I made a pretty good vegan Moroccan stew recently, and it reminded me a lot of the stews I had in my childhood. But the stews I had in my childhood had large chunks of beef that were very chewy, and I want to see if I can mimic that. Is there any vegan product I can buy (or recipe I can make) that approximates the texture of tough cuts of beef?
It seems to be generally felt that seitan does a decent job masquerading as beef, and it's the chewiest meat substitute I know of.
Here's a recipe based on the seitan recipe used in The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman for the various beef-style burgers in the book. You might find that some kind of packaged seitan works fine for you too. This recipe makes about 800g. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week and can be frozen.
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water, more as needed
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or coriander
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black or white pepper to taste
- about 750ml water
- 1/2 cup tamari/soy sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced in half
- 5 laurel bay leaves
- 3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
- Mix the flours and water and knead the dough well, then let it rest for 20 minutes
- Cover the dough with water and knead it until the water goes cloudy. Drain off the water. Repeat 10 times. Don't worry if the water is still cloudy, that's ok.
- Knead the other ingredients into the dough.
- Put the broth ingredients into a pot and bring to simmering point
- Form the dough into a log and wrap in cheesecloth (muslin), tying the ends with cotton string or making a knot. (If you don't have cheesecloth, you can try with greaseproof baking paper - I have managed this in the past but I don't know if everyone has the same type of baking paper.)
- Put the seitan into the simmering broth and cook for 90 minutes, turning occasionally if it's not fully submerged.
- Allow to cool, remove from the wrapping (use water to unstick if needed) and cut into whatever kind of pieces you want.