Now this is a Show Stopper of a nut roast and worthy of your Christmas dinner centrepiece. Everyone will want a slice. Omnivores included! It does take a bit of time but it's well worth the effort and can be done in stages rather than all on the day.
The nut roast is delicious with all the beautiful flavours and textures of Christmas. And just so happens to be vegan! I sue nutritional yeast, which I think gives it a lovely cheesy flavour (with the need for cheese). If you'd prefer not to have the pastry you can bake it in a baking tin lined with parchment paper for 45 minutes covers, and an additional 15 minute uncovered.
This dish is all about the nut roast, which is of course made from scratch, but I have used ready made, rolled pastry to save you time and effort. I make my own Cranberry Sauce because it's so easy to do and I like to cut out the sugar. But honestly, feel free to use a good quality shop bought cranberry sauce if that makes life easier. Let's face it, you have enough to do!
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium Onion, finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 sticks of Celery, finely diced
1 large Carrot, grated
1 Red Pepper, finely diced
100g of Mixed Raw Nuts, unroasted and unsalted (finely milled)
100g of Mixed Raw Nuts, unroasted and unsalted (roughly chopped)
1 tbsp of Bouillon
3 tbsp of Aqua Faba (chickpea water)
100g Bread Crumbs
1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast (optional)
1 tbsp of Parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp of Sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp of Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp of Thyme, finely chopped
Cranberry Sauce: click here for the recipe
200g of frozen Cranberries
4 tbsp of Mulled Wine (preferably suitable for Vegetarians)
2 tbsp of maple syrup (to taste)
Half a tsp of granulated Stevia (to taste)
The juice of half an orange (optional)
I sheet of Ready-made, ready-rolled Puff Pastry (Vegan pastry if going plant-based)
1 egg, beaten (or plant-based milk)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
The Cranberry Sauce should be cold when making this dish so if you've not already made it, do it first. It won't take long. Click here for the recipe.
Fry the onions and celery in olive oil for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the garlic, carrot and red pepper, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Dissolve the bouillon in 50ml of boiling water and add to the pan, along with the aqua faba, and take off the heat. Dive the nuts in half. Once half blitz in a processor until totally ground. Then, separately, pulse the rest so that it breaks up the nuts but there are still chunky. Stir all the nuts in and give it a good stir.
Add the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and herbs, and give it a good mix. Add some black pepper and do the taste test to see if you need any more seasoning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and put in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, take your pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin. The idea is to mould the cooled nut roast into large cube shape in two halves, with the cranberry sauce in the middle layer, rather like a sandwich. So begin moulding with half the mixture, then evenly spread about 100g of cranberry sauce over the top. Then top with the other half of the nut roast mix.
Now, begin wrapping the nut roast rather like a present, with the pastry being the wrapping paper. Ensure the seams and folds are at the base or sides, which you can press down on to ensure no gaps.
Use a knife to cut slits in the top of the pastry. I've made a Christmas tree shape and added some pastry baubles and a pastry star but you can do anything you like. Then coat the pastry generously in egg yolk.
Bake for 35 minutes. Once cooked and nice and brown, leave to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with the rest of the cranberry sauce in a pot on the table for your guests to help themselves if they wish.
You can easily make this suitable for Vegans by using Vegan pastry and a nut based milk instead of egg.