The perfect Christmas or roast dinner centre piece!
This dish looks lovely, with succulent mushrooms tucked away inside a flavourful nut roast, wrapped in crisp pastry.
This is the kind of dish that everyone will enjoy, vegan or not. It’s rich with loads of big flavours and textures. This has been well trialed on meat eating friends and family and it always gets the thumbs up.
This is my variation of what is fast becoming a modern vegan classic.
I’ve been testing the recipe for months now, it’s changed many times. Sometimes a recipe arrives straight away, is bang on and I’m happy with it. Yum! Other times, it’s impossible to not tinker with, or make huge necessary changes that make it edible. The joys of experimenting in the kitchen!
I love making this dish, so trying out new things has been a real pleasure. I like the balance of flavours in the stuffing here and I much prefer the mushrooms pan fried, they’re more succulent and juicy. Plus the garlic must be nice and golden, this adds wonderful flavour to the filling.
We recently hosted a cooking workshop in Manchester, guess what the main course was?! Here’s some of the team Wellington’s offerings, made by Jeremy (thanks for the pic:), Nicola and Christine. The one closest to the camera had problems in the oven, hence the funky pastry patterns. Plenty of tips below on how to make them perfect and lovely, plus you probably won’t be using complicated new ovens with funny buttons and weird tendencies.
A B.H.K CHRISTMAS
We’ve been busy cooking and travelling all over the UK in recent times, spending some cool times in Whistable down in Kent. Great vegan breakfasts if you’re in the area! Plus one of our favourite vegan cafes in the UK, The Wallflower Cafe.
Yeah. It’s that hectic but fun time of the year, where everything seems to go unhinged, we all get high on mulled wine and mince pies, waking up covered with tinsel. It does offer so many opportunities to eat like a hungry reindeer!
We’re spending the festive period with family in Harrogate and North Wales. It’s great because we’ll be with young folks, they’re already so excited about the BIG day! Plus, I get to play with lego.
We’ve both written long letters to Saint Nic. I’ve asked Santa for a frying pan. Jane is expecting a pink watch.
No one really knows why this dish is called a ‘Wellington’, it has nothing to do with the Duke of Wellington, although it may well have been created in Wellington, New Zealand. It is most probably a British name for a French classic ‘en croute’ dish.
I hope this makes your Christmas lunch table in a week, do let us know if you cook it in the comments below. Also, let us know if there are any questions, leave a comment, it’s our 24/7 BHK Wellington helpline;)
This does look like lots of ingredients and instructions, but once you’ve tried this type of Wellington, it’s a really flexible dish that you can use all year with different seasonal vegetables. It’s easier than it looks.
Here’s to a delicious 2018 Christmas lunch! I’ll be posting a dessert and gravy recipe very soon.
Have an amazing Christmas!!
Big Festive Hugs and Merry Times from the BHK
I’ve added two sizes of Wellington below, one for a meal for 6+ people and one for 4.
This Wellington can be made the day before, and kept in the fridge. If you have the time, this is a great idea, making your Christmas day much simpler. This dish freezes well. Reheat in a low oven covered with foil.
Mushrooms – If you prefer, oyster or a selection of wild mushrooms, they also make a wonderful filling, just swap them for the Portobellos. If you like garlic, fry a clove or two more with the mushrooms. If you like things smoky, add ½ teas more smoked paprika. As ever, this is your dish now, and it should ideally represent your tastes.
Pastry – I mention below, but I’ll say it again, the pastry is best used straight from the fridge, nicely chilled, in a cooler part of the kitchen, ideally on a cool surface. This means the pastry is much easier to handle and fold. If it seems too soft, pop it in the fridge again to chill for 20 minutes or so.
Cutting the pastry – I’ve tried folding the pastry many ways, the easiest is to cut it at a right angle away from the filling, see directly below. You can cut it at an angle, like in the picture up top and below, it leaves a space between the pastry folds, which can make it easier to cut. But I think I prefer the tucked in, right angle approach. I hope that makes some sense!
You can use hazelnuts, pecans or almonds in the stuffing. Just make sure they’re nicely toasted, in a low oven, to bring out all the rich and full flavours.
If you are really not a fan of yeast extract (there are many out there!) and cannot even have a jar in the house, go for a dark miso. They both add a great umami depth to the stuffing/ roast.
Can’t get really big portobello mushrooms, that’s fine, go for field mushrooms, or just use more smaller mushrooms to add a nice centre for the Wellington.
Please don’t be tempted to use dried herbs here, fresh is best for a lighter flavour.
If you make the smaller Wellington, you’ll have a little pastry leftover. I normally pop it in the freezer.
When blending the nuts and bread, chunks are fine, we don’t want the stuffing too smooth. A rougher texture is best I’ve found.
Most puff pastries in the UK shops are vegan, but do have a little check.
I’ve found that Aldi is the best supermarket at the minute for vegan wines, many are labeled.
Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing
The Bits – For a big one (x10-12 slices) or a medium one (x6 slices)
Mushrooms Big Medium
Large portobello or field mushrooms 3 (250g) 2
Large cloves garlic (sliced) 3 2
Tbs fresh rosemary (chopped) 1 ½ 1
Tbs fresh thyme leaves (picked from the stem) 1 1/2
Tbs cooking oil 2 1
Sea salt and black pepper To taste
Nut Roast Filling
Onion (finely diced) 1 large 1 medium
Large cloves garlic (crushed) 3 2
Stick celery (sliced) 1 1 small
The mushroom trimmings
Tbs fresh rosemary (finely chopped) 1 1/2
Tbs fresh thyme (finely chopped) 1 ½ 1
Teas smoked paprika ⅔ ½
Teas sea salt 1 ¾
Teas black pepper ½ ⅓
Teas yeast extract 1 ¾
Vegan red wine (ml) 150 100
Teas maple syrup or sweetener 1 ½
Grams cooked chestnuts 180 140
Grams toasted walnuts 200 140
Slices stale bread 2 1
Tbs water 2 1
1 tbs soya milk
½ teas maple syrup
½ teas cooking oil
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (or one block), 375g
Preheat an oven to 200oC.
Walnuts – On a baking tray, toast your walnuts for 5-8 minutes. You’ll get a lovely aroma when they’re ready and they will darken in colour slightly.
Mushrooms – Using a sharp knife, cut away the edges of your mushrooms and the end of the stem, so you’re left with a flat base. This helps them to fry evenly. Then finely chop the off cuttings, to be added to your nut roast filling later.
Warm a large frying pan on medium high heat, add 1-2 tbs of cooking oil, fry the mushrooms, top first. Sprinkle each mushroom with the fresh herbs and little salt and pepper. At the same time and In the same pan, fry you garlic until golden. Once the mushrooms are cooked, around 5 minutes each side, leave to cool with the garlic scattered on top.
Stuffing – In a food processor or blender, add the bread. Blitz until a rough crumb forms, not too fine. Pour into a large bowl. Also blitz the chestnuts and then walnuts. Placing all together into a large bowl.
In your large frying pan on medium high heat, add 2 tbs cooking oil and fry the onion, celery and garlic, adding 2 large pinches of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, add the mushrooms cuttings, fresh herbs, paprika and season with black pepper.
Cook for another 5 minutes, until all is nice and caramelised. Then add the red wine, maple syrup and yeast extract, stir, heat through, cooking until the wine is cooked off, roughly 5-7 minutes.
Add the onion mix to the large bowl of bread and ground nuts, mix all together until a dough forms, adding 1-2 tbs water, if needed. It should stick together well when pressed between finger and thumb, but should not be too wet.
Taste the mix, season with salt if needed. Separate into two even balls, weigh them if you like, to be exact (and like a proper chef person).
On a cold baking tray, lined with parchment, lay or roll out, a sheet of puff pastry that’s roughly 23cm x 29cm (large), 23cm x 24cm (smaller). Pastry is best used straight out of the fridge and handled minimally.
Form half your nut roast filling in a large fat sausage, place into the centre of your pastry, lengthways. Press it down to make a flat oblong shape (see above). This is the base layer for the stuffing filling. Top this with your mushrooms and garlic, face down, trim them if they stick out past the edges. On the picture above, the mushrooms were too big, so I flipped over the middle one to fit it in. Whatever works best, we want as much mushroom in there as possible!
Cover the mushrooms with the rest of the mix, moulding the mix and making it smooth with your hands. The mushrooms should be tucked in nice and tightly.
Trim the pastry so it sticks out by 1/2cm at each end of the nut roast filling, then cut the pastry in 1cm strips, at a right angle to the stuffing. Not at an angle like in the photo;)
Lightly brush the soya milk mix around the edges of the pastry, this will help the pastry top to stick together. Make a lattice effect, by simply laying one strip of pastry over the filling, followed by the opposite strip, being as neat and gentle as you can.
Continue doing this, when you get to the end, just trim off the last couple of pastry strips so they fit nicely. Now brush the whole Wellington with milk and tuck it all in and make it look tidy.
For best results, place in a fridge for 30 minutes or longer before cooking. Then brush again with your milk. At this stage, you can leave the wellington in the fridge overnight.
Bake the Wellington for 30-40 mins bake, turn after 20 minutes if your oven is hotter one side than the other. You know your oven. The pastry will be golden brown and cooked right through.
Leave the Wellington to sit for 10 minutes before using a sharp knife, or bread knife, to carve the wellington. Serve with your favourite Christmas trimmings. Merry Christmas!!
Rich and Tasty Vegan Gravy and
Chocolate and Orange Brownie Cake with Mulled Berries
Recipes coming very soon!
Chestnuts are the only nut high in Vitamin C, which we of course need lots of at this time of year. They’re also high in manganese, and a good source of copper and magnesium.
Remember to treat your chestnuts more like a vegetable than a nut, by that I mean they’re best stored in the fridge or somewhere cold. Chestnuts should be plump when you buy them, give them a squeeze. Toasted chestnuts are one of my favourite things about Christmas! But if they’re not done well, or old, they can be a real let down.
Find more BHK Christmas centre pieces/ Sunday roast ideas here: