I know you wouldn’t believe it from my constant mentions of hot sauce but I love latin food and Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero is my favourite cook book. I always mean to move on from making the Cuban Black Bean soup and the Portobello Feijoada but then I get stuck in a loop because they are TOO GOOD.
For this recipe you need to buy or make some seitan. For those people who don’t know what seitan is (and I didn’t until I was wholly vegan for 6 months last year) it’s a textured meat subsitute made out of gluten, think the firm, chewy mock meat you get at the chinese restaurant. It’s quite realistic and I am always a bit funny of eating it if I haven’t made the dish myself even though i’m sure the restaurant isn’t trying to slip me some meat on the sly. Ahem. Anyway, once you’ve found somewhere that sells wheat gluten it’s easy enough to make your own. I’ll do a tutorial soon..
My seitan didn’t actually begin life as seitan. It was originally Saurkraut burgers (!) but too late I realised my Saurkraut had seen better days and had been over fementing it’s face off in my fridge. So I had this batch of seitany dough and nothing to put in it and nothing to do with it. One swift baking and shredding later it turned into the Ropa Vieja version of Latin Shredded Seitan. Not sure I sliced every thing finely enough but it was tasty and served 4 easily. I served it with the Yellow Garlic Rice also from Viva Vegan.
Cuban Ropa Vieja Style Shredded Seitan
2 loaves of seitan
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion chopped finely
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup wine (or vegetable stock)
1 cup tinned tomatoes
Salt and pepper
(I also added half a can of kidney beans that needed using up from the fridge)
- Slice the seitan into thin strips
- In a large, heavy frying pan heat the oil and garlic over a medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle
- Add the onion, pepper and oregano and cook until the onions are soft and becoming translucent
- Add the cumin and cook for 30 seconds, add the tomatoes and the vegetable stock or wine
- Add the seitan and stir to coat it in the sauce and to mix everything together. Cook for about 15 minutes. The seitan should look juicy and tender.
- Serve with rice and add salt and pepper to taste.
ps: It’s my 30th birthday today and somebody else is cooking for me tonight. Hurray!