Wednesday, June 21, 2017

French Inspired "Venison" Seitan Casserole

Yesterday was Litha, or Summer Solstice. I made lots of delicious food and sweets, but one of the dishes I want to share most with you is a French Inspired Casserole. The Original Recipe calls for Venison but I used Gardien Beef Tips, though you could easily use homemade seitan (I would have, if I'd had any prepared.)  The dish is super rich, and flavorful and tastes wonderful alongside roasted tomatoes with thyme, charred asparagus and soft bread for sopping up excess sauce. It's a fairly simple recipe though does require some advanced prep.

French Inspired "Venison" Seitan Casserole.

1 Yellow Onion
4 Cloves
8 Juniper Berries Crushed
8 Black Peppercorns Crushed
1 1/2 Cup Red Wine
2 Celery Stalks
2 Carrots
2 Bay Leaves
6 Whole Garlic Cloves sliced
Zest of half a lemon
5 Sprigs Rosemary
2 Packages Gardien Beefless Tips (or Equivalent amount of homemade Seitan)
All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
4 Shallots Sliced
2 Cups Brown Stock
2 Tbsp Raspberry Jam
1 Heaping Tbsp Marmite
1 Vegan Beef Bouillon Cube (Optional but recommended)

- First defrost Tips or Seitan (if frozen) Place seitan in a large bowl.

- Quarter the Onion and stick a clove in each quarter. Place the Onion Quarters into the bowl with the seitan.

- Add Juniper Berries, Crushed Pepper, Chopped celery Stalks, Chopped Carrots, Sliced Garlic, Bay Leaves, Lemon Zest, and Minced Rosemary from the five sprigs to the bowl. Stir with a large wooden spoon to combine.

- Place a medium sized sauce pan on the stove. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and add in the Marmite and Bullion Cube. Whisk until the marmite and cube dissolve and you have a nice brown liquid. Add in 1 cup of the red wine, and raspberry jam, whisk to combine and lower the heat. Simmer for five minutes.

- Pour the stock/wine mixture over the beef and veg in the bowl. Stir to combine and make sure everything gets nice and covered. Place the bowl in the fridge and let marinate overnight.

- After the stew has marinated. Melt the Butter and oil in a large fry pan on the stove. remove the Onions from the bowl discard cloves and slice onions thin. Slice the shallots as well. Add both onions and shallots to the butter in the pan, fry until brown.

- Place the Tips or Seitan in a zip-lock bag and dump in enough all purpose flour to cover all the pieces. Shake the bag around to make sure evenly coated.

- Once onions are cooked place them in a well oiled cast iron casserole dish.

- Use the same pan to fry the floured seitan. Fry until brown, and add it to the Casserole.

- Add the remaining veg to the casserole. Then strain the marinade into the casserole through a fine mesh sieve. Discard bay leaves, peppercorns and juniper berries. You can season to taste with additional pepper and salt if you like but it should be salty enough.

- Bake in the oven at 350'F for 1 1/2 hours until tender and marinade has reduced by half. Serve with roast tomatoes, asparagus, a salad and soft bread like pita.

PS: Sorry for the poor picture quality I was more interested in eating, drinking and being marry to care much about photography.