I am also working on a recipe book as well as a possible cooking show, so I am doing a lot of experimenting.
When in experimental stages, I usually do a Google search and then browse through recipes, watch cooking demonstrations, and then device my own version of the ideas I have seen. Sometimes, I browse recipes and videos to gain inspiration to create something completely different.
In this instance, I followed a recipe I had seen on You Tube, and I was really excited. Corned beef sandwiches with a side of potato salad spoke to my stomach, who answered back to me in a deep grumble.
So here is the recipe I followed;
1 gallon water (to boil loaf)
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
2 Tbs. granulated onion
2 Tbs. paprika
2 Tbs. whole fennel seed (coarsely ground)
2 Tbs. whole caraway seed (coarsely ground)
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. molasses
1 Tbs. vinegar
It is mixed well together and then formed into a loaf and wrapped in cheese cloth, then boiled. Simple right? I love that there was no kneading in this whatsoever.
Simply whisk the dry ingredients together well, then whisk the wet ingredients, then pour them together (make sure the vegetable broth is at room temp if not cool. Any heat to it, will begin to "cook" the vital wheat gluten and make it hard to mix well together.
Mix the wet into the dry, and stir with a wooden spoon until it 'comes together'. Form it into a flat type loaf - as regular corned beef would look like - and place onto a doubled-over cheese cloth (or aluminium foil). Tie the ends of the cheese cloth so that it looks like a candy (do the same with the aluminium foil, just fold the ends under).
Pop into a large pot of simmering water, then cover and let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from water, let drain in a colander, and sit for about 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board, remove the cheese cloth (or aluminium foil), and let sit a further 10 minutes (or refrigerate until cooled completely then use for sandwiches), before slicing.
OK, so here I went wrong... I did not have caraway seeds. So I did a search on an alternative to caraway seeds. I can up with cardamon, but use half the amount as what is called for caraway seeds because of how strong it is flavoured.
Well, even half the amount was too much for this recipe. So I have caraway seeds on the top of my shopping list for the next trip to the grocery store.
Besides the caraway/cardamon seed "issue", I found that 1 TBSP of salt was too much. Plus, I had used a vegetable bouillon cube, which added further to the saltiness. While it was not to the point of not being able to eat it, it was still too salty for my liking, as I don't like to use a lot of salt.
I didn't have cheese cloth, not for lack of trying, I went to a couple of different supermarkets and stores, and could not locate it anywhere. I'd seen if for sale last year at the 99 Cent store, which I didn't grab at the time because I didn't need it; but now, they don't carry it anymore. So instead, I wrapped it in aluminium foil, which many recipes have said to do with seitan. No problem.
While it was not "bad", I am definitely going to experiment further, adding my own little twists. The texture was awesome and great on a sandwich with Vegenaise, lettuce, tomato, sliced cucumber, and thin sliced onion.
Once I get the "perfect" mix that I am happy with, I'll post that recipe also.