I have to be honest, I wasn’t all too excited about this recipe. I didn’t really know what irish nachos were and I’ve never had actual corned beef before, so I wasn’t really sure how it would taste or what to expect. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of making corned seitan only to eat around it (“Dear god I hope this doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie” floated through my head after I saw the spice combo). I combined this recipe from Vegan Dad and this recipe from Inspired Vegan Eats to make my corned seitan, mainly because I had no prior experience with corned beef and wanted to make sure this was done right.
In Guy Fieri’s recipe, he melts shredded cheddar cheese on top of his corned beef-topped waffle fries, but I didn’t want to do this with vegan cheese. My vegan cheese of choice is almost always Daiya (shout-outs to Follow Your Heart’s “Mozzarella” and Nacho-flavored Teese), and I knew I’d be using it in this recipe. But I’ve always thought making nachos with melted shredded cheese was kind of a cop-out. It’s bro food. It’s what you make if you’re stuck in a college dorm with a microwave and a mini fridge, and folks, I’m a little past my prime for that. While searching for photos of Fieri’s Irish Nachos, I found this recipe for Rachael Ray’s Irish Nachos (Does everyone at Food Network make Irish Nachos? Is this a thing?), and she made a beer cheese sauce for hers.
Guys, I made vegan beer cheese sauce. And it was so amazing.
Ultimately, these nachos were really, really good. As in, go to the store after you read this and make them for your next meal. I don’t care if it’s breakfast. The sauce was perfect, the seitan was flavorful and tender and all of the toppings rounded everything out. I suggest making the seitan ahead of time to save your sanity.
Here’s the recipe:
Serves 4-5 as a snack
2/3 log of corned beef seitan, sliced thin and shredded (recipe below)
1 22 oz. bag of frozen waffle fries
1 1/3 cups of beer cheez (recipe below)
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
6 peppadew peppers, seeded and sliced (you can buy these jarred or find them at a Whole Foods olive bar)
4 scallions, sliced
For the corned seitan:
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika + 1 drop liquid smoke)
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Puree chickpeas in a food processor (or mash well with a fork). Add the rest of the ingredients up until the vital wheat gluten and mix well. Transfer liquid mixture to a bowl and whisk in wheat gluten. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
Roll the seitan dough into a log and wrap in aluminum foil. It might be easier to roll the dough into the right shape after you’ve wrapped it in foil, but play with it until you get the right shape. Ultimately you can do any shape, I just normally make seitan logs because they’re easier to store in my tiny fridge.
Place the seitan log on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the log once halfway through. Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, slice paper thin.
Optional: If you want a juicer seitan, you can simmer it in 1/2 cup of stock before adding it to the nachos. I used the method mentioned in the inspired eats recipe, beet powder and all, but found that it wasn’t really worth it (mine didn’t turn very pink). But it did make the seitan moist, which was nice.
For beer cheez:
2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup dark lager (I used Sam Adams Winter)
3/4 cup your favorite stock
2/3 of a Daiya Havarti wedge, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
In a sauce pan, melt Earth Balance over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for 2 minutes until the roux starts to brown. Whisk in your beer and cook for 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the stock. Add shredded Daiya and whisk continuously over medium heat until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes. The consistency will be thick, but not clumpy and the cheese should be melted.
For sour cream sauce:
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
2 tbsp brown deli mustard
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp water
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
Cook waffle fries according to the package instructions. Top with beer cheez, seitan and sauerkraut. Drizzle sour cream sauce over the nachos. Sprinkle with scallions and peppers. Serve immediately.