Manischewitz-braised Seitan, Mashed Potatoes, Greens, Marjoram

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Seitan? Fake meat?  Not so much.  It takes a little bit of work, and I haven’t mastered making it from scratch yet, but seitan is a legitimate food product in it’s own right. It’s no more processed than bread and one cold even argue that it takes less equipment to make. It has hundreds of years of tradition behind it and making the good stuff is truly an art form. And just because it cooks a lot like meat doesn’t mean it’s trying to be meat. Now that we’ve gotten that out of our way, this is a super-exciting dish to me. I love manischewitz wine. Deal with it. It’s fermented concord grapes.  But to cook with, I highly suggest Mogen David brand concord grape wine - it’s still sweet but the flavor is much clearer. I also include fresh concord grapes in the recipe even though they’re season is already done for the year.  they add a nice touch but the dish stands without them. This dish is a lot like the common Port Seitan that’s served at a lot of vegan restaurants, also similar to Veal Marsala. It’s just better than them. 

  • 1 pint seitan (preferably home made or ray’s brand), cut into relatively even sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoons coriander, toasted and ground
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 cippolinis, peeled whole
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 8 slices dried porcini, rehydrated in hot salted water 
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ bottle concord grape wine 
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup seeded concord grapes, with their skins
  • 400g Yukon potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 heads of garlic, sliced in across the middle
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • ½ teaspooon of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly picked and chopped marjoram

Heat an oven to 325. Lay the seitan out in a single layer on a flat surface.  Season it generously with salt, pepper, and the ground coriander.  Flip the seitan and repeat.  Heat ¼ inch of oil in a large pan until it’s rippling and then fry the seitan in a single layer on both side until a deep golden brown.  Remove it from the pan and replenish the oil drop in the cippolinis, shallots, and garlic. Sear the alliums all over, until medium brown all around. Remove the porcinis from the water (reserving the liquid) and add them to the pan. Sear on either side, just about 1 minute.  Season the alliums and mushrooms with salt. Add in the tomato paste and stir the contents of the pot.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook the paste until it changes color.  Add the seitan back to the pot and then add the wine. Reduce by 1/3 and then add the porcini re-hydrating water.  Add the whole sprigs of sage, marjoram, and thyme and the bay leaves.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Pop in the oven for one hour. Adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding water or reducing it over an open flame if need be. Season with salt and red wine vinegar, if need be. Let rest while you prepare the rest of the meal.

In another pot  heat olive oil with the diced shallot.  Add in the greens and the seeded grapes.  Season with salt and cook in their own liquid until very tender. 

Meanwhile cover the potatoes with cold water, add in a bunch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until completely tender.  In another pot, combine the olive oil, garlic, sugar and soy milk and cook over low heat the whole time the potatoes are cooking.  When ready to serve, drain the potatoes and mash them with the soy milk mixture, adding in a little at a time to get the right consistency, and making sure to discard all the garlic skin.  Adjust the seasoning with salt.  

To serve:  reheat the braised seitan gently, folding in the picked and chopped marjoram.  Reheat the greens, if need be.  

Spoon the potatoes onto a plate.  Make a bed of greens next to the potatoes.  Cover everything with the seitan and it’s braisage.