Every year we like to host lots of people over Christmas. Our flat lends itself to the festivities with our enormous homemade dining table, red walls and views over the frozen canals of Manchester. It's also a great opportunity to show our nearest and dearest that eating vegan and gluten free is anything other than boring.
The last couple of years I haven't wanted to add extra work to the stress of hosting and have settled for a shop-bought nut roast or just extra veg and potatoes. The longer I am vegan though, the more I want to show off that delicious food can be cruelty free.
This year I decided to make a V/GF centrepiece that I thought everyone could try and researched recipes and ideas until I settled on my own version of a mushroom wellington. The challenge being mostly the GF pastry, which has a tendency to fall apart so I saved myself the stress and bought a pre-rolled one which you can get from most British supermarkets for around £2.
1 large red onion
3 small white onions
200g ready-to-use chestnuts
4 large portobello mushrooms
1 roll of jus-roll gluten free pastry
20ml Soya milk (or other plant-based alternative)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp carob syrup (or maple/golden)
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Tips and Timings
Prep time: 20 minutes (+ however long you leave to cool)
Cooking time: 50 minutes
- Once the veg is cooked it will need at least an hour in the fridge to cool, for best results I leave mine overnight so it might be good to prepare this a day in advance.
- Chop the onions and chestnuts into very small pieces, this will help the wellington hold together.
In a large frying pan on a medium heat, fry all the onions and garlic in the olive oil for about ten minutes, keep stirring so the onions don't catch, it's better that they caramelise.
Add in the chopped chestnuts, spinach and syrup until combined. Season with the herbs and spices to your taste (you might want to omit the turmeric, but I love it and tend to put it in everything!).
Scoop out the veg mix and set aside to cool, once at room temperature cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. In the same pan, fry the mushrooms whole and topside down first until golden, add more oil if necessary. Flip them and fry the underside then set them aside on paper towels as a lot of water will come out as they cool.
Once everything is cooled and ready to go, roll out the pastry sheet on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan-assisted). Scoop half the veg mix into a line along the sheet of pastry, place the mushrooms top-side down on top, spread the mustard onto the mushrooms and then scoop the rest of the veg mix of the top. Pack it altogether as tight as possible (use a tablespoon to help with this) and roll the pastry so the join is underneath.
Press the edges of the pastry together and brush with the soya milk a couple of times to help the pastry to stick together, and to brown in the oven. Place the wellington in the oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.