Vegan Brisket.

The title alone might have you doing a double take. Did she really just say that in the same sentence…? No freaking way that’s possible. Well, my dears, it’s quite possible. Behold:

brisket1

Brisket. And I promise you, that baby’s 100% vegan. 🙂

Have you ever realized how sometimes the best recipes come from mistakes? One afternoon, about a year ago, I was wanting to create a jerky type substitute for my boyfriend and I to take to an upcoming music festival. While I really enjoy Primal Strips jerky, I am always looking for ways to recreate processed foods. My food philosophy is one of “Don’t eat foods your great-great-grandma wouldn’t have eaten.” AKA all of this processed garbage that people call food. Based on the research I’ve done over the years, I’ve concluded that the main cause of obesity and most diseases is the processed foods in our diet. I have eliminated almost all processed foods, give or take a few indulgences on holidays, and few other exceptions. For the most part, I cook all of our meals from scratch, using foods that were processed the least amount possible. I am also a lacto-vegetarian, meaning, I still consume some dairy in the form of quality, organic cheese and butter. Since I stopped eating processed foods, I have not gotten sick once! I have not been to a doctor in over 2 years and I have not had any sickness that wasn’t self-induced. 😉

While the ingredients in Primal Strips aren’t the worst, there are a couple that I don’t typically include in my diet. Offender #1: Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil. I also don’t trust soy products that aren’t certified organic. While they can write “Non-GMO” on the label all day, often times food manufacturers add labels like that without the ingredient actually qualifying for it in any way. Therefore, if it’s not certified organic soy, there’s just no way to be sure. And I won’t consume it.

Now, I’ve said all that to say.. The jerky experiment didn’t come out as expected. It came out better. It came out… Brisket. 🙂

vegbrisket

I made this brisket in the oven, however, I am positive you can finish it up on the grill. (In fact, now I can’t wait until the next time I make this, since grilling season is upon us!) Unfortunately, I don’t have absolute measurements, so you will have to bear with me. Please feel free to adjust the seasonings and amount of liquid/gluten as needed.

Vegan Brisket

You will need:

  • 1-2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • Organic Vegetable Broth
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Organic Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Mustard (Powder or Prepared)
  • Garlic & Onion Powders
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Poultry Seasoning (Yes, that’s vegan! LOL)
  • Dash of Chili Powder or Cayenne (Optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Any other seasonings you prefer! This recipe is very flexible!!! 🙂
  • LOTS of BBQ Sauce! (Look for sauces with minimal ingredients and definitely NO HFCS! Or you can make your own.)

Combine the vital wheat gluten with the nutritional yeast and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. You’ll want to make about 1 cup of liquid ‘meat broth.’ (Make sure you taste the seasoning here to make sure you have the flavor you like!) Now, add the liquid to the VWG mixture a tiny bit at a time. You want enough liquid to form a firm dough ball, very similar to bread dough. Knead briefly and let rest for about 10 minutes or so. While you are waiting, oil a casserole dish lightly with either grapeseed or coconut oil. Now, knead the gluten dough again, this time massaging in a little BBQ sauce. Pour some BBQ sauce into the bottom of the sauce pan and then begin to spread your dough into the dish. This might time some time, as gluten is not the easiest, nor most pliable, dough to work with. Be patient, and your reward will be great! 🙂

brisket

After what might seem like an endless game of tug-of-war with the gluten, it will finally yield to your demand and take the shape of the casserole dish. Pour a good layer of BBQ sauce on top and spread evenly with a pastry brush. Cook the brisket in a preheated oven @ 250 degree Fahrenheit for several hours. You will want to continue to (carefully) flip and baste the brisket with BBQ sauce while it cooks. I did this about every 20-30 minutes. The cooking time will vary on the thickness of your brisket, and honestly, all the times I’ve made this, I didn’t keep track. I would say it takes somewhere around 4-5 hours to get it right. You can always increase the heat if you are in a hurry, however, just like real brisket, the slower you cook it (and the more you baste it with yummy BBQ sauce) the thicker the outside crust gets and the more tender and moist on the inside…. When grilling this, I would let it cook about halfway in the oven before basting completely with BBQ sauce, wrapping in foil, and transferring to a hot grill for the duration. It will be nice and firm when it’s finished! I hope you give this recipe a shot and maybe freak some carnivore friends out! 😉

Happy (meatless) BBQ-ing!

Please ‘like’ my post on Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #67!

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