Seitan has to be one of my favourite meat replacement. It can be used to replicate a variety of different meats including chicken, steak and bacon, and bears a close resemblance in terms of both taste and texture. Here is my recipe for a delicious 'beef' style seitan which can be added to any dish as the perfect meat replacement.
Seitan is based on vital wheat gluten, the natural protein found in wheat. It is an amazing plant-based protein source, with approximately 50g of protein per loaf! Seitan is a very popular meat substitute and can now be bought in many supermarkets and local health food stores (often with a fairly hefty price tag), however I prefer to make my own. After perfecting my 'chicken' style seitan, I got to work experimenting to make the perfect 'beef' replica, which I actually found a lot harder and it took a lot longer to get the deeper rich flavours. However after a long time experimenting I am finally ready to share my recipe!
I find the process of making seitan similar to that of bread making, in the sense that you have to knead the dough to develop the gluten - This is what gives seitan the meat-like stringy texture. The time for kneading seitan is widely varied depending on which recipe you are looking at, in general the longer you knead the dough for, the chewier the end-product will be. I like to keep my seitan soft so when using this recipe I only ever kneed for a maximum of 3 minutes! Once the dough is ready, I split my large seitan ball into four smaller portion-sized loaves. There are many different ways to cook seitan, my personal favourite method is steaming as I find this gives the best texture. Then once cooled you can choose to slice or shred your loaves depending on which recipe you are using it in!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
350ml vegan beef stock (I use meat-free oxo)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce (I use biona organic)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp marmite
80g cooked beetroot
225g vital wheat gluten
35g gram flour
20g nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of salt and pepper
Prepare the stock by adding a stock cube/pot to boiling water to make 350ml of stock.
Once the stock has cooled, add to a blender along with the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, tomato puree, marmite, beetroot, and chickpeas, and blend to make a smooth paste.
Meanwhile, add all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine and remove any lumps.
Pour the paste into the dry ingredients and mix until a round dough is formed.
Knead for around 2-3 minutes to develop the gluten (or slightly longer if you want a chewy texture).
Rest the dough for 10 minutes. During this time it is a good idea to start heating up the water for steaming the seitan.
After the dough has finished resting, split the dough into four pieces and kneed into small loaf shapes.
Wrap each of the loaves loosely in tin foil and place in the steamer for 30 minutes, during this time they should expand in size.
Once cooked, carefully remove the seitan from the steamer, unwrap and leave to cool.
Wait for the seitan to fully cool to firm up, then refrigerate or use in a recipe of your choosing. This seitan is perfect for slicing or shredding.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days (I often find it lasts a little longer than this).
Seitan can be frozen for up to 3 months.
For more seitan recipes check out my seitan chicken.
Rather than steaming you can also boil seitan in hot stock or bake in the oven.
Thanks for reading, I hope you love my beef-style seitan recipe and enjoy experimenting by adding it to different dishes! If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!