Vegan Holiday Ham
For the aromatic brine, you will need: • 2 and ¼ cups very hot water • 3 T light brown sugar • 2 T mild vegetable oil • 2 T nutritional yeast • 2 T red miso paste* • 1 T liquid smoke (hickory flavor) • 2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt (or smoked sea salt for an extra smoky flavor) • 1 tsp smoked paprika • 1 tsp whole cloves • ½ tsp ground ginger • ¼ tsp ground white pepper *If you absolutely cannot locate red miso paste, substitute with 1 tablespoon tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™ and 1 tablespoon tomato paste; however, the flavor profile will obviously be different.
For the dry ingredients, you will need: • 2 cups vital wheat gluten • ¼ cup all-purpose flour • 1 T onion powder • 2 tsp garlic powder To brown the “ham” in the skillet after pre-baking, you will need: • a generous misting of vegetable oil spray or 1 T vegetable oil • 1 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™ To oven-glaze the “ham”, you will need: • 2 T dark brown sugar • 1 T liquid smoke • 1 T prepared Dijon or spicy mustard Technique: Vigorously whisk together the aromatic brine ingredients in a large measuring cup until the sugar, miso and salt dissolves. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly stir together the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Pour the aromatic brine through a strainer into the dry ingredients. Straining will remove the whole cloves as well as any undissolved seasoning sediment. Fold the mixture thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together into one solid mass. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Foil Wrapping and Baking On a flat work surface, lay out a large sheet of 18-inch wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the dough directly on top, centered on the edge of the foil nearest to you. Form the dough into a round loaf shape as best as you can. Before the dough has time to spread out, lift the edge of the foil over the dough. Quickly pinch down the sides of the foil to keep the dough from squeezing out the sides, and with another quick motion, flip the package over and begin to roll. As you are rolling, begin firmly but carefully twisting the ends inward to compress and seal the package. Moving quickly and deliberately is the key. If you hesitate too long, the dough will spread out and you will end up with a long sausage roll rather than a short compact roast. This takes practice, so be patient. If you’re not satisfied with the wrap, unroll it and start over. After rolling, twist the ends tightly to seal, being careful not to tear the foil. Place the foil package, seam side down, on an additional large sheet of foil and repeat the wrapping procedure. If any tears in the foil occur while twisting the ends, repeat with a third sheet of foil. Be sure to twist the ends very tight to completely seal the roast. This is very important, as the seitan dough will expand under steam pressure while baking. If you fail to follow these instructions and there are weak spots in the foil, the steam will take the path of least resistance and the package may explosively burst open during baking. This is something you want to avoid, as your oven will be a mess and your time, energy and ingredients will be wasted. Place the foil package directly on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 2 hours. After baking, let the roast cool to near room temperature and then refrigerate in its foil wrapper for a minimum of 8 hours before proceeding.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the foil from the ham. Generously mist a large non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet with vegetable oil spray or coat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Begin browning the “ham” over medium heat turning frequently.
Add 1 tablespoon of tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™ and continue to turn the roast frequently in the skillet until nicely caramelized. Be sure to run an overhead exhaust fan as this process will generate some smoke. Transfer the ham to an oiled baking dish, pour the oven-glaze over the “ham” and brush to coat evenly.
Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter for slicing. The “ham” can be served hot or cold.
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