bbq · cole slaw · mac and cheese · seitan · smoked · tailgate · vegan · vital wheat gluten

BBQ Smoked Vegan Brisket

Week 2 Browns vs. Saints

Vegan BBQ never looked so good

It feels good to be back! The Browns decided to show up this week and bring home a win. The weather was perfect for grillin and we got down.

The vegans took over the muni lot with an outta this world vegan tailgate. Cowboy Caviar, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and more. This brisket recipe requires a bit of advance prep. Form and boil the brisket the night before and coat with a dry rub.

On game day, use your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own (I will post my BBQ sauce recipe later this week). I went ahead and put the brisket, along with a simple cole slaw, on grilled Texas toast for a loaded sandwich. I drew inspiration from my two favorite vegan food trucks, Homegrown Smoker in Portland and BBQ Revolution in Austin. They are worth following and be prepared to drool at every post!

Now onto the brisket! Smoking can be accomplished in many different types of grills. I used the simplest method in my new horizontal grill. By sprinkling the charcoals with soaked wood chips and using indirect grilling, you can smoke the brisket “low and slow.” This recipe will knock the socks of your guests. Enjoy!

Seitan Brisket
Ingredients


Huge bag of Wheat Gluten
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten (I buy this stuff in 10lb. bags!)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 and 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients (gluten, nutritional yeast and spices) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (water, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and lemon zest).
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Knead dough in the bowl for about 3 minutes until you have a spongy dough. Let rest for a few minutes, then shape into a log about 7 or 8 inches long. Cut into 3-4 pieces.
  3. In a large soup pot (the biggest you’ve got) fill with cold water (make sure it’s very cold, otherwise the seitan will get crumbly) and soy sauce/veggie brother to taste. Gently put the pieces of dough in the liquid. Partially cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for one hour, turning the pieces occasionally. Let it cool
  4. Squeeze out all the liquid you can, without breaking it up (some pieces will fall off. Save these for stir fry, meat sauce, or some other use).
The seitan after boiling

Dry Rub
Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili  powder
  • 2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon  of kosher salt

Directions

  1. Combine all of the spices in tupperware. Shake!
  2. Coat each piece of brisket, being careful not to break any. Really rub it in.
  3. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until ready to smoke .
  4. Soak wood chips (I like hickory) for 45 minutes or more.
  5. Start a fire in your charcoal grill or smoker. Prepare for indirect heat if using a grill (you don’t want it to be hot, keep temp around 225)
  6. Place the brisket on the grate. Throw some wood chips on the hot coals and close the cover. Smoke for 1 to 1 and a ½ hours, adding more soaked wood chips occasionally. Baste with bbq sauce in the last 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the grill and keep covered while you grill the Texas toast (see below)
  8. Slice and coat with BBQ sauce.
Dry rubbed and ready to chill overnight


Smoked brisket

Smoked brisket, sliced

Simple Coleslaw (adapted from Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas)
Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded (for a primer on how to shred a head of cabbage, click here)
  • Pinch celery seed
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch white pepper

Directions

  1. Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place vinegar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. While vinegar is boiling, slowly add sugar and salt, stirring constantly until dissolved. Turn off heat. Place pinch of white pepper in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour vinegar mixture into white pepper while whisking, and mix well. Cover.
  3. Sprinkle celery seed and sesame seeds over cabbage and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add vinegar mix and combine well.

Texas Toast
Ingredients

  1. Thick (1″!), soft, white and fluffy bread
  2. Earth Balance at room temp
  3. Garlic puree (I used a head of garlic)
  4. Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Mix together the Earth Balance and garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Brush one side of the bread with the Earth Balance mix and place on the grill, spread side down.
  3.  Grill the bread for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden brown. Flip and quickly toast the dry side.

Tailgate! Assemble the sandwich like so…

bbq · corn bread · jalapeno · spicy · tailgate

Vegan Jalapeño Corn Bread

The offseason can be a tumultuous time for coaches and GMs on the hot seat.  Here in Browns town, our coach, GM and CEO all got canned.  This three-alarm corn bread will make you feel like you are on the hot seat, but I promise you won’t lose your job.  

Corn bread is a staple of any good bbq or soul food meal.  Often times, it is made with dairy or eggs and is off limits to those eating a plant based diet.  At the Hold the Pigskin tailgate our cornbread is not only vegan, but it is moist, spicy and stacks up against the best corn breads you can find.

This corn bread is made with equal parts corn meal and bread flour.  To give it a unique texture, it is loaded with chopped jalapeños and kernels of golden corn.  Two flax eggs take the healthy factor to another level and provide a soft, moist texture.  This corn bread is worthy for any tailgate or bbq, vegan or not.

The recipe is quite easy to make and requires few ingredients.  It makes a sizable batch, but feel free to double or triple it if you are serving a crowd.  Trust me when I say, there won’t be any leftovers.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup bread flour 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 flax eggs (3/8 cups hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons of ground flax, let sit for a few minutes to become sticky)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 jalapeños, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt)
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix well (almond milk, agave, flax egg)
  4. Fold in corn and chopped jalapeños
  5. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Remove and let cool before serving

Moist and delicious

Corn bread with BBQ Tempeh and Collards
bbq · habanero · liquid smoke · ribs · sauce · spicy · vegan

Sawwwce is Boss: Chocolate Habanero BBQ

Week 1: Browns vs. Dolphins

Tailgate season is back!  We had our first vegan tailgate of the year this past Sunday at the Muni Lot in Cleveland.  The nice weather, blind optimism about the season and amazing food made for a great atmosphere (we won’t talk about what transpired on the field).

I purchased some chocolate habanero peppers at the Tremont Farmer’s Market last week just because I thought they looked cool. This Amish guy sells a huge variety of hot peppers and I am always talking myself into buying them. I ended up using an entire pint of them in this BBQ sauce for the seitan ribs. The recipe for this sauce came off the top of my head, which I plan on doing more of this season.  Getting inspiration from the amazing vegan community is all well and good, but I want to contribute my own personal flare to the vegan scene.

Rib sandwich w/slaw, mac and cheese and chipotle kale

Sauces are vital for tailgates.  So much so, I have been collecting sauce bottles this offseason with the intention of making at least one homemade sauce per tailgate.  I will post several sauces on the blog throughout the season.  There is little value in buying a sauce at the store. Name the last time someones eyes lit up at a bottle of ketchup or honey mustard.  They are usually loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce to preserve its color and flavor.  Yuck.

There is nothing like making your own variation of your favorite sauce, like this twist on my favorite sauce, BBQ.  I’ve been dabbling in making BBQ sauce since my college days.  It is really quite simple because it involves a base number of ingredients and the rest is fully customizable.  Don’t let the thought of making your own BBQ scare you… its very easy!  It involves sauteing finely chopped onions/garlic/peppers and adding them to tomato sauce/ketchup/puree with several key additions like apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, ground mustard, vegan Worcestershire (no anchovies!), brown sugar or agave and other spices like paprika, cumin or oregano.  Don’t worry if you can’t get chocolate habaneros for this sauce, any variety will do.  Its brings the heat, so enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4-8 chocolate habaneros, finely chopped (depending on your ability to take the heat)
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes I cooked down when canning last week)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs. vegan Worcestershire (I like Edward & Sons “The Wizard’s” Organic Vegan Worcestershire)
  • 1 tbs. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • Black pepper to taste
Directions

  1. Saute the first three ingredients in a little bit of water.  Add the onion first, once they are soft add the pepper and finally add the garlic at the end.  Turn off the heat and set aside 
  2. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the sauteed veggies
  3. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat being careful not to splash or burn the bottom of the pot.  
  4. Optional: transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.  Some people like it chunky, so this step is optional.
bbq · cole slaw · grilling · tailgate · tempeh · vegan

BBQ Tempeh Sammies with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

As the product on the field gets worse and worse, our tailgates seem to step it up a notch.  Everyone starts to hit stride as evidenced by our newest addition to the tailgate, the fire pit.  The food also is more elaborate as the year goes on the and the creative juices get flowing.  This week was no exception with this killer recipe from Byrant Terry’s “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”

Tempeh is a soy product similar to tofu in that it absorbs flavor wonderfully.  It is minimally processed using fermented soy beans and an ancient method from Indonesia.  It lends itself well to southern cooking because it has a grittier, more meat like texture, perfect for marinating and grilling.

This recipe starts with a delicious homemade marinade that I’d use for any BBQ grilling.  There aren’t too many funky ingredients and it beats store bought BBQ everytime.  This meal has a special feel, perfect for a crowd.  We had the sammies along side some creamy hummus-based potato salad for a complete tailgate feast.  Enjoy!

My tailgate basket

Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

  • ½ green cabbage head, cored and sliced thinly (you must have a good knife.  I’d recommend this Victorinox 8-inch chef’s knife for less than $30)
  • 2 large carrots, julienned matchstick length
  • Small squeeze Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar (Red Wine or Rice vinegar work too)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar 
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (or however much you want!)
  • Glug of olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container.  Let chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight.  Feel free to toss with a few toasted sesame seeds before serving. 

You can see the spiciness! 

BBQ Tempeh Sammies

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from one lime 
  • ¾ cup tamari or soy sauce 
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound tempeh, cut into 1/2 –inch-wide fingers (I like LightLife Brand better than WestSoy)
  • 6 soft kaiser rolls (you could use foccacia and make open faced sammies too!)

In a blender, combine everything but the tempeh and rolls. Puree until well combined. Set aside.
Flavor explosion
In a large foil baking dish, place tempeh fingers in one snug layer. 
The tailgate prep table
Nice and snug
Pour marinade on top and tightly cover dish with foil (I added some leftover chipotle sausage and mushroom stems from our appetizer). Transfer to a 350-degree oven or to a grill.
Looks like a party
Grill for 50 minutes, covered, turning tempeh once halfway through. 
During the turn
Remove baking dish from grill. Transfer tempeh fingers to the grill and cook until sizzling and slightly charred, about one minute per side.

Finished off on the grill
Toast the buns and assemble the sammies with a few pieces of tempeh and a generous scoop of slaw on top.  
Final product

bbq · grilling · liquid smoke · ribs · seitan · vegan · vital wheat gluten

BBQ Seitan Ribs

Week 3: Browns vs. Bills

When I tell people I’m grilling they usually smirk and make some comment about veggie burgers or portobello mushrooms.  But vegan grilling is so much more that frozen soy patties.   Seitan is an ancient meat-like substance made with the protein portion of wheat.  When combined with liquids, it can be formed and molded then baked, fried or grilled.  With added spices the possibilites are endless.  It may sound a little strange at first, but it the taste and texture are very much on point.  


This recipe for Seitan Ribs comes from Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  Its simple to make and can be prepped ahead of time, wrapped up and made ready to throw on the grill in the parking lot.  If you really wanna take it to the next level, make your own BBQ sauce.  My tailgate menu for the Bills game was pretty jam packed, so I just purchased the sauce to brush on while grilling.  Enjoy!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten (found in the flour aisle or in your conventional store’s organic section)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons almond or other nut butter (use your a vitamix and make your own!)
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (try to find all natural liquid smoke from a farmers market)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix.  Put all the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk (the nut butter is a wet ingredient).  Then pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and knead with your hands for a couple minutes.
Place in a greased 8×8 glass baking dish. Spread the seitain to the corners like you would with pizza dough.  Roughly cut the seitan into 16 strips.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350. Let cool and wrap in foil until ready to grill.
It fluffs up and becomes darker after baking

Toss them on the grill for 5 minutes or so each side.  Brush on BBQ in the last few minutes.  Enjoy!
The finished product