A Meal to Impress Even a Hard-Core Meat Lover- Seitan Filet Mignon, Au Jus!
Seitan, the “meat made from wheat”, is an absolute miracle food for a vegetarian who, (like myself) liked the taste of meat but for whatever reason, be it ethical, environmental, or health related, does not want to eat it any longer.
This past weekend I set out to replicate a fancy meal served (to others, natch) at a conference we attended last week in Orlando, and I think I did a darn fine job of it, if I do say so my darn self. It’s a myth that veg*ns are content with eating nothing but limp, insipid piles of iceberg lettuce and slab after slab of tofu. Believe me, I love to eat, and I have the caboose to show for it!
This is a dish that is rich, hearty, and decadent enough to impress even the most die-hard meat eater in the family. Even better, unlike real beef, it is free of cholesterol and saturated fat so you can eat it without guilt. It is a little heavy on the salt, however, so if that is something you are concerned about, you might want to use sodium-reduced soy sauce.
This dish is easy to make but takes a little time, most of it hands-off, so choose a day when you’ll be home anyway, puttering around the house. Depending on how large you cut your “steaks” this can serve four to six people.
In a blender, mix the following ingredients:
½ of a 12 oz box of firm silken tofu
¾ cup cold water
1½ tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (use Soya sauce if you don’t have any)
½ tbsp steak sauce
1 tsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
¼ tsp sage
1 tbsp Red Star Nutritional Yeast (Available in bulk from the natural foods store)
2 tbsp beef-style bouillon (I use Nutri-Max from the Superstore)
Blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix the following:
1 ½ Tbsp cornmeal
1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten
Pour in the tofu mixture and mix well. As you mix, you will add about ½ cup more wheat gluten. Form into a firm ball, kneading for about five minutes. Be careful only to add enough gluten to make a workable, not too sticky ball. If you add more gluten, the dough will get harder and harder, and more difficult to work with. Cover and let sit at least one hour. Dust a clean surface with a little more gluten flour, and roll out the dough to about two inches thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut into about five “steaks”.
In a large flat-bottomed pot, add the following:
3 cups cold water
3 tbsp beef-style bouillon
1 ½ tbsp oil
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Soya sauce
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
½ tsp onion powder (optional)
Place the steaks in the cold liquid. Cover the pot. On medium heat, slowly bring the liquid to a boil, and immediately lower the temperature until the liquid is just simmering.Watch in the beginning, as the steaks may want to stick to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for about an hour, maybe seventy-five minutes if there is still lots of liquid left, turning the steaks about every ten minutes.
When done, remove the steaks from the liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Allow to cool for ten minutes, and then place them in a sealed container. (You don’t want them to dry out.)If serving the same day, just leave them on the counter until mealtime. Ten minutes before eating place them back in the pot with the reserved “jus” and simmer again just long enough to heat. Serve with a spoonful of the “jus” on top.
I served these on the weekend with some ultra-decadent twice-baked potatoes, (made with Tofutti sour cream, soy cheddar, and crumbled veggie bacon) and baby carrots. According to my very discriminating son, this was “the best meal we’ve ever had.” So take it from me, if you’re feeling creative and want something a little more special than the everyday, give this a shot.You won’t be sorry..:0)