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Vegan Corned Beef Reuben
Our next recipe in our Irish series is Vegan Corned Beef Reuben, which is a great addition to any sandwich or casserole! This nutrient vegan corned beef is a delicious and filling meal that makes plenty of leftover food for busy days! Our seitan corned beef is made with traditional pickling spices, salt, and vinegar to make flavorful mock meat. It’s a lengthy process, but the end result yields 7-8 servings that are ideal for sandwiches, corned beef and cabbage, breakfast hash, and other dishes.
You can adjust the spices and sweetness or saltiness to suit your preferences.
This recipe does not contain any corn, despite its name. The name comes from salt corns (large grains of rock salt). For this reason, some folks call this dish salt beef, though any name that includes the word beef is a little confusing for this recipe! Salt was commonly used to preserve meat (as well as other foods).
While we often associate corned beef with Ireland, it is actually an American/Irish immigrant/Jewish immigrant/New York City food that people now enjoy around St. Patrick’s Day (or any time).
What exactly is Seitan?
Seitan is a meat substitute and vegan protein source made from vital wheat gluten flour.
It has a high protein and mineral content while being low in carbohydrates and fat. Seitan has a much “meatier” texture and consistency than tofu or tempeh, which appeals to many people. If you’ve ever tried to make homemade seitan the hard way by rinsing the starch out of all-purpose flour, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now buy vital wheat gluten flour instead! Seitan made solely from vital wheat gluten is nearly a complete protein on its own.
Alters to this Recipe
Once you’ve learned how to make seitan, you can experiment with different spices and seasonings to suit your preferences.
Buffalo hot sauce seasoned seitan is one of my favorites. Curry, as well as Sichuan seasoning, would be intriguing. (Please note that most store-bought buffalo hot sauces contain butter and are therefore not vegan.)
For a holiday roast, poultry seasoning could also be used.
Beets are commonly used to add a more pink, meat-like color to dishes as well as for their health benefits.
Vegan Corned Beef Reuben Recipe:
Vegan Corned Beef Reuben
- 1 ⅓ cups vital wheat gluten
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 1-2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp mustard prepared mustard
- ⅓ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp allspice
- ⅔ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ginger
- 2 oz nutritional yeast
- 4 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce or sub soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth preferably beef-flavored
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tsp oil optional
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set them aside.
- Blend the beans with the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Knead the dough until it becomes springy and firm
- Seal firmly in foil and heat for 1 hour to steam. If your pot starts to dry out, add more water.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover for the last 30 minutes of cooking for a firmer texture. (See note)
- Chill or freeze for later uses in a sealed container for up to one week.
- Mustard to ginger must be ground.
- Add 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 tbsp pickling spices, bake the pickling in a dutch oven for 1.5 hours. (Optional)
- If you're using pre-made vegetable broth, cook the beets in it to extract their color. Alternatively, for the effect shown in the photos, add beet juice to the braising liquid in your Dutch oven.