Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Anatomy of the Celebration Roast

The idea of making the Celebration Roast was a slow simmer - customers, friends, family were all "encouraging" me to make something that was stuffed for Thanksgiving; something to be served on a platter. I resisted for a few years but finally relented. My intention in making Field Roast has never been to make fake animal meats - from the first batch up through the present day, Field Roast's "paradigm" is to be what it is: a vegetarian grain meat. I had always avoided making a holiday food because I didn't want get involved in the fake-turkey world. Besides, there were already some great products like Tofurky and Now and Zen...why make another one? Tofurky is stuffed with a breaded stuffing, comes extruded in a clipped casing and Now and Zen had a wonderful skin made from soy bean milk skimmings which is similar to the skin of a turkey. Tofurky is now making their 900,000th roast! Phew!


The final straw came for me in 2003 when, for the second year in a row, a large customer suggested AGAIN....why not make a stuffed roast? Many of our food service customers were serving our Hazelnut Herb Cutlets for Thanksgiving but they wanted something that could fit as a centerpiece f or their Thanksgiving "to-go" meals.

Making the Celebration Roast was a snap for me. In fact, the whole recipe came to me in a flash - unlike some of the products at Field Roast which have taken months or years to refine. Call it good grace - "Thanks carrots, butternut squash, earth, rain, sun, moon, friends and family!" We are now working on our 200,000th... that's a lot of roasts in three years!!!

The Celebration Roast is made up of two major parts; the outer meat and the inner stuffing.

If you haven't had it, I would describe it to you by saying it's "A charcuterie styled stuffed grain meat roast with a sausage style stuffing made with field roast, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms." That's the short version, here's the more in-depth one.

The outer meat is a rich grain meat seasoned with lemon juice, sage (lots), pardina lentils (can you see them?) and other such elements. The base, as always, is a wheat flour that has had the starch rinsed out of it. It's a simple process: at the mill, a wheat/water dough is made and then rinsed with water to carry the starch away; what is left is pure grain protein....or approx. 78% pure protein....the flesh of the earth, vital wheat gluten flour. This can be made today using the old school techniques , but in that technique all the flavor comes from the broth that the meat is simmered in. Nowadays, we can flavor the meat itself; fresh garlic, lemon juice, herbs and spices, etc. I digress....In the Celebration Roast, the outer meat is rich ( we add expeller pressed safflower oil)...so now we have the outer meat, next is the stuffing.

The stuffing is a "sausage style stuffing". As you may know, we make sausages at Field Roast. We make 'em the old fashioned way (brag...no one else does in the veggie world) by making a grind. We make grinds all day long at Field Roast....Smoked Tomato grinds, Wild Mushroom grinds, sausage grinds, etc.

A grind is a simple food and is the base of our sausages and of the Celebration Roast. The Celebration Roast has two different grinds; one made from our Smoked Tomato Field Roast and one made from Lentil Sage....can you see them in the above picture? We place the grinds in our huge mixer bowl and add all kinds of fresh cut vegetables; butternut squash and sliced mushrooms, then some diced apples, herbs, spices, oil, some wheat flour and voila....our stuffing!

...now to put it all together.

We place the outer dough in a cotton netting...then stuff it with our sausage, butternut squash, mushroom, apple mixture. It's all a really simple process. You will notice that every Celebration Roast is a little different....that's because they are all stuffed, one by one.....and not co-extruded like other, more mechanical looking products are. We have one person who stuffs these roasts, and that's why they are all just a little different from each other.

Once stuffed they are placed on a sheet pan and lightly steamed in our oven till perfection has been achieved....once out of the steamer, we dip them in a spicy broth for added flavor and finish...that's why our Celebration Roast is so rich AND brown AND you can see the netting marks.

After cooling down, we "peel" the netting off the loaves, cut them in half (if they are our 1 lb loaves) and/or leave them whole if they are going to be two lb loaves.

Finally we pack them in our vacuum packer and label them......voila!

From our kitchen to yours!

Have a sweet Thanksgiving.....

To check out the full stats on our Cele Roast....check out the info!

Peace,

8 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

The links to wikapedia are really helpful! I learned something today about sietan!

9:09 PM  
Blogger Spice Island Vegan said...

I haven't tried your Celebration Roast yet but I love your Smoked Apple Sage one. It is hard to get all of your product in our area. I live in Southern California and found your product in Mother's Market in Costa Mesa. But not all of your product is sold there. I tried the Mexican Chipotle too and was satisfied. Thanks!

SIV

1:20 PM  
Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for all the details of how you make that amazing roast. I am not a fan of things that look like meat, but your company's products are a strong exception!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Tofu Mom said...

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I love this stuff. My kids love it...
I "force" everyone I know to try it and they have all loved it too...

Then I lock myself in my kitchen and I create all sorts of recipes with your products and make everyone around me eat those too - oddly enough no one ever complains and ALWAYS comes back for seconds, thirds, etc.... Yes, I'm seriously a bit nuts - I admit it, but it's good stuff!

Oh... SO COOL that you have a blog! WOW!

8:27 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

I love Celebration Roast! My one complaint? They're getting harder and harder to find :-( I called every nearby Whole Foods, checked stores like Trader Joe's, and even went to a natural foods store out of state looking for it. Not a single store had them! Finally, I had to buy my Thanksgiving Celebration Roast from Pangaea, an online vegan food shop.

5:14 AM  
Blogger CindyM said...

This little roast is so hard to find! I finally located one at a Whole Foods and I quickly snapped it up. All I can say is that it is so tasty! I hope I can find it again for the holidays.

11:41 PM  
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