Thursday, February 11, 2010

best ever seitan stew, mashed peas, and homemade crusty bread

This is honestly the best seitan stew ever. I don't know what it is but everything just kind of blends together so that you get the perfect combination of flavors in every bite. This is adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe available on his website. His method was used as a template for this recipe except the obvious substitutions (no meat in this house!). So good! (and vegan of course). 

best ever seitan stew

olive oil
a knob of vegan butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic
a handful of fresh sage leaves
2 cups dark seitan, cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
flour, to dust
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and halved
½ a butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced
optional: a handful of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved
1lb yukon gold small potatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée
½ a bottle of red wine
2 cups vegetable stock
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
a handful of rosemary, leaves picked
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the seitan in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the all the veggies are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened and reduced. Sometimes this takes an hour or less. Once it’s cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 200°F and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat.

The best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of French red wine and some really fresh, warmed bread, preferably homemade. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance. Most of these words are not mine so i cannot take the credit for this incredibly easy adaptation of a carnivorous (cruel) meal. 

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