Sunday, February 13

Braised Lima Bean-Barley Pork (Seitan) Patties

Been taking post-op care of a dear friend for the past week and just returned. We've been promised a few more days of sunny weather before the last throes of winter weather return.  Time for home cooking!

Braised Lima Bean-Barley Pork (seitan) Patties
Seitan is nothing more than gluten separated from wheat by making a dough and rinsing it until the water runs clear, dividing the steps between kneading, rinsing, and resting in the refrigerator several hours. The end result is a stringy mass of wonderfully adaptable gluten that can be shaped into whatever mock meat you want it to be. I like the long method because I can count on the firmness and consistency of the gluten and it works very well in my processor, thank you.  But, for those of you who prefer the quick method to food preparation, I found this site, recently, that describes a faster basic recipe method, including several recipes showing how you can slice, cube, grind, however you want your mock meat shape -- in other words, it's very versatile.  And, if you want another option, I've never tried this process and would love to know your results, check out this site here.

What I like best is that you can make it fresh and it will keep in your fridge, covered, for a good week to help you extend your budget. Think Hamburger Helper, and you've pretty much figured out gluten. You can avoid making it yourself, altogether, by buying a box of commercially-made gluten, too. High in protein, low in calories = good for you. I love to add it to my bean burgers to give them firmness.

Most of my followers know that I enjoy making patties from leftover beans and seitan is the perfect addition.

You're going to need some bean puree mixture (whatever you have left over, pinto or northern beans) and I had some limas that I froze from last year's garden and decided to use them. Both the gluten and bean puree can be made a day or so in advance, too. If using dried limas, soften overnight so that you end up with at least 1-1/2 cups of beans. Place in small saucepan with equal amounts of water; bring water to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until beans have softened. Add 1/3 cup of quick-cooking barley; stir to blend. Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and barley has reconstituted.  Remove from heat; cool; puree in blender.

Braised Pork Patties:
2 cups bean puree
1.5 cups gluten (seitan)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mace
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cardamom (or, 1/4 tsp each: nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, and ground fennel)
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups beef/vegetable broth
3 Tbspns Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat solar oven to 225F.  2 qt. casserole dish with cover

1. Combine bean puree and seitan; blend and shape into six patties.
2. Combine all dry ingredients; in glass measuring cup, add to beef/vegetable broth. Heat on high in microwave until just beginning to simmer. Pour half of mixture in bottom of casserole dish.
3. In hot skillet, add olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, brown patties for at least 1 minutes on each side. Remove and gently place in casserole dish. Slowly pour balance of hot liquid broth in to casserole dish by letting it fill from the side so that patties don't break up. They are very soft at this stage and can easily fall apart.
4. Cover and bake in solar oven for approximately 1-1/5 hours. Patties will firm up, absorb the flavors in the broth and have the taste and texture of real meat protein.

Serve with pasta or rice. Rice is better because it absorbs all that great broth.


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