On Vegan Pot Roast and the Loneliness of Millenium-Old Ghosts
- 10,622 words (if poetry, lines) long
So. First, you gotta make stir fry. Stir fry requires sauce. Sauce requires soy, hoisin, mushroom sauces. Also hot sauce and a spoonful of dill relish (because it's easier than chopping chilis and acquiring sezchuan pickles). Also veggie broth. And you gotta totally overestimate how much veggie broth the stir fry sauce needs. Those dried mushrooms don't really soak up all that much juice, reconstitutin', after all. So you end up making a really soupy stir fry.
Oh well. You serve it with a slotted spoon and use some of the extra to moisten the rice. It's damn good. Mmm, mushroom stir fry with selection of Asian greens from Abbondanza's last veggie share.
Meanwhile, you have all this stir fry sauce left over and, incidentally, the leaves of all that young celery you chopped up. The celery was really more leaf than stem, to be honest. You hate wasting it. So. You toss those leaves and that sauce into your crock pot. You put an extra cup of water in. You crush up one of your home-grown tomatoes that's starting to reach the use-it-or-lose-it stage. You set the crock pot to "low" and you go to bed.
Good morning! Now. You've been defrosting that lovely 1/2-lb Celebration Roast since a couple days ago, because you wanted to roast it up with some vegetables. Now is the time. Pull out your pyrex casserole dish with the clear lid. Set the roast in the middle. Surround it with the results of chopping up one onion, two potatoes, and two big carrots.
Ladle over it a little of that broth that's been simmering all night. Did you strain out the solid bits first? I recommend this.
Put the covered casserole dish into the oven on 425 degrees F for half an hour. When the buzzer goes off, baste with more broth. Give it another half hour and another basting. Then give it another 10 minutes but this time uncovered.
During that last 10 minutes, make a roux of about a tablespoon each olive oil and whole wheat flour. It's not going to be a gumbo roux. It's just going to be a basic thickener. When the roux is well mixed and bubbling creamily, pour in the last of the broth. The roux will go all shreddy; don't worry. Stir it casually and let it simmer until the mixture gets homogenous again. This is your gravy. It will need salt.
Serve the field roast with veggies and cover all with gravy. Do not be afraid to invite your vegan friends to the table, or indeed to create this dish if you are yourself vegan, 'cause it is.
Eat leftovers cold for maximum delight.
Go forth and try this come thanksgiving.
(This post coming to you live from BeauJo's Pizza in south Boulder. We started tonight's write-in at the Baseline Brewing Market, but they unexpectedly closed early "for cleaning." So we hopped across the parking lot and had pizza and garlic-cheese bread and fountain drinks in mini mason jars. Today, Melissa finished up her first visit with the Ghost Prince, and I discovered that the first lesson she learns from him is, "You think you've got it bad? You think you're lonely? You, missy, are eight years old. Come back and whine when you've endured loneliness for ten centuries." Except the Prince was a lot nicer than that, breaking this to her.)