Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day - New England Boiled Dinner

In Boston on Saint Patty's Day, you can expect many people will be preparing a New England Boiled Dinner.  It is a simple dish where you boil veggies like cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions along with corned beef.  Why is that Irish?  Well even though the original dish in Ireland was made with bacon, the Irish immigrants here in Boston often chose corned beef because it was inexpensive.  Back at home, corned beef was a luxury item.

You might be wondering why I am writing a post about boiled dinner when I wouldn't actually eat corned beef.  The answer is simple.  I've always wanted to make corned seitan and Saint Patrick's day seemed like the perfect excuse.   Not to mention, I'd have left over seitan to make vegan Reubens. 

After researching for awhile, I chose the Chicago Diner recipe.  You can find it towards the bottom of this Vegetarian Times article.  It is brilliant because the seitan gets the pink color from beet juice and the pickled flavor from pickling spices as well as pickle juice.  I decided to use the liquid from pickled beets to amp up the pickley goodness.

The vegetable mix I chose was cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, and onions.  Some folks add rutabaga or celery too.  I boiled the veggies in broth for seasoning, and plated them with the seitan.  The reason I didn't boil the seitan with the vegetables is because I didn't want to dilute the goodness it had going on. Pickley goodness.

The dish turned out beautifully and we enjoyed our Irish inspired meal with a side of mustard.  The seitan was also AMAZING in the Reuben sandwiches which I shall post about next week.