The seitan sucks. I kept it at a simmer - Isa and the PPK gals taught me that - but this thing looked like a steaming pile of grey brains in that cheesecloth. There was no cohesion - the whole thing was crumbly, and I remember reading somewhere that this happened to others, who compared it to under-cooked ground beef. Yep, that's about it.
I thought maybe I can wrap it up in foil and toss it into the oven, maybe that would do something to it, but before I could do that I tasted some of the crumbly pieces. Yecch! It tasted nothing like corned beef at all. I chucked the whole mess into the garbage. I'm really disappointed and now kicking myself for not picking up a hunk or real corned beef to cook, one of the few meat meals we eat all year.
I hope my husband won't be too disappointed. If he is, he can always call Blimpie. Our local franchise (Blimpie Base #2, IIRC. #1 is in Hoboken, about 10 miles away) makes corned beef sandwiches every year on Saint Patrick's Day. Of course, there are also about a dozen mom-and-pop delis between our house and Blimpie, but they don't deliver like the Blimpie Base does.
All those spices, wasted. I finished up the caraway seeds and only have a bout a teaspoon of the fennel seeds left. My hand is sore from crushing them in the mortar and pestle I've had since my nursing school days back in the 1970's. My sink was so greasy I had to take a Brillo to it, and the bowls and utensils needed a good scrub with grease-cutting Dawn to get them clean again. That'll teach me from veering away form tried and true recipes. That stew just better taste good or I'm really screwed as far as today's dinner goes.