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Jack Monroe's Fast Vegan

Recreate takeaway and fast food favourites in your own kitchen the vegan way!

The Jack Reuben

I’ve eaten a lot of salt beef sandwiches in my life: fat heavy numbers from Baker Street cafés that I could barely get my sizeable jaw around, midnight bagels in taxis passing through Brick Lane, New York food trucks, and supermarket pretenders that didn’t quite hit the spot, but were better than not having one at all. My life would not be complete without this, the undisputed king of all sandwiches, so I set about trying to create a vegan version that would be just as delicious in its own right, while staying as faithful as possible to the original. This took a few tries; I marinated in beer, in powdered mushroom stock, in dark hoppy ales and Bisto granules, before I decided to just let the flavours speak for themselves and stop trying to imitate the actual beef. The result is crisp but tender, dry enough, but with a juicy bite and a tangy, salty, peppery familiarity, something that’s equally at home in a toasted white bagel as a hunk of dark, sweet rye bread.

By Jack Monroe

Serves 2 | Prep 10 mins plus marinating | Cook 20 mins | Calories 632 (per serving)

400g tin (1¾ cups) of jackfruit in brine – I like Summer Pride

1 cooked small red beetroot

1 tsp vinegar – any clear kind

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp each of salt and black pepper

2 tbsp light cooking oil, plus extra for frying

FOR THE DRESSING

1 tsp finely chopped dill pickle

1 tsp finely chopped onion

2 tbsp vegan mayo

1 tsp vegan horseradish, if it’s available, or English mustard

2 tbsp ketchup

a dash of hot sauce

TO SERVE

2 bagels, sliced, or

4 slices of rye bread sauerkraut

dill pickles, thinly sliced

2 slices of smoked vegan ‘cheese’

1 First drain the jackfruit through a fine-mesh sieve. Squeeze the excess liquid using your hands to push it against the sieve, until the fruit feels fairly dry, then pop it into a large mixing bowl.

2 Finely grate the beetroot over the top. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper, paprika and oil. Break up the jackfruit with a fork or spoon into tiny shreds so the marinade soaks right in. Leave for an hour in the fridge.

3 Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the dill pickle in a small bowl with the onion. Add the mayo, ketchup, horseradish or mustard and hot sauce, and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until needed.

4 When the jackfruit is well marinated, tip it into a large non-stick frying pan. I prefer to do mine in a wok, but that’s because I like the space to shove it all around a bit. A normal frying pan will do just fine. Add a splash of oil and cook on high heat for a few minutes until it starts to sizzle, then reduce to a medium heat and cook for 15-20 minutes more, stirring occasionally to disturb it. You want the jackfruit to be slightly crisp at some of its edges, with a dry-but-juicy texture to imitate the salt beef.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

In the February issue of Vegan Food & Living you will find 75 plant-based recipes including easy one pot meals for no-fuss comfort cooking, delicious weekend recipes to share with your friends, and pizzas you can make from scratch. Find out which products our panel thought were the best in our Vegan Food & Living Product Awards, learn to cook healthy midweek meals with BOSH! and get the best vegan baking hacks from Sara Kidd. Read the inspiring stories about the struggles and resolutions on the path to veganism and learn what you should be eating for a healthier gut from College of Naturopathic Medicine lecturer, Gemma Hurditch. Charlotte Willis also investigates what the vegan community can do about revert-vegans and how to react if your loved one stops being vegan.