This is totally a "Me Too! Meee Tooooooo!!!" dish.
Veggies get left outta some really delish holiday cooking traditions - Ham at Xmas, Turkey at Thanksgiving, Lamb on Easter, and let's not forget Corned Beef 'n Cabbage on St. Frat-er-Patty's Day. Are there myriad delish, less carnagey things to eat on those hallowed days? Yes. But sometimes, it's killer to slice into a roast - carving knife in hand, two-pronged fork carefully distributing pieces of (in this case) a savory, peppery loaf of wheat protein. Retro in a 70s cookbook kinda way.
For moi, this is also a memory meal - 9 years old, at my girl Heather's house (the same year I learned that trespassing in a tree nursery guarded by a 90 pound Rottweiler is a good way to end up with a hole in the bottom of yer pants), her wiry/red haired Ma pulling tons of cabbage and beef out of their seemingly hot-tub-sized crock pot. Beef was not something we ate much of at my house, so it was a pretty exotic meal, and this year, I decided to try it veg-style.
And thus we have Crock Pot Cabbage and Corned Seitan
serves 4, easily
for the seitan:
2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons veggie beef boullion powder (like dees)
Tons of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water blended with 10 cloves roasted garlic until the garlic completely dissolves
4 tablespoons earthbalance, melted
2 tablespoons flavorful olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Oil - aerosol form preferred, but you can gently brush the roast with a basting brush if you need to.
1 large head green cabbage, cut into 6ths
4 large carrots
4 medium potatoes, pricked all over with a fork
for the crock pot:
1/2 cup dark beer
4 cups water mixed with 4 tablespoons veggie beef boullion or tamari (or more water - depends on the size of your pot. If you increase, stick with the 1 tablespoon tamari or stock to each cup water ratio)
4 sprigs parsley
2 bouquet garni made from 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tsp celery seeds, and a couple whole cloves each - either wrap them in cheesecloth or use a tea bag
Phew. Looks far more complicated than it is, trust me! Let's go.
Mix your dry seitan ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and blend your wet ingredients together in your blender. As you massage with your left hand, slowly pour the wet into the dry and, using both hands now, knead the seitan until it is uniformly blended and comes together into a loaf.
Put your carrots in the bottom of your pot and sit the seitan on top of them. Add your bouquets, potatoes, parsley and cabbage, nestling them in around the seitan.
Pour your tamari or stock/water mix over everything, and your beer. You want to start with cold water so the seitan has a chance to brine a little bit. Make sure that the top of the loaf is covered.
Check for salt levels - the surrounding broth should have a slightly salty taste. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375f.
Pull the seitan out of the pot carefully and let dry just a little bit on a cutting board over the sink. Whiz your peppercorns and coriander in a blender or spice grinder until it's pretty fine, but not powdery. Dust the seitan with the flour and rub it in just a little, then press your peppercorn/coriander into the crust. Spray lightly with your aerosol oil, put the loaf into a oiled baking pan, and bake for 45 minutes, occasionally spraying it with more oil.
Looks a bit like an asteroid... a delicious asteroid.
Slice thin and serve with the taters, cabbage and carrots. The EarthBalance gives this a slightly more tender, softer texture than using purely oil. Very tasty. Don't be afraid to reduce a bit of the cooking liquid with a little cornstarch for a simple gravy, if you'd like.
Crunchy, savory, lovely. Enjoy my darlings!