Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vegan Pot Roast

I finally came out of a post MoFo-induced stupor and got these pics uploaded. It's a vegan pot roast.

Also, a mizuna salad with roasted squash and pomegranate.

I got the idea for the salad from Cadry's Kitchen blog. If you go to her site, you'll see that she has some fun cooking videos in the sidebar, and one of them talks about roasting winter squash, and some suggestions on how to use it. One of her suggestions was to put it in a salad, which I thought was a great idea. I found Cadry's site through MoFo, when she did a delightful series of posts around Deserted Island Packing Lists...(highly recommend), and thanks to Cadry for the salad idea! The dressing was just a little olive oil, whole grain mustard, and sherry vinegar.

The pot roast  is based on Jo Stepaniak's recipe in the Vegan Vittles cookbook. I've made it several times, and by now have  tweaked the recipe into my own variation by adding in a few bells and whistles, and omitting a few other things.

I like to eat it with sweet and sour red cabbage and/or lots of spicy mustard. Mr. Dandelion likes it ok as a pot roast, but prefers the leftovers broiled up with BBQ sauce.

Pot Roast Seitan, adapted from Vegan Vittles, by Jo Stepaniak

generous 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten....I usually end up using about 1 and 3/4 cups
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
generous pinch of celery seed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients, add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until it's all incorporated, then stop. Don't continue stiring or kneading, this will make the seitan come out rubbery. (I mean, it's a little rubbery anyway, but not to make it more so. )

Put the seitan on a work surface and shape into a rectangle. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high, add a touch of olive oil  and brown off the seitan rectangle on each side. Be sure to put it on a well-heated skillet, or it will end up sticking.  It may stick slightly anyway, but just keep sliding a spatula under the seitan as it browns to prevent it from sticking too much.

Setian Braising Liquid

1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium shallot, sliced
2 ribs celery, or 1 celery heart, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, chopped into large chunks
pinch of oregano, or other herb/s of choice
1 bay leaf
3 cups rich veggie broth ( I used 1 cup no-beef broth, and two cups low-sodium veggie broth)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Saute the onion and shallot over medium-low until the onion begins to caramelize ~ 15 minutes, add in the bay leaf, oregano, garlic, celery, and carrot, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add in veggie broth and vinegar and increase heat to bring the broth to a simmer. When the broth is simmering, drop in the browned seitan, cover partially, turn down heat just enough so it's not boiling, but continues to simmer gently. Allow the seitan to simmer for  ~ 60 to 90 minutes, turning the seitan about halfway through.

About 30-40 minutes before serving, drizzle a selection of veggies with a little olive oil (or omit for fat free) and ladle some of the simmering broth over them, then roast them in the oven.

After you remove the seitan from the pot, you can puree the simmered broth with the simmered veggies to make a gravy (you may want to remove the bay leaf first) :

Pot roast on the table. It takes about 2 hours from stove to table, but most of it is down time.


  1. I'm surprised I haven't noticed this recipe before in Vegan Vittles. It looks so good! I especially would love to tear into those veggies. Yum!

  2. I must say, you make this hunk o' seitan look awfully good. And the gravy...I'm drooling.

  3. I agree, the big seitan roast does sound good. That's a good tip, too, on not overworking it. I think I'm with Mr. D - I want some leftovers with bbq sauce, no offense to the roasted veg and gravy! Pot roast is one of those things my family loved and I never quite came around to ;)

  4. Whoa! That looks amazing! Lovely blog overall too.

  5. Oh, wow - that looks fantastic! Sounds so savory and delicious.

  6. Molly

    I think it's on page 156/57...the veggies are my fav part too.


    The gravy is cool, I really liked the idea of blending the simmered veggies instead of making a roux.


    I hear you on the pot roast thing...I have to be really in the mood for seitan in order for this to be on the menu, but with lots of mustard, sometimes it hits the spot.

    Vic, Jeni, Tami, Troy, and Kelly


  7. I'd have to agree with Zoa — you sure do have a way with seitan. The braised veggies have caught my eye, too — I'm mentally eating the carrots as I write this. This recipe gets bookmarked!

  8. p.s. It's good to see you back.

  9. Your MoFo-induced stupor was well-deserved, but I'm one of your legion of fans who is so glad you're now out of it!

    I love your new header! "Rose's greatest food, flower and feline hits on parade." Sweet!

    And it's great to see a photo of the pot roast before I dive in and attempt to make it. Your photos remind me of my mom's pot roast stew she used to make in her pressure cooker when I was a kid. I haven't thought about that in years, even though it was a comfort food back then. It'll be fun to replicate with your recipe and braised veggies & gravy serving suggestions. I can practically smell and taste that gravy! It looks wuuuuuunnnnderful!

  10. Looks wonderful! And your instructions are so clear that even a non-cook like me might manage it. The photos are incredible!

  11. hello Rose, how did you not get air bubbles? on my directions it says to knead it. my friend and i made some last week and we cooked it for an hour and the outside was spongy but the inside was hard. where did i go wrong? we are making another batch on sat and i want this to come out well! any help would be appreciated. i have made it lots of times before but that was over a year ago, i guess i forgot? anyway, i am going to make this as close to what you did as possible. my husband will like this:)!!!

    i know mofo was a mofo! and i didnt even participate liek you did!! glad you arent totally sick of blogging! please let us know when you make the treats for your rats!!

  12. ok, i re-read through your instructions. im on my way to the kitchen. if i dont post back in three hours....call for help!!

  13. Andrea

    Thanks for the welcome back...I was dragging my feet a little, but when I saw everyone else...you and Zoa and all diving right back in, I thought I had better get my act in gear. :D


    Yeah, this reminds me of a meal from childhood too. I remember eating it all and liking it, but my favorite part was all the different veggies and the gravy and everything...together they are more than the sum of their parts...if you can believe it, we sometimes eat all this with mashed potatoes too! Which I really like, because the soft mash goes so well with the roasties...also if you're a mustard lover, it goes great as a condiment with this!


    Glad to hear it doesn't sound too complicated...the dish isn't complicated, but whenever I try to give anyone directions on how to get somewhere, somehow I always make a 5-minute journey sound like a 5-hour one. :)


    I got some air bubbles, but I find that when it simmers, I get fewer air bubble in it than when I bake it or even steam it. Usually, when I bake it, I comes out looking like really dense bread. How did you cook it when it came out hard in the middle? My guess is that it was undercooked, but I couldn't say for sure.

    Oh, and there's nothing wrong with kneading it...it just depends on what kind of texture you want...if you want it more tender, then less kneading.

    I'll let you know about the rat treats...I just bought some of the veggie bac'uns today to see whether my rattie likes them and she does...I'll probably make the treats over the weekend.

    Let me know how the seitan turns out.

  14. I feel like I haven't stopped by your blog in days! I've been so busy and haven't had any time to read blogs lately. That pot roast makes me mouth water though. I must try that recipe..sounds perfect for the holidays!

  15. I love seitan (can never have too much) and have planned to make something like this for years. (The Vegan Planet way -- tossing the seitan and veggies in a crock pot). I sure hope I get it done this winter, I am jealous of your meal.

  16. Hi Jacklyn!

    I know it's a job in itself keeping up with the blogs...I wouldn't have nearly as much time to it if I didn't have a boring desk job (don't tell).


    Totally, I've read other blogs where people have made it in a slow cooker, I think it would work great.

  17. Your pot roast looks great, and I love the veggie choices you made. I had to chuckle when you said, rubbery, I've made many a rubbery seitan dish. I bet it was tasty though!

  18. Yeah...I'm drooling over this myself! I have got to try this! Your roast looks soooo good! My husband has been wanting roast (real meat..yuck), but I've been putting him off...ha Maybe I can make this.... and just maybe.... it will look as good as yours, and Tony will want to try it. :o) Keep your fingers crossed for me on that. I'll have to try this out in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  19. BlessedMama

    Yeah, the old rubbery seitan...sometimes I'm in the mood for it, sometimes not. :-)


    I think for real meat eaters, you may want to try for the most tender consistency possible...tried and true seitan eaters like ourselves may not quibble over a slightly elastic texture, but meat eaters, expecting a meat like texture might...

    you could try soaking about 1/2 cup fresh/wholegrain bread crumbs in the wet ingredients for like 10 minutes before mixing in the wet with the vital wheat gluten...this breaks up the rubbery texture a bit, but you may have to add a little more liquid...just judge as you go.

    If you make it,let me know whether you like it, and/or whether it passes meat eater's mustard! :) I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  20. I've only had seitan once, from a jar. I wish to make my own someday, but as you may know vital wheat gluten is hard to come by in the U.K. Anyway, I wish I could try a bit of your pot roast. I keep meaning to pick up Vegan Vittles, along with her Uncheese Cookbook. I guess I should think about putting it on my 'wish list'. Warm wishes Rose from a Snowy cold Scotland.

  21. Mangocheeks

    Too bad wheat gluten is difficult to find there...I think you can order it on Amazon, well I think you can if you were really gung ho. I'm sure it will pop up around there sooner or later.

    Vegan Vittles has a lot of good basic recipes that are easy to give your own flair to.

    I heard of all the cold weather over there! It's fun if you can stay close to home, but not so fun if you have to commute in it!

    Take care and stay warm! :)

  22. Thanks so much for plugging my blog! What a lovely surprise!!

    I can't wait to try the seitan pot roast. It looks mouthwatering!

  23. Cadry

    Thank you for the great squash in salad idea. I did want to give you a shout out and let others know about your blog and your vids!

  24. Ooo, you've been making fancy changes around here!

    And I'm NOT letting my husband see this roast or he'll never want to go back to my cooking again.

  25. Oh Jenny, that is so not true! Your cooking rocks! And to be honest, the pot roast itself looks better than it tastes...I mean along with the veggies and the gravy and plenty of mustard, it's a good combo and hits the spot if you're in the mood for a roast-style dinner, but not a taste sensation in and of itself...

    Is it too fancy?

  26. This looks so hearty and delicious. I wish someone would make it for me. He he

  27. Wow, that looks delicious. We like seitan, but we've never made it from scratch.

  28. Hi all, thanks for your fun comments!

  29. Oh I'm going to have to make this for my DH as he'd just love it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  30. Nanette

    If you try it add 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour (or urad flour if you can find it) + 1 tablespoon rice or tapioca flour to the wheat gluten...it's a tip I learned since making this recipe...and it makes seitan come out really tender. :)

  31. I made this tonight! So yummy! I used the vegetables to make a gravy & it is delish!

    I had it with Roasted Red Potatoes!

  32. Hi Gymmie,

    Glad you liked it! Roasted red potatoes sounds perfect with it.


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