Carribean Ham

This is Vital Wheat Gluten auditioning to become a Store Cupboard Staple. I make my own gluten from flour usually, which is fairly labour intensive but gives a nice chicken-like texture to little vegan nuggets and so on.

The one problem with home-rinsed gluten is that you can’t get intense flavour into it. My omnivorous children want ham sandwiches, which I will get them, but I’m also on the hunt for an awesome vegan alternative.

This recipe for ‘Everyday Ham’ from the Carribean Vegan looks pretty good, but Vital Wheat Gluten has to be ordered in bulk online so it needs to be fairly amazing to earn its space!

10am – I’ve mixed everything up and popped it into the steamer (cough collendar over a pan) wrapped in muslin. It smells pretty awesome and it’s a doddle so far, five minutes so far and little washing up.

10:45 – scored, studded with cloves and basted with pineapple juice and maple syrup… Into the oven. It looks impressive, if small. If this is good then I’ll be making double quantities.
11:10 – it looks good but I think I’m going to bake it a little longer than advised. I’d like a nice sweet rind…
11:45 – that’s more like it! 45 minutes gets a nice caramelised outside. I’ve transferred it to the fridge to cool and firm… Can’t wait to try it!
I gave it an hour in the fridge and tried it cubed on top of lentil soup and in a sandwich.

It’s very tasty, delicious in fact. Dense and flavourful. The children find it a bit too ‘spicy’ but I can probably come up with a milder version.

I’m going to order some wheat gluten online and see if I find uses for it.

I say that Wheat Gluten has passed the first round of auditions.