Vegan brisket. For real. I can’t explain what an exciting dish this is for the holidays. It’s so much easier and delicious that I bet you think. It’s an absolute showstopper of a vegan holiday main.
Some of you may know that my husband is a recent vegetarian. He mostly eats vegan because me and our son is vegan, but he was a full on meat-eater when we met and married. I had no intention of trying to change him, only to maintain my “kitchen rules”. I don’t like people bringing meat into my house, my fridge, my plates, etc and that’s what was easily agreed upon. Fast forward to many years later, and one day he woke up and just didn’t want to eat a dead animal anymore, but he craved some of his favorites, so I got to work.
I am not one of those vegans who live and breathe off meat substitutes. Truth be told, if it’s too realistic, I don’t want it. I am a vegan who gets freaked out by the texture, sight and smell of meat. When Joey asked for brisket, I didn’t even know what the goal was. I have never had it or really knew what it looked like.
After much trial and error, I am so excited to present to you this super-easy, not-too-realistic, not-rubbery, vegan brisket!
Ingredients for Vegan Brisket
You will not need any special “brisket tools” but an high-heat oven-safe oval baking ceramic will give you the right shape of brisket.
Vital Wheat Gluten
If you are not familiar with vital wheat gluten, this a great recipe to to get familiar with it. It’s really impressive to start out with a variety if powders and liquids and wind up with a delicious vegan brisket, but that’s wheat gluten for you.
You mix everything together, kneed it, make sure it’s moist while baking and babysit it. That’s really all there is to it.
I really prefer the way coconut sugar works with this dish. It’s way more subtle of a sweetness than a maple syrup or traditional cane sugar. Coconut sugar is pretty easy to find, especially at health food stores.
Onion and Garlic Powder
You want to make sure these are actually powders and not granules. Your seitan (the dough from your vital wheat gluten mixture) should be a smooth and consistent dough with no chunks or bumps.
Baking the Vegan Brisket
Before you bake your vegan brisket, you want to make sure to put some of the sauce you made on the bottom of the baking dish. You are going to be flipping the brisket quite a lot and in addition to the oil, the lubricant from the sauce helps you flip it easily.
I like to use two small ceramic oval baking dishes because it makes the flipping way easier and I freeze the second brisket for later. We are a family of three and it takes two meals to finish on small brisket. If you have a large family or are serving a larger crowd, you can easily finish this whole recipe in one sitting.
You are going to bake for 15 minutes, then flip, add brisket sauce and repeat and flip, add brisket sauce and repeat and flip, add brisket sauce and repeat.
Cutting Vegan Brisket
Before you cut your brisket, you will need to wait for it to cool for about 20-30 minutes. I know it’s super exciting and you’ll want to dig right in, but it needs to tighten up a bit and get a little firmer, which will make cutting it way easier. If you cut it while it’s too hot it’s hard to manage and also cuts weird because it hasn’t reached it’s firmness yet.
Vegan Brisket Sauce
The brisket itself is pretty flavorful and tender, but the sauce is something that we really enjoy adding to it, especially if you are serving with potatoes. It’s really quick and easy to make, so I suggest you give it a try, especially if you like punchy flavors.
Serving Vegan Brisket
Like most proteins, some greens pair well with it. We particularly love vegan butter parmesan potatoes with a sprinkle of oregano.
I truly hope you love this recipe. It has been a staple of ours for holidays and it’s so much fun to be able to share with you all! Let me know if you have any questions and if you give it a try!
An easy and stunning vegan main dish for any holiday, this vegan brisket is the show stopper you are looking for to serve a large crowd. Pairs well with parmesan potatoes and punchy BBQ sauce.
- 2 2/3 cups vital wheat gluten or seitan mix
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cayenne powder
- 3/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups vegetable stock or vegan beef stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375* F
- First mix together seitan mix, garlic powder, onion, cayenne powder, and coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl mix together liquid ingredients saving 1 cup of the vegetable stock off to the side.
- In your dry ingredient bowl, make a well and add 1/4 cup of your liquid mixture and start combining well. Continue to add a little bit of liquid at a time until you get a consistency where your dough is tough to pull apart.
- Reserve any extra liquid for braising.
- Sprinkle seitan mix on the counter.
- Knead the dough to develop the gluten a bit more on the sprinkled seitan mix. Sprinkle more seitan mix on the dough as you knead it until you get a a stretchy dough that doesn't tear too easily.
- Prepare your oval baking dish by adding some of your reserved liquid to the bottom along with olive oil.
- Place the dough on top of the liquid and stretch it out as best you can to take the shape of the pan.
- Use your finger to press down and make it as flat as possible.
- Flip the flattened seitan so now both side are coated.
- Pour a few tablespoons of liquid on top of the uncooked brisket.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until browning begins.
- Carefully flip and add a few more tablespoons of liquid to baste the brisket.
- Over the next hour, flip every 15 minutes adding more liquid. If you run out of liquid mixture, use the vegetable broth you reserved.
- The vegan brisket is done when it's firm to the touch and the liquid has thickened.
- Once the brisket is done cooking, let cool for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up and become easier to handle.
- Slice thin and serve with your favorite sides.
For the extra brisket sauce blend together:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp smoke flavor
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
If enjoyed this meal let me know what you think by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and comment below with any questions or feedback. These are two small things that add up to a ton of support, which I really appreciate. Also show off your pics to me on instagram by tagging @theveganholidayblog and #veganholidaypic – I am excited to see your meals!
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