If you can’t find vegan puff pastry to use as a lid for this pot pie, use a piecrust mix to make pie dough instead. Feel free to play around with the filling and omit the seitan if you want—but whatever you use should add up to a similar amount. Try using a mixture of mushrooms and cooked root vegetables in winter, or in summer, add uncooked peas, asparagus, or broccoli to the sauce before the lid is added.
1 sheet of prepared vegan puff pastry
3 tablespoons neutral cooking or olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 –1 2/3 cups hot vegan vegetable broth
2 teaspoons vegan whole-grain mustard (optional)
1 1/4 cups small shredded chicken-style seitan pieces (recipes follows)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or tarragon, or a mixture
salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE GLAZE:
1 tablespoon unsweetened dairy-free milk (not nut-based to keep it nut-free)
1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or light corn syrup
mashed or new potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet, add the onion, leek, and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add another tablespoon of the oil, the mushrooms, and garlic. Cook for another 5–10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to caramelize.
3. Reduce the heat low, then add the remaining oil and the flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then slowly begin to add 1 1/2 cups of the broth, a little at a time, stirring well and adding more only when each amount has been incorporated. The sauce will be thin at this point. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the mustard, if using, then season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Stir in the shredded seitan, then remove from the heat. If the sauce is dry, add the remaining broth.
4. Whisk together the glaze ingredients.
5. Unroll the pastry sheet and place a pie plate upside down on it. Using a sharp knife, score out a lid, including a 3/4 inch overhang. Grease the edge of the dish, then pour in the seitan mixture. Carefully lift the pastry lid on top, arranging the overhang neatly. Cut two 1 1/4-inch vents in the center of the pastry to let steam escape and prevent a soggy underside, then brush with the glaze.
6. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and is golden brown and crisp all over. Serve with potatoes and seasonal greens.
You can use mock duck (a Chinese gluten- and soy-based protein that is excellent in pies, casseroles, and stir-fries) in place of the seitan.
Light or Chicken-style Seitan
Seitan or “wheat meat” is made from vital wheat gluten flour, which is ordinary flour that has had its starch washed away. It has been used for centuries in Chinese and Japanese cooking—if you’ve ever eaten mock duck in a Chinese restaurant, then you’ve already tasted a kind of seitan. It is high in protein and its texture works well as a meat substitute. You can buy prepared seitan, but making it at home means you can customize it to suit your recipes, adding flavorings, such as ground cumin, tomato paste, miso, chili, or sweet smoked paprika, to the mix, or slathering the cooked dough in jerk, barbecue, or teriyaki sauce. We have experimented A LOT with seitan dough, and although many recipes suggest simmering it in broth, we find that makes the seitan spongy and mushy; steaming works best for us.
Makes 1 Cup
Prep time: 15 MINS | Rest time: 30 MINS | Cook time: 50 MINS
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 tablespoons chickpea (besan) flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or Maggi liquid seasoning (to keep it soy-free)
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast, crumbled until fine
1. Mix together the vital wheat gluten and chickpea flours. Add the soy sauce or Maggi and the water and mix to form a dough. Seitan needs to be kneaded until it is firm, so transfer the dough onto a clean work surface dusted with flour and knead for 5–10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and tight. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Roll the dough into a cylindrical log shape. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped dough in a steamer, cover, and steam for 50 minutes, or until the dough is waxy in appearance, firm, and no longer sticky to touch. Unwrap and let cool completely before using.
3. For extra flavor, slice or shred, then briefly sauté the seitan in a splash of cooking oil over medium heat, until slightly browned, before using.
4. Cooked seitan dough freezes well or keep it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days.
Chantal can’t eat gluten, so invented this: blend 1 (15-oz) can of lima beans and its liquid until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce, 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and gluten-free bouillon powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon each onion powder and miso paste, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and stir well. Add 1 cup gluten-free bread flour and mix to form a dough, then knead for 5 minutes. Cook as above, dividing the dough into 2 logs and greasing the parchment paper. When ready, the dough will spring back when pressed. Cool before slicing. It will keep, covered in water in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.
You can turn this dish into a beefier, dark seitan by adding an extra 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the dough.
Recipe excerpted from Leon Fast Vegan by Rebecca Seal, Chantal Symons & John Vincent. Copyright 2019 Hachette Book Group.
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