In Jewish mysticism, there is a notion that every person is considered an "olam katan” – a little world. This notion is similar to one of the meanings of the sanskrit word used in yoga, "Namaste" – the word that teachers and students offer to each other at the end of a yoga class – one translation being “I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwell."
In my family we honor this tradition by celebrating with friends and family for a plant-based feast. Many our guests we invited are not Jewish, nor vegan so we thought about ways we could respect their needs and honor our plant-based tradition. To this end, we decided to serve a veganized traditional Jewish brisket made from seitan and roasted root vegetables.
Vegan traditional bbq "brisket" with roasted root vegetables
(Makes one large brisket to feed 12 hungry people)
3 cups vita wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp onion granules
1 1/2 tbsp garlic granules
1/4 cup dried shiitake mushroom powder (dried mushrooms ground in a spice grinder)
2 tsp chipotle powder
1 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cup marsala wine
2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tamari
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups root vegetables (I use parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes), cut into bite sized pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare the Seitan Base by mixing the wheat gluten flour, nutritional yeast, onion granules, garlic granules, mushroom powder and chipotle powder in a large mixing bowl.
- In a blender, add all remaining ingredients and blend. This will be the braising liquid for the roast.
- Make well in the seitan mix by hollowing out an area in the center of the bowl (it should look like an inverse volcano).
- Slowly pour in about half of the braising liquid while mixing to combine. You want to use just enough liquid to make a wet dough that you can kneed without feeling sticky or loose.
- Dust a bit of flour on a cutting board,
- Form the mixture into a dough and transfer to the cutting board or surface where you can kneed the dough. Kneed until it feels firm and shape into a roast.
- Place the roast into a roasting pan big enough to hold the dough and vegetables.
- Pour braising liquid over the roast until it is mostly covered.
- Add your vegetables around the roast, they should also be mostly submerged so add more liquid if needed.
- Bake in the oven for 30-45 min until the dough feels firm to touch and starts to form a glaze.
- Flip the roast over and bake another 15-minutes. Use a spoon to pour some of the braising liquid on top of the roast each time you flip. Add more braising liquid if it starts to run low.
- Continue to flip over and then bake for another 15-minutes per side until the braising liquid is reduced to a thick sauce. It may take up to two hours.
- When done, remove from oven and let cool.
- Slice into thin strips to resemble traditional brisket, pour remaining liquid/glaze and vegetables over the sliced roast.