Growing up, every Christmas my mom would make a delicious ham. It was juicy, tender and just a bit sweet. I have vivid memories of a delicious ham dinner, with mashed potatoes and veggies. This holiday season I was thinking about what to make for Christmas Eve and it brought me back to my childhood. While unfortunately the pandemic kept my family separated during the holidays, I decided to try and recreate my childhood Christmas Eve dinner. Below you can see how it turned out. It was very tasty, but the texture was not quite right.
However, after the initial attempt I felt like I was onto something. So over the past few weeks I have been iterating on the original recipe and I have gotten to a version I am quite happy with. To recreate the juicy tenderness of a ham, we do two things. First off, we use coconut oil instead of regular vegetable oil to mimic the saturated fat in meat that hardens when it is cooled. Second, we glaze the ham in mustard and brown sugar to recreate the delicious sweet flavour. I would recommend eating this with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and garlic green beans to make a delicious vegetarian feast.
One thing to note in this recipe is the use of a food processor. However, it is very possible to do it without a food processor. Simply blend or whisk together the wet ingredients and then integrate the vital wheat gluten with a wooden spoon. Once it gets too hard to do with a spoon combine the rest with your hands. I hope you enjoy!
Active time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 1 block soft tofu (300g)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp liquid smoke
- ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided
- 1 cup water
- 2.75 cups vital wheat gluten
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor combine the tofu, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, cloves, salt, liquid smoke, coconut oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 cup of water. Process to combine.
- Now, add in 2 ¾ cups of vital wheat gluten and process. A ball of dough should form and almost sit on top of the blades as they spin. If it does not, add in another ¼ cup vital wheat gluten at a time until the ball forms.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and place it on a clean counter. Knead it for about a minute until a loaf shape forms. It should be about 6-8 inches long.
- Whisk together the dijon and the brown sugar. Spread it over the top of the loaf. Now, flip the loaf, glazed side down into a dutch oven (with a lid that can go in the oven) and then cover the other side of the loaf with the remaining glaze.
- Pour 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp soy sauce into the bottom of the dutch oven. Bake, with the lid on for 45 minutes. After, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. When it comes out of the oven it will be very puffy. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving and it should deflate. Enjoy!