Sunday, September 4, 2011

Roast no-Beast

I have been promising to post this particularly long recipe for a while.  It is not hard but I do not make it very often because it takes five hours start to finish.  Now, four of those hours are completely inactive, but I know that kind of commitment to food just is not possible for most of us.  

That being said, this is so worth it and I do not buy store bought sandwich slices anymore.  This started out as Sham (replaces ham slices) and was developed into Roast no-Beast (replacing roast beef), and now it is sometimes Fakey (you guessed it, turkey) and Shicken (umm, I have kids don't judge the names, chicken).  This blog will be on the no-Beast variation but I will get the variations up when I get back from retreat -- so you guys will look forward to my return.  :)

I am a visual learner and this recipe has a lot of steps so I hope you like the pictures - so many pictures - included in this post.  

ground almonds - 5 tablespoons
smoked tofu - 7 ounces 
         (I have only been able to find this at Winco and the package is 7.14 ounces and I throw it all in)
No Beef base Bullion - 1 tablespoon
Soy sauce - 1 tablespoon
Kitchen Bouquet - 1 tablespoon
Liquid Smoke - 1 tablespoon
Tomato paste - 1 tablespoon
Ketchup - 1 tablespoon
Vegetable oil 3 tablespoons
Finely chopped onion - 1/4 cup
Brown sugar - 2 tablespoons
Nutritional yeast - 1 tablespoon
Minced garlic - 1 teaspoon
Black pepper - 3/4 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Vital wheat gluten - 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons
Red wine of your choice - at least 1 cup for deglazing with.

If you’re starting with whole almonds, grind them in the food processor first and set aside.

Crumble the tofu into the blender. 
Put the bouillon in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of very hot water to activate. Then add the soy sauce, Kitchen bouquet, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and ketchup to the measuring cup.  Top up to the 150 ml measure line on the glass with either your red wine of choice or water (this should only be a tablespoon or two total added liquid).

Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten and reserved wine. This means you are filling the blender with the veggie oil, onion, sugar, nooge, garlic, pepper and salt. :)  

Add this liquid mess to the blender, scraping out the glass with a rubber spatula if needed.

Blenderize until completely smooth. You now have the beginnings of a 'meat' shake.  :)
Empty into a large mixing bowl with the vital wheat gluten.

Stir the gluten and 'meat' shake together with your hands until evenly combined.
 You’ll have a soft dough. Do not over mix or knead the dough, I know it doesn't look like much now but with the magic of steam this will be your sandwich slices. 
Turn out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and form into a log.

Wrap it up tight by rolling it down the sheet.  I do this twice, once the fat way and once the skinny way.

Then wrap it again in two to three layers of aluminium foil being careful to keep the seams from lining up. Essentially you want to keep all the magic steam from actually getting into your soon to be yummy sandwich filling. 

I mark the fat sides 1-4 with a sharpie to make the next step easier.
Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam for two hours over gently simmering water, turning roll a quarter turn every half hour (I start with the 1 facing up and keep track of turns by the numbers). 

Place in the steamer (don't be confused by the double loaf, I made two but these instructions are for a SINGLE loaf).
Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add hot water as necessary.  Remember to turn the loaf every 30 minutes.  Turn heat off and let sit in the steamer to rest for two hours. 

  Carefully unwrap and slice. 

Voila!  You have sandwich slices.  These are ready to go as is, and with all the other variations you stop here, but for me, the roast needs a final step.

Take your slices and julianne them.

Get olive oil heating in a cast iron skillet (the cast iron really does give the best flavor results). 

Add the roast strips to the hot oil in the pan and sauté briefly.
Splash in some of that red wine to deglaze.

 Remove from heat after letting it saute just a bit more.
That gristly goodness you just created is now ready for some dense, nutty wheat bread and mustard, served with the cold beverage of your choice.  I recommend a cold cider myself.   

This recipe makes a large loaf about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds.  It keeps well in a sealed plastic container in the fridge for two weeks or so.  

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