basting liquid:
30g/ml | 2 Tbsp black soy or
15g/ml | 1 Tbsp browning liquid
560g/ml | 2 cups light vegetable broth
3g | 1 tsp fauxltry seasoning
9g | 1 Tbsp fauxltry broth powder
1.2g | ½ tsp black pepper
To make the roast:
Blend together everything but broth powder, pea protein and gluten until smooth
Blend in pea protein until thoroughly combined, then stir in 350g | 2 ¾ cups of the gluten,reserve the remaining gluten until later
Allow to rest 20 minutes
In a food processor with standard metal blade, tear seitan into 4 chunks and “knead” for 45 seconds (or by hand for several minutes, or 2 minutes in stand mixer), press back into a ball allow to rest 10 minutes
Repeat 2 more times
Add in remaining gluten and pulse to combine, then “knead” for 30 seconds (or by hand for several minutes, or about 1 minute in a stand mixer)
Press back into a “ball” and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes to make shaping easier
Shape into a loaf that is short enough to fit inside your instant pot/electric pressure cooker or steamer basket
Bring a pan with enough oil in the bottom to cover by ¼ inch or more, to 350F over medium heat (a small bit of the seitan should sizzle right away when the oil is hot enough) and place seitan into pan
Cook on each side (you may have to hold it up for thinner sides) until medium brown, around 1 ½ - 2 minutes per side
The steaming phase:
Instant pot/electric pressure cooker:
Place in cooker on a steam basket or trivet, add amount of water suggested as minimum for pot (usually around 1-1 ½ cups)
Set for high pressure at 45 minutes, allow to release naturally
Allow to cool enough to place in fridge
Steamer (stovetop or electric):
Place roast into steamer (or steamer basket) and steam for 1 hour, turn off heat and allow to cool in the steamer until cool enough to place in fridge
The Resting Phase:
Place seitan in a sealable bag or container (if using container, try and pick one just large enough to hold the roast
Mix together your basting/braising ingredients and pour into container with roast
If using a bag, remove as much air as possible
Place in fridge overnight or up to a week until ready to roast
The Roasting Phase:
Preheat oven to 350F
Place roast in a baking dish and pour in enough of the liquid to cover the bottom of the pan finger width deep
Cover and roast for 30 minutes
Uncover, baste, then turn over and place back in oven (uncovered) for 30 minutes
Baste again, turn over, add enough liquid to bring back to original depth and place back in oven for 15 minutes
Remove from oven, pour over any remaining liquid, cover and let rest 10 minutes
(optional) To make a gravy from the leftover liquid:
Pour liquid into a measuring cup
Add in broth and/or water to 1 quart (you’ll need to decide the ratio by taste, it depends on how strong you like your gravy and how much of the basting liquid is left -- keep in mind it is gravy, and should be rather strong tasting)
Season however you would like, or leave as is (i like to throw in some extra sage, fauxltry seasoning, and pepper -- about a ½ tsp each)
Make a slurry with ¼ cup of corn starch and ½ a cup of your gravy liquid (liquid should be cold/room temp, NOT hot)
Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat and quickly whisk/stir in your starch slurry, continue to simmer until thickened and translucent
If you need to store leftovers, you can store it dry, in some extra broth, or in leftover gravy in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Or if you’d like to freeze, Store first in some extra broth overnight in the fridge, then freeze the roast (with or without the broth), this will help keep it from being overly dry after thawing/reheating.
Here are the stars of the show, which are surprisingly sparse given the wonderful taste and texture of the end product. Vital wheat gluten makes up the bulk, providing the bounce and spring, while holding everything together, and giving the roast a pleasant bite. Butter beans (dried mature lima beans) provide a rich, buttery, creamy quality to the flavour and help to round out the protein profile, fauxltry broth powder and fauxltry seasoning provide that wonderful, light, meatiness we’re looking for and classic poultry seasonings, the miso serves to further enhance savoriness and add a touch of sweetness. Small amounts of chinese light soy and liquid smoke help to bring in some heartier elements, enhancing the savoriness of the dish, while coconut oil provides some much needed fat, helping to carry the flavours and prevent an overly dry roast. Finally there is a small amount of pea protein powder (unflavoured of course, no one wants vanilla roast) which you can find easily in any health food stores and quite a few “regular” grocery stores, it helps to boost the protein and alter the texture a little, giving us that fine grained texture we’re looking for and adding some richness of its own.
A word on quantities here, i HIGHLY recommend going by weight for this. I really can’t stress that enough, we’re dealing with a very delicate balance of ingredients here that can be hard (or impossible) to accurately measure by volume. I considered not even providing volume equivalents for this one at all, so if you HAVE to use volume, be very careful to follow the amounts listed, don’t pack or scoop the gluten in the measuring cup, spoon it in and level it off and you will have to adjust later to get the proper texture.
I find it easiest to blend the beans and liquids first, getting it as creamy as possible, then adding in the seasonings and pea protein, it just makes everything easier. I also like to save a little liquid to help get out the last bits of the paste from the blender, using just enough liquid to do the initial blending, scraping what i can out and then adding the rest of the liquid to thin out the yummy stuff stuck in the blender.
What you’ll end up with after blending is a rich, thick paste that gets mixed into (most of) the gluten, then the fun begins! The magical transformation of powders and liquids into something meaty, assisted by a food processor (hopefully) to make the whole thing ridiculously easy. Now, you can mix this by hand or with a stand mixer, but it is going to take a little longer and be a tad more work (in the case of hand kneading) on your part. Suggestions for these will be in the directions. The goal is to end up with a very firm, shiny lump of seitan, when you try to pull chunks off, it should be stretchy, rubbery, and shear unevenly like meat. So regardless of what method of kneading you use, this is how you want it to be in the end. To facilitate the kneading we wait until the final knead to add in the rest of the gluten, this firms it up as a final touch and will be less work on you (or your equipment) during kneading.
The picture above is before the final kneading, see how stringy and stretchy it is? This is what you want before adding the final touch of gluten, after that and the final knead, it should be somewhat glossy and very smooth, and very very firm. So firm that you’ll want to let it rest for a little bit before attempting to shape it, which you do by pressing, pushing, pounding, stretching, whatever works for you, to get it into a log shape that will fit into your steamer basket.
Then you’re going to heat up a pan, preferably just larger than your roast, with enough oil to cover the bottom by at least 1/4 inch, until it reaches 350F or a piece of the bread or the seitan starts to sizzle immediately when dropped in. Then you’re going to brown each side of the roast, this adds a lot of flavour, colour, and helps to keep the roast from expanding during the steam. It doesn’t take very long, around 1 1/2 – 3 minutes on each side, for narrower sides and the ends, i recommend holding in upright with tongs, and be careful! this is very hot oil we’re dealing with, so don’t just go throwing the seitan around in the pan and splashing oil everywhere!!! Now pat yourself on the back, the bulk of your active effort is really over and the rest is easy (though time consuming.)
The roast gets steamed, then allowed to cool, covered with the basting liquid and allowed to rest in the fridge overnight. Do not skip this, it is very important for the texture, flavour, and colour of the roast. Having said not to skip it, you CAN, if you’re in a total rush, move right to the roasting (shame on you for not planning ahead!) just shave about 10 minutes off the total cooking time to adjust for some the temperature discrepancy, it won’t be QUITE as wonderful, but close, and still better than anything you’re going to find on a shelf. On the inverse, this can all be done up to a week ahead of the actual roasting, or longer if you want to freeze it for much later, make sure and that it completely (it takes awhile) before roasting from frozen.
When you’re ready to roast this sucker up, you just heat up your oven, throw some of the liquid in with it, and then do three cycles of roasting. The first is covered and helps to maintain a moist heat around the roast, speeding up the heating time and preventing it from overly drying out, the roast is then basted, flipped and returned to the oven. For the third and final part, the roast is again basted, flipped and roasted. After that you’ll flip a final time, and pour your remaining basting liquid into the pan to deglaze and stuck bits, then cover the whole thing and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, allowing the mositure to even out and prevent a dry, overly chewy exterior.
That’s it! You can breathe now, it’s over. Despite the length and depth of instructions, this is actually a very easy recipe to make, and far far cheaper than those tiny little loafs you buy in the store. If you’re feeling really brave and adventurous, you can even try flattening this out before searing and wrapping around some stuffing, but it won’t be an easy task. just serve your slices over some dressing and call it a day. I’ve included a recipe for gravy using the leftover basting liquid that is the perfect complement to the roast, but it’s also quite delicious with onion + sage brown gravy. Now, off with you! Go forth and cook!