The moment when I plated up these fantastic cutlets for photographing may have been the single proudest moment of my culinary existence. Each time I look at the pictures, even I can’t quite believe these steaks are vegan!
I know there are many who feel that meat substitutes are needless and some who may even find these ‘steaks’ offensive, but I really feel that these kinds of alternatives are necessary for a lot of vegans, especially during transition. I’d even go as far as to say that I’m convinced many people who still eat meat would consider veganism if they tried these steaks.
Just to be clear, they don’t taste exactly like beef or any other meat, but they come closer in texture than most meat substitutes I have tried. They are somewhat chewy (without getting stuck in your teeth – ew!) yet pleasantly smooth. I’m a firm believer that the key to a great tasting meat alternative is to use the right marinade or seasoning. For this recipe I have used both.
First, the seitan steaks are marinated in red wine and seitan stock for a phenomenal flavour hit. To compliment this, the steaks are then coated in my special seasoning, as used in my crispy roast potato recipe, and shallow fried to perfection. If you’re looking for something to wow the vegan-sceptics in your life, this just might be it!
NOTE: I recommend using Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe to make your own seitan. You can find the recipe on her blog or in the 10th anniversary edition of her book Vegan with a Vengeance. Follow Isa’s fool proof instructions, but be sure that after kneading the seitan you roll it into a log shape and cut into six pieces before cooking. This will give you the steak shape as shown in my photos. You will only need half the seitan for this recipe so you can make another delicious seitan dish with the rest! You can buy vital wheat gluten to make the seitan online.
This recipe is shared with Healthy Vegan Fridays and Plant-Based Potluck Party.
Red Wine Seitan Steaks
Makes 6 steaks
Three pieces of homemade seitan made according to this recipe, see note above
½ quantity of special seasoning from this recipe
Olive oil spray
Marinade: 1 cup seitan stock, from cooking the seitan
1 cup red wine (check the label as some wines are not suitable for vegans)
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried tarragon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
- First, slice each piece of seitan into two thinner ‘steaks’. In a medium-sized food container with a lid, combine the marinade ingredients. Place the seitan steaks in the marinade and replace the lid securely. Carefully give the container a shake to distribute the marinade evenly amongst the steaks. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- After marinating, remove the seitan steaks from the marinade. The marinade can be saved for another use – it should keep for a few days in the fridge. Sprinkle a generous layer of special seasoning on each side of the steaks.
- Place a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and spray with olive oil. When hot, add the steaks and press down lightly with a spatula. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on both sides and heated through.