12 April 2015

Vegan Frisket (Faux Brisket) for Non-Kosher Seder

It seems like I am starting every recent blog post with an apology. I've been gone for over a month, but again, my absence has a good reason: we bought a house! The closing happened early in Feb, then my dad came to help us do stuff in the house for about a week. Then I went to a conference, then I went to another conference, and then we officially moved when The Bests (what we call our best friends) came to help about two weeks ago. Since then, we've moved all of our stuff and unpacked enough that we can functionally live. There are still boxes and there's no art on the walls, both of which will make me crazy pretty soon. Here's a picture of our house right after the closing!

The doilies in the windows are going. 
The days we moved, I spent an entire afternoon organizing the kitchen. Since the kitchen is mostly my domain (and Shana hates the unpacking part of moving), Shana and The Bests just let me work. I'm glad they did, because I got the kitchen organized and ready for cooking. Less than a week later, Shana and I hosted 6 good friends for a nearly 100% vegan non-Kosher Passover Seder. It was so much fun! 

For the second year in a row, I cooked what we've lovingly referred to as frisket - faux brisket. Shana grew up having brisket at nearly every major family gathering, but she recently learned that many non-Jews didn't have the same experience. I can count on one hand the number of times I had brisket growing up. Although neither Shana nor I are religious at this point in our lives, Seder is a beautiful tradition (and I've written about loving traditions). Due to our lack of a specifically religious identification with the meal, we feel a bit more free to deviate from some of the required elements, such as all the food being Kosher for Passover. Thus, this delicious (but unattractive) main dish isn't religiously sanctioned, but it is an interpretation of a regularly served dish.

Frisket (Vegan Faux Brisket)
This recipe is only slightly adapted from one by Annie Shannon, found here.

3 med. onions, chopped
1 lb. baby carrots
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine (I used a cabernet/merlot blend)
1/4 c. Bragg's liquid aminos
1, 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 c. strong black coffee
2 T. vegan Worchestershire sauce
3 T. brown sugar
2 packages Gardein Beef-less tips, thawed

1. In your crockpot, combine the onions, carrots, olive oil, red wine, and bragg's. Cook on high for two hours.
2. Whisk together the tomato paste, coffee, W. sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
3. Put the beef-less tips over the carrots & onions in your slow cooker, and then pour the tomato/coffee sauce over top. DO NOT STIR (the tips should be on top, covered with the sauce). Cook for another hour, still on high.
4. Shortly before the third hour is over, preheat your oven to 400.
5. Carefully move the contents of the crockpot into a glass 9x13 baking dish (a serving spoon or ladle works well). Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Turn your oven down to 200 degrees, cook for another 20 minutes.

Helpful Hints
  • This dinner makes a MESS of  your glass baking pan. It will need to soak for a while and then be scrubbed with baking soda. Have you used baking soda on your glass baking dishes yet? If not, do so and be AMAZED by the power of baking soda! It will take off all those baked on brown spots. I'm serious. 
  • The last bit of the cooking is so that the sauce gets really thick (think like a really thick BBQ sauce) and sticks to the tips and carrots. You don't have to cook it for the last part, the sauce will just be thinner.
  • This makes enough for 8 people to have about a 3/4 cup to 1 cup portion, which is fine given the amount of other foods available at a holiday dinner (we had matzo ball soup and charoset and salad and veggies and latkes and dessert). You could easily multiply the recipe by 1.5 if you wanted to have more per person or feed more people. Alternatively, this would feed 4-6 with hearty appetites and sides. 
  • The beef-less tips have a great texture. All of the skeptical omnivores who've eaten this over the past two years have been amazed. 
  • To make this gluten-free, you can use soy-curls. Prior to adding them in place of the beef-less tips, rehydrate them in a "beefy" broth. 
  • This can also be made in the Instant Pot! To do so, add the ingredients in step 1 to your Instant Pot, then cook on manual for 15 minutes (do a manual release). Add the ingredients as specified in step 3, then cook on manual for 8 minutes (do a manual release). For steps 4-6, open the instant pot and cook on the high slow-cooker setting for up to two hours, stirring occasionally (you can use a slow-cooker lid or leave the Instant Pot uncovered).
The post "Vegan Frisket (Faux Brisket) for Non-Kosher Seder" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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