Friday, May 29, 2009

faux boeuf - my recipe for "beefy" seitan

Several folks have asked for the recipe for my vegetarian BBQ brisket. So, here is a recipe for fake beef (faux boeuf) seitan I adapted from several others I have. It makes a wonderful "beefy" seitan that looks surprisingly (and scarily) like actual beef and tastes yummy, though I can't say if it tastes like beef since it's been years since I have had beef. I have used the "beef" in a stir-fry, in fajitas, and my brisket, and all dishes were fantastic. Anyway, here 'tis...



  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup warm vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. Marmite (Craig was horrified when I bought this!)
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet (or other gravy browner)

Cooking broth:

  • vegetable broth (amount depends on cooking method. For baking, 4 cups. For simmering, 6-8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Marmite
  • 1 Tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke


  1. a. If using the simmering method, combine the broth ingredients and bring them to a low boil over med-high heat.
    b. If baking, preheat oven to 325.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in pan until onion is translucent.
  3. In bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  5. Combine onion-garlic mixture, gluten mixture, and liquid mixture in food processor. Run/pulse for several minutes until ingredients are mixed well and it forms a ball. (If you do not have a food processor, you can mix by hand, in which case, be sure to chop the onions finely before sauteing them. A food processor make the process much, much easier, but it can be done without one, though, honestly, I personally don't have the time for that.)
  6. Divide gluten pieces into a dozen or so sections. Knead each section and stretch into a flat "cutlet". For a brisket, use one larger piece of gluten to fit inside your baking dish. Let gluten pieces stand on a flat service for five minutes.
  7. a. If simmering, reduce heat of broth to med. low. Put gluten pieces into broth and simmer for an hour. Do not boil.
    b. If baking, put gluten pieces in a casserole dish, cover with broth, and bake at 325 for an hour.
  8. Serve however you wish. Cut into slivers for stir-fry or fajitas. Slice thinly for a Philly cheese-fake sandwich. Barbecue entire "cutlets" or brisket. Seitan will keep for about a week or so in the refrigerator and can also be frozen.


Please leave a comment and let me know if you try this recipe.


  1. What is Marmite and why is it horrifying. Ree

  2. Marmite is a spreadable yeast extract, a by-product from brewing beer (similar to the Aussie Vegemite - remember the line from "Down Under" by Men At Work?). It's flavor is very salty, distinct, and strong. The Brits love it and spread it on toast, like we would peanut butter. Check out:

  3. I made this today; it is my first time to make seitan. The taste was great, but the texture was... spongy? Not sure what I did. I am going to spend a little time googling to see what I can do about the texture. But my husband and kids ate it up! Thanks so much for the tasty recipe.

  4. Indeed us Brits do love Marmite. Actually it's a love it or loath it relationship. I personally love it but I have friends who loath it. The key thing with Marmite is to use very small amounts. 2 tsp may be too much for some due to it's strong taste (Yeast extract is basically a glutamate). Start off small and then up the quantity on the next batch if the taste wasn't strong enough.