I have made vegan Strongaff before and decided in place of the beef to just use more mushrooms but this time I did it a little different. I used some of my soy curl stash, rehydrated in beefy broth and then tossed with some tamari and ketchup and browned in the pan as the beefy bottom layer then topped it off with a bunch of sauteed onions and mushrooms in a creamy Stroganoff sauce. All this piled into a toasted sub bun is just pure heaven!
Makes 4 sandwiches
3-4 medium onions, sliced thin
2 pkgs mushrooms, sliced thin (I used one white button and one cremini)
3 cups dry soy curls
3 cups beefy broth, divided (I use McCormicks All-Vegetable Beef Bouillon cubes)
3 tbsp low sodium tamari
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
capful of Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
fresh pepper to taste (I use lots)
Olive Oil for browning the onions, mushrooms and soy curls
3/4 cup silken tofu (I use the fresh kind in the refrigerated section not the box)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ume plum vinegar
1 tsp yellow miso
1 tbsp cornstarch
capful of Kitchen Bouquet (again optional, I've found it just adds to the color not really so much flavour)
1. Place your dry soy curls in a bowl that will be okay with boiling water in it. Prepare 3 cups of beefy broth but make it a little stronger than the directions indicate. I used three cubes in three cups of water which is double what they suggest. While it is still hot but not necessarily boiling, pour just enough beefy broth over the soy curls to cover them and let sit until they are plumped up and rehyrated. Drain some of the (still hot trust me) broth back into the leftover broth you had. Then you want to squeeze out the excess broth from the curls. To speed up the process, I like to pour cool water over the curls first and drain and then squeeze them out by hand. You want to get as much of the broth/water out as possible. As you squeeze them out, place them into a new clean bowl. In a separate small bowl combine tamari, ketchup, garlic powder, thyme, Kitchen Bouquet if using and pepper then pour over the soy curls and toss with a spoon (or your hands like I really do) to make sure they are all coated evenly.
2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over med-high heat and once it is warmed, add the soy curls and cook until they are evenly browned but not dried. You can add a bit more pepper and salt while they cook, taste and see if you think they need it. Set aside in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
3. Using the same pan, add a scant tablespoon of oil and fry the mushrooms until golden brown and caramelized. You might want to do it in batches and they will seriously shrink, so you know. Once they are golden brown remove from the pan and set aside for now. Again using the same pan, add a scant tablespoon of olive oil and then add the onions. Cook them down until they are softened, starting to caramelize. Instead of adding more oil while they are cooking, I added small amounts of the reserved beefy broth and it really helped add flavour. Once they are nicely caramelized, add the mushrooms back to the pan and mix them so they are combined. Add enough of the beefy broth to cover the onions and mushrooms and reduce down by half.
4. While it is reducing, combine the silken tofu, Dijon, umeboshi vinegar, yellow miso, cornstarch and Kitchen Bouquet (if using) in the blender on high speed. Once the beefy broth has reduced down by half, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the silken tofu mixture from the blender while stirring since you are adding cornstarch. You want it to just come to a boil to get the cornstarch to thicken up the sauce so you turn the heat up a bit if it is taking a long time to thicken. You want it to be almost like gravy as thickness goes. (Once it has, you could add in the beefy soy curls and toss to coat them as well. Here in my house, my mom won't eat a soy curl so we kept it separate.)
5. To assemble the sandwich, toast up a sub bun and then pile up some soy curls and cover/smother in the Stroganoff sauce. Enjoy with extra fresh ground pepper on top!