Monday, November 9, 2009
Beefy Seitan Cutlets
(pictured: final cooked beefy seitan)
If you read the comments on the posts you know I spent this afternoon working on beefy seitan cutlets. Here is what happened, both the good and the not as good.
I have tried to make beefy seitan before and got frustrated because it didn’t look or taste anything like beef and that was my goal. After brainstorming with Rose I decided to try using a little beet to color the seitan pink, which worked. I also knew I needed a very tender seitan if it was going to be anything like beef. For this I caramelized onions and garlic and then pureed them into the wet ingredients. It added a nice sweetness as well as good color since I used red onion. I also added a tablespoon of olive oil, which added needed fat to the seitan dough.
(pictured: raw seitan waiting to be seared and baked)
As usual I made the wet ingredients by adding things to the blender and pureeing and then tasting and adjusting. This process is tedious and a little annoying but I suppose that is where my tedious and annoying accounting background comes in handy as some brilliant person reminded me today (you know who you are) ;)
The wet texture of these cutlets is much softer than my other versions. I knew right away this would be a good thing in the end and it was. The final texture of these cutlets is amazing, absolutely the best I have made or eaten anywhere (sorry Great Sage). I am thrilled with the texture and may be adding cooked onion to all my cutlets going forward. They are crispy on the exterior (due to the good sear I got on the outside) and very tender on the inside.
The beautiful pink color that I was so happy with when they were raw completely disappeared after they were baked. This was quite a let down, but I reminded myself that the texture was perfect and I shouldn’t pout.
The taste is mild but very nice. I think by using a good bit of Worcestershire and marmite I got an umami that is beef like. I am under no illusion that this tastes like steak. However, it tastes really good, and it is reminiscent of steak so I am happy with that. Enough rambling, here is the recipe.
Beefy Seitan Cutlets
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup water (or what is necessary to make 2 cups of liquid when added to the onion and garlic)
½ tablespoon liquid aminos, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – vegan
1 ½ teaspoons marmite
1 tablespoon raw beet, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion flakes
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 cups vital wheat gluten
Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Now add the garlic and continue to cook stirring occasionally to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn. Cook until the onions and garlic are nicely caramelized, like you are making French onion soup.
Add the onions and garlic to your blender. Cover with enough water to make 2 cups. Now add the liquid aminos, black pepper, Worcestershire, marmite, beet, garlic powder, and onion flakes. Process the wet ingredients in your blender until the mixture is completely smooth and thoroughly combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Stir the breadcrumbs into the wet ingredients. Allow the breadcrumbs and wet to sit for at least 10 minutes. You want the breadcrumb to be thoroughly saturated so they disappear into the seitan dough. Now add the gluten and knead until the wet mixture has absorbed all the gluten. The dough will be softer than you are used to. I think that plays a big role in the tenderness of the finished cutlets.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Form the dough into a large ball and cut into 8 roughly even pieces. Form each piece into a cutlet shape.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet until very hot. I used a cast iron pan and checked the pan temperature with an infrared thermometer. The temperature was 425 degrees. I added a little extra virgin olive oil (about a teaspoon) and added two cutlets. I cooked each cutlet for 3 minutes on each side until crispy on the exterior. Once the cutlet releases form the bottom of the pan easily it is probably crispy enough to flip over. Move each cutlet (thoroughly crisped on top and bottom) to a half sheet pan. Continue to crisp the remaining cutlets.
Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the half sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the pan was dry. I added another 1/2 cup of water and turned the pan around (in case the oven has a hot spot) and baked another 20 minutes. Once again the pan was dry. I checked the bottom of the cutlet and it was beginning to firm and crisp but not enough. I turned the oven off and slid the pan back in the oven to finish drying out the bottom of the cutlet and then checked again in 10 minutes. The bottom was crisp and I removed the pan from the oven so the cutlets could cool.
Nutritional Information (per cutlet):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 219.11
Calories From Fat (16%) - 36.03
Total Fat - 4.06g
Saturated Fat - 0.64g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 260.44mg
Potassium - 168.36mg
Total Carbohydrates - 18.52g
Fiber - 2.48g
Sugar - 2.12g
Protein - 27.67g
This little kitchen experiment was much more successful than I expected. I adore the texture of these cutlets. I have already emailed a photo to my husband to tell him what I made today. I can be such a food geek! In fact I love the texture so much I don’t know that I will actually remove the beet in the next batch since I don’t know what role that plays in the texture and I think it adds a certain background earthiness that I might miss if it were gone.
Nutritionally this is seitan so it doesn’t have much going on except protein. However it does have almost 23mcg of selenium per cutlet so that is a benefit.
You can expect to see more beefy seitan cutlets in future posts. Rose had suggested a vegan version of braciole before Vegan MoFo. My husband was thrilled with this idea since he used to love my braciole (yes my Italian is showing again). I have promised to make that later this week.
I am now off to make dinner for tonight. If I don’t get that posted tonight I will be back with the recipe tomorrow morning.