Seitan is one of those things that sound weird to non-vegans. You’re eating what for dinner?! But, once you get past the name, it’s actually really good. It’s very high in protein and extremely versatile – chop it up and use it in curries and stir fries, mould it into sausages or burgers, make slices to put in your sandwiches…and so on. It’s made from Vital Wheat Gluten, which is gluten (the protein) isolated from wheat flour. It used to be made by washing regular wheat flour over and over again to get rid of all the starch, which is a laborious process, but luckily today you can buy it in bags from your local health food shop. If they don’t have it in stock ask, they should be able to order it for you!
For today’s VeganMoFo challenge, we are to do a “Holiday Test Run” and this year we have decided to make a Wellington. Not a pair of waterproof boots, but a roast wrapped in duxelles and puff pastry.
The centre of this wellington is a steamed seitan log, which is seasoned with rosemary and oregano, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, onion and garlic powder, and more. Spread around that are “duxelles” which are finely chopped mushrooms sauteed with onion, garlic, and parsley. Finally, wrap the whole thing in puff pastry, brush with melted vegan butter, and put in the oven.
It bakes in the oven for 45-50 minutes – perfect timing for your roast potatoes – until lovely and golden brown and then can be sliced and served!
This recipe does take some time to do – as you need to make the seitan and cool it before assembling the wellington – but it’s well worth it. If you’re making it for your Christmas dinner you could make the seitan and the duxelles the day before, keep them in the fridge, and just assemble it all before you bake it. Easy!
For the Seitan
- 225g vital wheat gluten
- 25g nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- few grinds black pepper
- 1 tbsp marmite (sub miso if you don’t have marmite)
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 250ml water
For the Duxelles
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 350g mushrooms, finely chopped or pulsed to a mince in a food processor
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 sheet vegan puff pastry
- 1 tbsp vegan butter, melted, for brushing
- First, prepare your seitan. Get a steamer ready to use as it won’t take long to bring the ingredients together.
- Mix all the dry ingredients for the seitan together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the marmite and boiling water together and mix to a paste.
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to form a dough. Knead for 3 minutes until springy.
- Form the dough into a rough log shape – about 2 inches in diameter – and place on a sheet of tin foil.
- Wrap the dough in the tinfoil like you would a Christmas cracker. Don’t worry about getting it too neat – just make sure it’s all enclosed – as the seitan will spring into shape whilst steaming.
- Place the wrapped seitan in your steamer and steam for 35 minutes.
- Remove the seitan from the foil and leave to cool completely.
- Next, make the duxelles. Begin by melting the butter in a frying pan and adding the onion and garlic.
- Fry those until translucent, and then add the mushrooms and parsley.
- Fry until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and it has cooked off – 15-20 minutes. You should be left with a paste-like mixture. Season to taste and leave to cool.
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
- Finally, assemble the wellington. Spread a layer of the duxelles on the puff pastry (the same length and width as your seitan).
- Place your seitan on top of the duxelles, and spread the rest of the mushrooms on top and on the sides of the seitan.
- Wrap the wellington in the puff pastry sheet and score the top to allow air to release.
- Brush with the melted vegan butter – this gives it the golden colour when baked.
- Place in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- Serve with your preferred sides!