Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Traditional Style Plant-Based (Vegan) Brisket for Rosh Hashana

I am so grateful to celebrate Rosh Hashana this year with my family and friends, near and far, past and present -- like one big family...Jewish or not. It is a time for union, celebration, nourishing food and life affirmation.
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)
Ingredients:
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

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. 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.
  3. In a blender, add all remaining ingredients and blend.  This will be the braising liquid for the roast.
  4. Make well in the seitan mix by hollowing out an area in the center of the bowl (it should look like an inverse volcano).
  5. 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.
  6. Dust a bit of flour on a cutting board,
  7. 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.
  8. Place the roast into a roasting pan big enough to hold the dough and vegetables.
  9. Pour braising liquid over the roast until it is mostly covered.
  10. Add your vegetables around the roast, they should also be mostly submerged so add more liquid if needed.
  11. Bake in the oven for 30-45 min until the dough feels firm to touch and starts to form a glaze.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. When done, remove from oven and let cool.
  15. Slice into thin strips to resemble traditional brisket, pour remaining liquid/glaze and vegetables over the sliced roast.



Happy New Year!

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