If you prefer a 'meaty' style roast then this is a good option. If you haven't used wheat gluten before my only recommendation when working with it is to make sure any liquid you add into it is cold. Warm or hot water creates a horrible stringy mess.
It might initially look time consuming but most of the time it's cooking, you're not standing over it.
You don't have to make one from scratch but if you have an old family favourite then use it here. I made a simple oatmeal stuffing by sautéing half a large onion (finely chopped) in a decent amount of oil before adding in oatmeal, salt and pepper. ( there is a better recipe here) set aside.
300g wheat gluten (bought online here)
30g nutritional yeast (optional but in the UK it can be bought here)
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
2 to 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
Either 375ml cold veg stock or I used a mixture of white wine, veg stock and soya milk. (I use marigold vegan low salt bouillon and suggest 2 tsp of this. Dissolve in tiny amount boiling water and then top up with cold)
Lots mores vegetable stock (and I threw in some lemon slices, a chopped onion and a handful of peeled garlic cloves.
Preheat oven to 160C.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a jug. Add wet to dry until you have a very springy dough. On the work surface spread out the dough until it is a flattish rectangle. This will be quite difficult and may take a few minutes. Place it on Some cheesecloth or muslin.
Put your stuffing into the centre of your dough and roll up the sides so the stuffing is enclosed. Pull the cheesecloth up over it and wrap it into tightish parcel. Place this in a casserole dish, pour in your broth mix until it is at least half way up the sides. Now bake! Mine went in for 2 hours and the cheesecloth parcel all puffed up. (If you don't want to stuff it then forget the cheesecloth and just put the dough straight into the broth in your stockpot. Turn it halfway through cooking.) Once unwrapped it will look like this:
You could eat it like that but so much better to rub it with oil and roast it in with your vegetables until crispy! When sliced the stuffing is all through the middle. Its a good replacement if you are missing the turkey and stuffing.
[Edit: I should have mentioned a number of extra things but didn't.
1) while you don't add hot or warm water to the dough you can for the stock it sits in. This will speed up cooking time in the oven.
2) you can get it up to a simmer on the job and then put it in the oven (another way to speed it all up) DON'T allow it to boil or the texture becomes spongy. Gentle and slow is the key here as it produces something denser.
3) I wasn't clear above but if you want it slightly crispy don't roast it in the oven for the entire time it takes roast potatoes to cook others it will become tough. Keep it warm in it's liquid and then brush with oil and give it just 15 to 20 minutes.
4) to really keep the dense texture then after the first hour (starting with hot stock) unwrap it and put it back in the stockpot with the stock only half covering it. Leave the lid off this time and bake for another hour basting it with the stock half way through. This way it will be dense but also have crispy bits on top. This is my favourite way.]
Some other things:
We have now eaten 2 whole Christmas cakes. They were just too good.
My brother was roped into festivities and mincemeat pies were made. We tried the two styles of mincemeat ( traditional suet and the fat free one) and for the first time in my life the fat free won the taste test! Much fresher, fruitier and flavourful. We have gone through 24 pies now and I'm afraid to make another batch. I even had one for breakfast this morning. (The winning mincemeat recipe is online here)