If you are opposed to meals that strongly resemble ones that omni's eat (sans actual meat of course) then you can skip this. I am not one of those veg*ns who gave up meat because I dislike it. In fact I really like it, except of course for the environmental, societal, and ethical issues involved. I typically don't crave just a piece of meat, but rather dishes based on them. When the weather starts getting cool I start craving soups and stews even more than normal. This is my veganized version of the beef stew I grew up with.
Beefy Seitan Stew
This is a hearty stew, so all the vegetables should be in nice big chunks. The seitan should be in a smaller cube. Seitan typically has very little fat, so the single tablespoon of olive oil here is essential to help minimize sticking. It is still going to happen, especially if you avoid non-stick as I do. I'll post my recipe for simmered seitan tomorrow (yes, I realize I probably should have switched the order of the posts...), the simmering liquid is so good you'll find yourself stealing tastes frequently!
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb beef style seitan, diced (homemade is best)
1 med onion, diced
1/2 lb carrots, diced
1 inner heart of celery, including leaves, or 2 lg ribs, diced
1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine (I used pino noir, but use whatever you have on hand)
1/4 lb green beans, chopped
1 lb red potatoes, diced
1 1/2 cup seitan simmering liquid, or "no beef" broth
1 sm russet potato, peeled and chopped fine (this acts as a thickener, hence the fine dice)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3-5 roasted garlic cloves, mashed (or go crazy and use a whole head of roasted garlic)
Salt and fresh pepper to taste.
Preheat your oven to 300 and adjust the rack to the lower 1/3 of oven.
Place an oven-proof stock pot with a tight fitting lid over medium heat (lid off, obviously). Add olive oil then seitan. Don't try to stir it right away, it's going to stick. Cook a minute or so, then stir it, scrapping the bottom as necessary. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook three minutes, stirring a couple times. Add seasonings and stir to coat. Pour in half of the red wine and stir, scrapping the fond off the bottom of the pan. Simmer several minutes, or until the wine has reduced to almost dry. Add the green beans, potatoes, seitan simmering liquid, and tomatoes. Bring to a bubble, put on the lid, and place the whole thing into the oven.
Bake an hour and a half, checking it about half way through, just to make sure there is still sufficient liquid in the pot.
Remove pan from oven, place on a heat-proof surface, and remove lid. Mix a few tablespoons of the stew liquid into the roasted garlic paste to thin it out. Stir in garlic, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper. Replace lid and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. (This is a great time to crank up the oven to 425 and bake a quick batch of drop biscuits or toast up some buttery sourdough!)
Serve with fresh bread. Be comforted.