Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beefy Seitan Braised in a Rich Beer Based Brown Sauce

When we were at cooking class last night my husband was again extolling the virtues of the beefy seitan cutlets. Clearly he is enjoying the recipe so I wanted to make him something that was similar to a recipe I used to make in the past with beef brisket.

Since I had to leave out the beef broth I added Worcestershire sauce and marmite to give the sauce a beefy flavor. Other than those few changes the dish is like the version I used to make. I can’t tell you where the original recipe is from because this came from a notebook I kept with recipes and there is no author given. The original dish was called "brisket braised in beer". Here is what I made.

Beefy Seitan Braised in a Rich Beer Based Brown Sauce
Serves 4


½ ounce porcini mushrooms, dried
1 cup water to rehydrate mushrooms
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic,peeled and finely minced
¼ cup water
12 ounces beer
8 prunes, finely minced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon malt vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce - vegan
¼ teaspoon marmite
4 beefy seitan cutlets
salt and pepper to taste


Combine the mushrooms and water and microwave until water is hot (3 minutes in my microwave). Allow the mushrooms to soak with you make the remainder of the sauce.

Water sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are soft. Add the beer, prunes, Dijon, vinegar, worcestershire and marmite and cook to combine the flavor and allow the prunes to disintegrate. This should happen in about 15 minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms to the sauce. Strain the porcini liquid through 3 layers of cheesecloth or a paper towel lined sieve and add that to the sauce and continue to simmer. Add the beefy seitan cutlets and cook until they are warmed through. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 358.11
Calories From Fat (11%) - 39.37

Total Fat - 4.48g
Saturated Fat - 0.67g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 444.17mg
Potassium - 590.51mg
Total Carbohydrates - 47.15g
Fiber - 5.99g
Sugar - 8.97g
Protein - 30.48g


The sauce is very complex and no individual flavor stands out. Obviously you can see the onions and mushrooms but their flavors don’t dominate. If I hadn’t put the beer in the pot I wouldn’t have known it was in there. The prunes disappear into the sauce (be certain to cut them very small so this happens quickly) so the flavor isn’t obvious. Surprisingly the dish is richer than you would expect from 39 calories from fat.

Each serving of this main dish contains more than 110mg of calcium, 60mcg of folate, 170mg of phosphorus, and 24mcg of selenium.

This dish is very reminiscent of the original. However it doesn’t have the fatty taste or feel that I now find unpleasant. I really enjoyed this dish tonight, and so did the hubby. We had the beefy seitan in rich beer based sauce over broccoli and a green salad with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cucumber with raspberry vinaigrette.

I hope you all have a great evening tonight.


  1. I can imagine the intensity of flavor of this dish...not one single ingredient dominating, but just a depth of flavor that comes from the well-elaborated dish of a skilled cook.


    I wish I would win the lotto or something so I could just stay home and make cool recipes all day...

    ah, we can always dream...

  2. Rose,

    Thanks! :)

    The hubby declared this his favorite "faux-meat" dish yet. I think was definitely a man friendly meal.

    talk to you soon,

  3. Prunes and beer, eh? That's definitely a new one.

  4. Shenandoah,

    I know it sounds like an odd combination. When I first tried the recipe about 20 years ago I thought it sounded weird too. When the sauce has reduced you can't taste any of the ingredients, not the beer, prunes, dijon, none of it. It all combines to make a thick rich sauce. I would suggest you make the sauce (no cutlet) and see what you think. I was shocked the first time by how good it is. No one can ever believe what is in it.


  5. Per your comment above, I also think this is a man-type meal. I think my meat eating hubby would enjoy it. I don't miss meaty dishes at all, but that salad in the photo is screaming my name!!

  6. Janet,

    The hubby loved the seitan and sauce. You may want to try it on the men at your house. The original dish was served with roasted potatoes. I used broccoli instead to increase the nutrition.

    I love a green salad with fresh fruit. My husband used to think that combinatin odd but he has come around and enjoys them now too.

    When I posted this I expected people to think the sauce components were strange, but was hoping a few people were adventurous like me. It is a surprisingly good sauce, and I don't like beer. I have also made it before with fresh sage and that gives it a nice muskiness.


  7. Ooh, I bet the addition of sage is wonderful.

  8. Oh Wow! That looks and sounds like a restaurant dish! I LOVE how you mix fresh fruit with a green salad, YUM!!! I'm so impressed with your recipe, it sounds simple and I think I can give it a try!

  9. Oraphan,

    Thank you so much! What a nice compliment. :) I found the recipe decades ago so I no longer remember where. It is surprisingly rich and complex sauce for no added fat. And, it is really simple.

    For the salad dressing I used raspberry vinegar, a little dijon to emulsify the dressing and walnut oil. The salad was just mixed baby greens, cucumber, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

    talk to you soon,


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