A simple, easy, rustic and hearty Vegan Roast that's sliceable, ultra tender and full of flavour. Just perfect for serving with copious amounts of gravy, roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Leftovers are great in sandwiches too!
PREP TIME: 15 minutesminutes
COOK TIME: 1 hourhour10 minutesminutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hourhour25 minutesminutes
1½ cups / 270gcanned white beans, drained and rinsed *
1 cup / 200gartichoke hearts, ideally packed in oil as they are more flavourful but in water is fine too. Squeeze them gently to remove any excess liquid before measuring.
To a food processor add the beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, nutritional yeast, tamari or soy sauce, black pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme, Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base and water. As it's a paste you don't need to dissolve it in the water. Just throw it all in. See notes for alternatives to the Better Than Bouillon.
Turn the food processor on and process until well combined and smoothish. It doesn't have to be super smooth. Very small lumps are ok. (see my pictures in the post above to see exactly how it should look).
Add the vital wheat gluten to the food processor and pulse until a dough is starting to form then tip out onto a clean surface. Bring it together with your hands and knead for 7 minutes. You can knead in a stand mixer if you prefer not doing it by hand, but don't use your food processor to knead. By the time you have finished kneading, the dough should be starting to look fibrous. See my picture in the post above as a guide. If it isn't, knead for a few minutes more.
Shape the dough into a log shape roughly 8½ inches long and 4 inches wide.
Get a long piece of foil (around 20 inches long) and place the roast right at the end of it, long side of the roast along the shortest side of the foil. Roll it up in the foil. Keep rolling it until you reach the end, so that the roast is surrounded by a few layers of foil. Then twist each end tightly shut so it looks like a Christmas cracker.
Place the foil wrapped roast onto a baking tray and place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Turn it over and bake for another 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Do not be tempted to open the foil. Leave it to rest in the foil for at least 30 minutes before opening and slicing, but it will stay warm for a few hours if you don't unwrap it. For a much firmer roast, cool then refrigerate before slicing.
*Any white beans such as white kidney beans, lima beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans are ok to use. Canned beans are better for this than home-cooked beans, but if you are going to cook them yourelf from dried, be sure that they are cooked until soft like canned beans are. ** Use coconut aminos if you are avoiding soy sauce*** Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base gives the very best "chicken-y" flavour in this recipe but if you can't find it, use ½ cup of strong tasting vegetable or mushroom stock instead of the Better Than Bouillon and the water. Or use 2 stock cubes dissolved in the half ½ cup water already in the recipe. See my note about salt below if using an alternative. ****Do not use anything other vital wheat gluten. Nothing else will work. And for the best results weigh the vital wheat gluten on a kitchen scale. Cup measurements are not accurate enough when measuring flour-like substances and if you use too much it will greatly affect the texture of the finished roast. There is no salt listed in the ingredients because Better Than Bouillon is pretty salty and extra is not necessary. However if you are using something other than Better Than Bouillon, you might need to add a little salt. I suggest tasting a little tiny bit of the mixture prior to adding the vital wheat gluten, and adding salt gradually to taste as necessary. Remember that the salt will be further diluted by the addition of the vital wheat gluten so make allowances for that. Salt is very important for flavour in this recipe so be generous. The roast can be prepped and shaped up to 3 days ahead then stored in the fridge until you need to cook it. Remove it from the fridge 1 hour before putting it in the oven to encourage even cooking. Be sure to turn the roast half way through the cooking time so it cooks evenly. If you forget though don’t panic. It will be ok, just a bit browner on one side then the other. Allow the cooked roast to rest for at least 30 minutes before opening the foil and serving. And note that it stays warm if left unopened in the foil for a good few hours.This recipe does need to be wrapped in foil to cook. If you try without it it will dry out. If you prefer the foil not to come into contact with your food, wrap the roast in baking parchment paper (not wax paper) first, and then cover that tightly in the foil.Wrap leftovers well and store them in the fridge for up to 1 week. They also freeze well for up to 3 months. Please note that because seitan is a wheat based product, people with gluten sensitivities or who are celiac should avoid eating it.