This is an interesting recipe from ‘The Crank’s Bible’ which would make a great vegetarian option for Sunday roast or even Christmas dinner. Be warned though, it’s fairly involved and time-consuming and probably scores 8.75 on the International Scale of Faff … but it is worth the effort.
Preparation time: 30 – 40 minutes
Cooking time: About 1½ hours
Skill level: Medium
- puff pastry – 250g
- sunflower oil – 30ml
- onion – 335g – chopped
- chestnut mushrooms – 225g – left whole
- garlic – 2 cloves – crushed
- soy sauce – 2 tbsp
- cashews – 160g – crushed
- fresh breadcrumbs – 90g
- ground almonds – 160g
- 1 egg – beaten – for glazing
- s & p
OK, here we go. Gently fry the onions and half of the garlic in the oil for 20 minutes, by which time they should be a golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the mushrooms to the same pan along with the rest of the garlic, cover and cook until soft. Halfway through add the soy sauce. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Retain the cooking liquid.
Put the cashews and mushroom liquid in a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Add a little water if necessary.
Remove from the blender a set aside.
Blend the onions and set aside.
Blend the mushrooms and set aside.
Now mix all the blended ingredients together in a bowl along with the breadcrumbs and almonds. You should now have a smooth, rich brown paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll the pastry on a floured surface to aprox 12 x 9 inches.
Place the mushroom mixture down the centre of the pastry and mould into a rectangular shape roughly 11 inches long, 3 inches wide and 2 inches high.
Next cut the pastry diagonally at 45 degrees on both sides of the filling to form strips about ¾ inch wide (see photograph).
Draw up the pastry at one end to seal in the filling and then alternately lattice the strips. The pastry will stretch so that it overlaps at the top. Seal the other end by pulling up the last flap.
Sorry, but that is a terrible description. You’ll just have to use common sense and trust to the gods.
(At this stage your Mushroom Wellington can be frozen for another time.)
Carefully transfer to a floured baking tray, brush with the beaten egg and place in a pre-heated oven (220C/gasmark 7) for 35 – 45 minutes.
If you haven’t done so already, pour yourself a well-deserved drink.
Once cooked, allow to cool slightly before removing from the tray.
Verdict: A great dish which although rich is not too heavy. Any remaining is also good eaten cold the next day. Like I said, a lot of palaver (some of it seemingly unnecessary) but worth it if you have the time.
Drink: Wine after beer (makes you feel queer).
Entertainment: ‘Les Diaboliques’ on DVD. French – tick, subtitled – tick, black and white – tick, loved by critics – tick, middle-class – tick. A great thriller released in 1954. Twisty ending.