Now for the main event, the roast! In a bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Drain and rinse the lentils and leave to dry in a colander. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the bowl along with the lentils and the tomato puree, and mix well. Slowly, add the tamari/soy sauce and ¾ of the veg stock, and mix it well together. You want the mix to be quite dry.
Slowly add the remaining veg stock a little at a time being careful as you don’t want a wet ‘dough’. Knead it with your hands for a couple of minutes until it really comes together into a dough ball.
On a board, flatten out your dough ball into a rectangular like shape that is about 2cm high. Cut it into 8 thin rectangular strips, making sure they are suitable size to fit in your steamer.
Set up a steamer in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Cut off 8 pieces of tin foil (aluminum foil) or parchment paper, each big enough to wrap fully around each strip. Place a piece of foil or parchment on the counter. Place your first ‘meat’ strip on the foil/paper and wrap it up, compressing lightly with your hands to give it an even shape, and then fold/twist the ends closed so that it is entirely covered. Repeat with the remaining strips.
Place all the wrapped ‘meat’ strips on top of the steamer, cover, and steam for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. If you want to premake this and save time, you can store the ‘meat’ strips in a covered container in the fridge.
In a mixing bowl, pour in half the gravy and add the maple syrup and the tamari. Marinate each ‘meat’ strip in the gravy and compress it so that it absorbs as much flavour as possible.
Put a flat pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once heated up, add the ‘meat’ strips and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until each one starts to char and smell amazing!
Boil the kettle, once boiled fill a small saucepan with boiled water and put on a medium heat so there is a gentle simmer, add your peas in and boil for 1 minute. Remove and drain in a colander.
Now to plate up, serve each plate with a roasted ‘meat’, a portion of potatoes, carrot & parsnips and the peas and equally as important an ingredient is the gravy, be sure to use any left-over marinade as gravy, too. Enjoy!