- Written by Mattie
During the holidays of my youth I used to look forward to various animal-based table centerpieces that symbolized the crowning achievement of the feast. This high-protein, savory focal point would involve hours of anticipation, planning and boast a supporting role from several more simple, rustic freshly prepared vegetable dishes. As I became older and came to prefer a diet free from animal products, holiday meals consisted of me either avoiding the animal-based centerpiece or finding myself lucky enough to be in a situation where all of the dishes consisted of the rustic, vegetable-based fare.
I still miss the excitement and curiosity that goes along with a savory centerpiece: How tender will it be when I slice into it? What succulent surprises will I find? Oh and the aromas wafting thorugh the house! I wanted to bring this excitement to vegan holiday feasts when I set out to create Seitan Roulade.
Seitan Roulade consists of a sheet of wheat gluten covered with a panko mushroom stuffing that's been simmered in a red wine balsamic reduction. It's then wrapped into a roll, glazed with Apricot Glaze and sprigs of thyme are placed on top before the roulade is tied with twine. The roulade is then baked in a dutch oven, sliced, served and drizzled with a gravy such as Gracious Gravy. This is a similar centerpiece to Stuffed Seitan but is a little more involved because it involves glaze, and the use of a dutch oven. The dutch oven helps the roulade retain it's shape, stay moist and become infused with aroma from the thyme sprigs.
½ cup (118 ml) apricot preserves or jam
3 Tablespoons (44 ml) whole grain mustard
1 medim shallot, chopped coarse
1 ½ (7 ml) teaspoons tahini
¼ teaspoon (1 g) salt
Wheat Gluten Sheet
2/3 cup (156 ml) lentils, measured cooked
¾ cup (177 ml) water
¼ cup (59 ml) shoyu
¼ cup (59 ml) olive oil
2 Tablespoons (13 g) nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon (.5 g) thyme
½ teaspoon (.5 g) sage
½ teaspoon (.5 g) rosemary
½ teaspoon (1 g) black pepper
½ teaspoon (1 g) nutmeg
½ teaspoon (1 g) onion granules
¼ teaspoon (1 g) garlic granules
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) liquid smoke
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) liquid smoke
1 ½ cups (205 g) wheat gluten flour
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil
½ teaspoon (1 g) cumin seeds
1 red onion, chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 3 cups (228 g) shiitake mushrooms chopped into ¼ inch pieces (feel free to pulse in a food processor)
1 ½ teaspoons (8 g) salt
1 cup (237 ml) red wine
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 cup (64 grams) panko or breadcrumbs
about half of a stalk of celery, chopped to ¼ inch cubes
Prepare the glaze
Place the apricot preserves, mustard, shallot, tahini and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the wheat gluten sheet
Preheat your oven to 325F (163C). In a food processor or blender add the lentils, water, shoyu, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, thyme, sage, rosemary, black pepper, nutmeg, onion granules, garlic granules and liquid smoke. Purée until smooth.
Add the wheat gluten flour to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the wheat gluten flour and stir until well incorporated. Knead the wheat gluten mixture in the mixing bowl for 5 minutes.
Place the ball of wheat gluten on a smooth, clean surface and roll out into a 12 x 12 inch square using a rolling pin. You may have to work a little to roll it. Don't be afraid to press the rolling rolling pin into the wheat gluten to squish it into place. It will want to spring back but keep rolling and it will eventually spread out. Despite your efforts, the wheat gluten may roll into any shape except a square. Feel free to use clean scissors to cut off any excess and roll them back into the sheet where needed.
Line a baking sheet that is at least 13 x 13 inches with parchment paper or liberally grease with vegetable oil and place the wheat gluten sheet on top. It’s a good idea to give the wheat gluten a final roll session to ensure it’s in a 12 x 12 inch square. Cover the sheet with tin foil and poke about 6 holes on the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking duration to ensure even baking. Remove the wheat gluten from the oven, carefully remove the tin foil and allow to cool.
Prepare the filling
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and add the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and saute until they start to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Now add the red onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, salt and saute until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and balsamic vinegar then simmer for about 10 more minutes or until the mixture is slightly runny. Remove from heat and whisk in the bread crumbs and celery. Set aside.
Assemble the roulade
Ensure that your oven is still heated to 325F (163C). Spread the filling evenly over the top of the wheat gluten, leaving a 1 inch part of bare wheat gluten on the upper edge. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to compress the filling, twisting as you lift up so the glass separates from the filling. Grasp the edge of the wheat gluten closest to you and roll it away from you, pinching the wheat gluten as you roll so it's rolled into a cylinder.
Cut 2, 5 foot pieces of butcher's twine and tie each one around opposite sides of the wheat gluten so it will retain its roulade shape. Tie each string of butchers twine around the roulade, working your way inward towards the middle. Tie bothe srings together where they meet in the middle. Liberally brush the roulade with Apricot Mustard glaze. Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to cover the bottom and a couple sides of your dutch oven. This step is crucial because if you omit the parchment paper and just coat the dutch oven with vegetable oil, the roulade will stick. Don't ask me how I know. Place your roulade into the dutch oven, bending it into a horseshoe shape and making sure the roulade is touching only parchment paper.
Bake to perfection
Bake the roulade for 1 hour. If your dutch oven is large enough and you're feeding more than six guests, you can bake 2 roulades in your dutch oven. If you choose to do this, bake them for 1 ½ hours. Remove the dutch oven from your oven, take off the cover and allow the roulade to cool for 15 minutes before lifting it onto a cutting board slicing with a serrated knife. Using a serrated knife is important because you want to slice the roulade without compressing it so the filling stays intact. Serve with Gracious Gravy drizzled on top. It can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Vegan Seitan Roulade serves about 4 to 6 people.
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