Seitan pot pie

I am not going to post a picture because quite frankly, Seitan looks disgusting. But in the spirit of enquiry I steeled myself to make this. The recipe is adapted from one in Veganomican which has become my bible this month. I’ve learned a lot in the process.

So. Seitan? It is wheat gluten – obviously no good for wheat intolerants – separated from the rest of the wheat. You can make it yourself and I haven’t tried that yet, Instead I bought some ready-made in a jar from Rainbow Wholefoods. It looks distressingly faecal. Sorry!

Drain the liquid and marinaded the seitan chunks in dark soy sauce, a squeeze of agave nectar, a crushed clove of garlic and a little cayenne for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, sauté a cup of finely diced onion, another of carrot, another of celery and celeriac, plus some garlic, in about 75ml olive or rapeseed oil till soft and then add 3 tablespoons of gram (chickpea) flour which is really soft and a beautiful creamy yellow. Turn the heat down and keep stirring, you are aiming for the colour to deepen. After 4-5 minutes, add 1 teaspoon of mustard powder and gently pour in 100ml white wine, stirring all the time till the sauce thickens. Then add the seitan and its marinade, about 100ml vegetable stock and some frozen peas. Because i have become obsessed with Freekah this month, I also added a tablespoon of that too. Cook it gently for about 15 minutes till all the flavours have combined and the vegetables are soft.

When I tasted it I was so surprised, and delighted, to find the flavour deeply savoury and with no need for further seasoning. Pour into a deep pie dish (cute little porcelain blackbird in the middle) and let it cool.

Meanwhile make pastry! 50g wholewheat flour, 50g plain flour and 50g gram flour, a spoon-end of baking powder with some salt and 75g margarine (yes, in the old days, it would have been butter!) roughly rubbed in and bound with unsweetened almond milk till it comes together in the bowl. Cover and leave till you are ready and the seitan and vegetables are cooled. Then roll out the pastry between two sheets if parchment paper, make a little running strip of pastry around the edge of the dish, moisten the top and then lay on the pastry lid and crimp up the edges. Make a milk wash by mixing one teaspoon of mustard powder with 25ml almond milk and brush it all over the top and the edges of the pastry. Place in the centre of the oven at 190c for about 30 minutes or until the juices are bubbling up around the blackbird and the pastry is golden.

Served with peppery potato and leek mash let down with olive oil, and dark savoy cabbage it makes a hearty supper. I cannot tell a lie. So long as you do not have to look at seitan, in this dish it tasted delicious! I would be interested to hear from you if you use seitan regularly- tell me what you cook!

5 thoughts on “Seitan pot pie

  1. Well, despite the fact I’ve been vegetarian for the past 27 years I have never had the nerve to cook with Seitan! I have bought it but it has lain in the fridge for months bothering me every time I opened the fridge door! Finally, it was cast into the dustbin without seeing the light of day. So …. I am delighted to see that you have taken the brave step of trying a recipe. And what a recipe! It sounds fantastic and so tasty. I shall go and buy some seitan and get cracking. As to the freekeh – I thought “what the freeken heck is freekah?!” and so I ‘googled’ it and now I know. Must keep my eyes peeled for some of that. Thanks, Dawn x

  2. When I used to teach Home Economics we used to do a session on the science of breadmaking and one activity was to make a ball of flour and water dough, then wash it, squeezing constantly, under cold running water. Eventually we would be left with this rubbery brown substance that was in fact the gluten. When we baked it to see how it behaved in heat, the most unbelievably savoury and delicious aroma filled the room. I remember it as very like scrummy roast chicken skin – ultimate unami.
    Well – now I’ve learned from you that it has a name and can be bought! Yo xxx

  3. Dawn, I bought Veganomican last January in readiness for a good six months (or lifetime) switch to a vegan diet. It was hard going, partly because my advisor was in the USA and she took a great deal of knowledge for granted. The ingredients also have different names in different countries. The staff at the Rainbow were wonderful. I want to give them a “heads up” on your site. They reached a point of sheer belly laughing whenever I came into the shop with a new list of ingredients and…………they never ever commented on my fur coat. (Rainbow does not sell anything that has an animal ingredient.) Also, Wild Thyme upstairs is one of the best vegan, vegetarian restaurants I have ever found (another plug).

    Good luck with your next steps. If you stick to it, you will feel amazing – I’ve stopped dairy, gluten, sugar altogether and am hooked on chia seeds in virtually everything (!) Enjoy yourself, Diane.

    PS. Have not had a cold, flu or any form of illness in 5 years……………..probably just luck.

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