Christmas Veggie Wellington
Both our families have vegetarians and vegans at the Christmas dinner table, and this used to be a challenge. The Hairy Biker nut roast has been our staple for years but now it's time for a change. We've taken it to the next level and hope this great feast pleases you and family as much as it does ours.
For the Filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 200g root vegetables, coarsely grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- a few sage leaves, finely shredded
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground mace
- 100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 50g nuts, finely chopped
- 75g cooked wild or brown rice
- 75g cooked brown lentils
- 25g breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp mushroom ketchup
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 2 shallots, very finely chopped
- 400g mushrooms, very finely chopped into 3mm dice (use a food processor if you like)
- 200g spinach
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 12 prunes
- 75 ml oloroso sherry
- flour for dusting
- 500g block of puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten, for sealing and brushing
First make the filling. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the onion and celery. Cook until the onion is starting to caramelise, then add the grated root vegetables. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until they have reduced down considerably. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the garlic and herbs. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes then stir in all the remaining ingredients and set aside.
To make the mushroom duxelles, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the shallots. Cook gently until translucent, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms have reduced down in volume and any liquid has evaporated away - the texture should almost be that of a mushroom pate. Wilt down the spinach in a little water, then drain and finely chop. Squeeze out as much water as you can, then stir the spinach into the mushrooms and add the lemon juice.
Put the prunes in a small saucepan and cover with the sherry. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave the prunes to absorb the sherry. Preheat the oven to 200c/Fan 180c/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To assemble, dust a large piece of baking paper with flour and place it on your work surface. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle measuring about 30 x 40 cm. Spread a quarter of the mushroom mixture lengthways down the middle of the puff pastry, leaving a border on both short sides. Pile half the filling mixture on top, then put a line of the prunes along the centre. Add the rest of the filling, making sure it seamlessly joins together, then spread the rest of the mushroom mixture over the top and sides of the filling.
Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, then bring up the sides to cover the filling and slightly overlap it. Seal the ends, then carefully roll the Wellington onto the baking tray so the join is on the bottom. Cut a few slashes in the top and brush with more egg. Bake for about 35 minutes or until it is a rich golden brown and piping hot. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the cranberry sauce and gravy. Roast potatoes and parsnips and sauteed green complete the festive spread.