This is my first time sharing a full-fledged recipe, so please be kind with the comments.
This "brisket" made enough for me to have two decent servings hot. Plus a couple sandwiches of cold "beef" with cheese and Jalapeno mustard. AND a small snack of cold "meat". That said, you could probably double it if you're feeding more than one or two. I can't say whether it tastes like the real thing, but I CAN say it was amazing!
It was initially inspired by the "Corned beef" at Wicked Vegan. A lot of red seitan recipes (such as Connie's RAWsome "Corned beef" [thanks for the comment, Connie!]) use beets, so I decided to puree in some canned beets. Unfortunately, the finished product had only a slightly red tint to the otherwise brownish "meat". The cooking liquid/marinade was a mashup. A lot of recipes for corning involve salt, sugar, juniper berries, and spices. I subbed rosemary, because again...who has juniper berries? And I decided to go with pickling spice and a bit of caraway, because it was easier than combining spices. The idea for adding pickle juice and beet juice came from this marinade.
So, without further preamble...
1 C vital wheat gluten
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 T Vegetarian "beef" broth powder (I used Frontier)
1 T onion powder
1/2 T smoked paprika
1/2 T fennel seed (measure, then grind. I used a mortar and pestle, but a spice or coffee grinder SHOULD work)
1/2 T caraway seeds (measure, then grind)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary (measure, then grind)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 C + 1 T "beef" broth (I mixed Frontier powder into a cup of water and then measured)
1/4 C canned sliced beets (I broke larger ones in half to measure)
1 T oil (I used canola)
1/2 T liquid smoke
1/2 T apple cider vinegar (I used dollar store stuff)
1/2 T maple syrup (again, cheap dollar store stuff)
1/2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
Juice from one (14 oz) can of beets and enough "beef" broth to make 5 C
1 C pickle juice
1 T pickling spice
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary (leave whole)
1/2 tsp whole caraway seeds
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well with a whisk.
Add wet ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth and bright red.
Pour the wet ingredients into a bread machine. Add the dry ingredients. Set the machine to a dough cycle and allow it to mix/knead for 20 minutes (if your machine doesn't knead for 20 minutes, turn it off and set it again). You could try mixing wet into dry and kneading by hand or with a mixer dough hook, but I can't say what results you'll have. You want the dough to have visible gluten strings.
Meanwhile, combine the cooking liquid ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
When the dough is ready, form into a ball. Wrap it (I used an old [clean] nylon, as I don't have cheesecloth) and press into a flattish oval. Secure the end(s). Wrap again (I tied the nylon tightly and doubled it over, then loosely tied again), press back into an oval if it starts to ball up, and secure. Slip it into the simmering broth. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Allow to cool, then place it (pot and all) into the fridge at least overnight. I let mine sit for almost a day and a half.
When ready to prepare, bring it out of the fridge and allow it to warm up for about half an hour. Remove from the broth, and remove your wrapping. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C, or gas mark 4). Heat 2 T margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Blot the "meat" with a couple paper towels, or the margarine will splatter! Add the "brisket" to the pan, and cook to brown all sides. Put into a baking dish, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until heated through (mine took about 40 minutes). Let stand 2 minutes before serving.