Meat Free Monday – Christmas recipe #1
We’re now in December, so it’s time to draw the curtains, put another log on the fire, and start thinking about Christmas. To help you out, we’re bringing you recipes to create a complete vegan Christmas dinner every Monday until the big day.
To start, here’s how to make a mouth-watering mushroom and chestnut wellington with red onion marmalade to accompany it.
Mushroom and chestnut wellington
Recipe by former Forest Green Rovers Head Chef Em Franklin
Serving size: 8
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200g fresh mushrooms (chestnut or white), trimmed and sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
50g dried mixed mushrooms
180g cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground nutmeg
150g fresh breadcrumbs
Fine salt, to taste
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup
2 tbsp ground linseeds, mixed with 4 tbsp water (this is an egg replacement binding mixture)
500g vegan puff pastry (shop bought or homemade)
100ml sweetened soya milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 180c (or gas mark 4).
- Soak the dried mushrooms in hot, not boiling, water for 20 mins. Set aside.
- Fry your onion over low heat until soft and opaque. Add garlic and thyme and fry for a further 5 minutes. (Don’t add garlic from the start as it cooks quicker than the onions and will burn, leaving a bitter taste.)
- Fry the fresh mushrooms in a little olive oil until soft and very lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- When your dried mushrooms are rehydrated (after 20 minutes) remove from liquid, retaining the stock for later. Chop roughly or blend on pulse setting in a food blender.
- Roughly chop your cooked chestnuts - it’s nice to have a mixture of small and large pieces.
- Combine breadcrumbs, onion and garlic mix, mushroom ketchup, rehydrated dried mushrooms, chopped chestnuts, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add linseed mixture at this point.
- On a floured surface roll your pastry into a large rectangle, so the filling will fit into it comfortably.
- Brush the edges with sweetened soya milk. Central to the pastry, place your mushroom mix in a sausage shape, not touching the edge of the pastry to allow for complete wrapping. Top the mushroom mix with fresh mushrooms pressing them gently but firmly into the mix to stay put.
- Roll up your wellington into a fat sausage and tuck edges underneath to ensure no filling escapes on cooking. Do not be tempted to skimp on pastry – there must be plenty of pastry overlap to ensure the filling stays put!
- Brush the top with more sweetened soya milk. You can decorate with hand cut pastry leaves or strips at this point if you wish. Make four small air holes in the top with a sharp knife.
- Chill until ready to cook. Place Wellington on parchment paper on a shallow tray. Bake in the centre of the oven, at 180 c for 40 minutes.
- Rest for five minutes before portioning and eat with red onion marmalade or vegan gravy.
Wellingtons can be frozen for use later.If cooking from frozen, cooking time will be longer and pastry may require foil covering half way through to avoid pastry burning.
Red onion marmalade
Yield: 1lb jam jar
4 red onions, finely sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
100mls balsamic vinegar
1 heaped tsp ground black pepper
120g soft brown sugar
Pinch fine salt
- Fry your onions and thyme leaves in the olive oil on a low heat for 30 mins until soft but not browned.
- Add vinegar, salt and black pepper and turn the heat up a little to gently boil. Stir continuously.
- When you have reduced most of the liquid, add sugar. Your marmalade will become runny again at this point as the sugar dissolves.
- Continue to boil and stir until you have a thick marmalade.
- Pour hot marmalade into a sterilised jam jar. You can sterilise your jar (and lid) by placing on a baking tray in the oven at 120 C for 30 minutes.