Blackbeet Beef

8 Jan

Sundays usually make me crave a big hearty meal. During football season, we usually have a giant feast of nachos but the cold this week had me craving something more hearty. I’ve had a lot of great feedback on my recent post for chickwheat shreds and some innovative people have been using black beans instead of chickpeas to create a ‘beef’.

Today seemed like a good day to test this recipe, and it was definitely a hit. I used roasted white mushrooms to create a beefy flavor and beets for more earthy undertones. The dark soy sauce helps turn the roast a nice deep brown, but if you can’t find it, you can use regular soy sauce with added browning sauce.*

Kneading in the food processor is what gives it the characteristic shredded texture, so be sure not to skip this step or cut it short. If you don’t have a dough hook, you can use your regular blade to knead. I you don’t have an instant pot, this can also be steamed in a conventional steamer for the same amount of time.


  • 2 cups/300g cooked black beans (cold, don’t use warm)
  • 1/2 cup/100g sliced canned beets
  • 3/4 cup/ 178 ml liquid from beets (vegetable broth or water can be substituted)
  • 4 roasted mushrooms (white or crimini) / 35 g after roasting
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml mushroom flavored dark soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp/10g salt**
  • 1 tbsp/12g onion powder
  • 2 tsp/6g garlic powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 2/3 cup/235g vital wheat gluten


  1. Measure all ingredients up through  the vinegar. Roast mushrooms for 30 minutes at 350°F in a small greased pan. Remove and let cool before blending. 
  2. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Weigh out vital wheat gluten while black bean and beet mixture is blending. 
  3. Combine vital wheat gluten and black bean mixture in a large bowl. Let rest about 15 minutes to allow gluten to absorb the moisture. 
  4. Separate dough into 2 to 3 parts. Fit a food processor with a dough hook (see note above), blend each portion until the dough is warm, stretchy, smooth, and ‘shreds’ of gluten are visible. This step is vital to the success of the recipe.  This can take up to 8 minutes, depending on your food processor. 
  5. Combine kneaded balls of dough onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. 
  6. Fold foil into a circular package and crimp each edge in. Cover with another large sheet of aluminum foil and repeat. 
  7. Add 2 cups of water to Instant Pot and insert trivet. Place packet on top of trivet. See my above note if you don’t have an instant pot. 
  8. Set Instant Pot for manual, high pressure for 120 minutes. 
  9. When roast is finished cooking, quick release the pressure, and allow to come to room temperature.  Remove foil whenever it is cool enough to touch. Refrigerate for 6 or more hours.
  10. When roast has cooled thoroughly, heat a large Dutch oven or similar pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of soy sauce and sauté each side of roast until slightly darkened.
  11.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Add vegetables to pan if desired, and a few teaspoons of oil. Bake for 25 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  12. Shred gently with two forks to serve. Suggested to enjoy with gravy and a dark beer. 
  13. Roast can be completely shredded instead if desired, and stored in the fridge up to 1 week or shreds can be stored in the freezer for 3 months.

**use less salt if using a vegetable broth or other salted liquid.


6 Responses to “Blackbeet Beef”

  1. Cheryl January 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

    This looks incredible, and would be a nice change from our usual bean topped nachos. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aliyanna January 8, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

    This looks really good! I was wondering if there was a gluten free sub. I would love to try…but the vital gluten is a big nono for a lot of us….

    • avocadosandales January 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

      Unfortunately there’s no gluten free option available yet that will work the same way vital wheat gluten does

  3. Angela FITTON January 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    Looking for inspiration and just found it! Can not wait to make this on the weekend!

  4. Angie January 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

    Could you use the dough hook from a kitchen aid mixer to mix up and kneed dough instead of a food processor? I also have a vitamix?

    • avocadosandales January 9, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

      Several people have attempted with a dough hook on a kitchen aid but it doesn’t get quite the same level of revolutions as a food processor does. It’s worth a try, but I don’t guarantee that it will work. Vitamix definitely won’t work though!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: