Cashew Nut and Mushroom Wellington with Gravy
My friend Frank is a great vegetarian cook. Every Christmas he makes a Mushroom Wellington for his family dinner. I went to a cooking demo he did for a charity event and this is where I saw vegetarian Wellington for the first time. I decided to do a Vegan version based on the Cashew Nut Butter we made in cooking classes. The dish is accompanied by Gravy that is made from scratch, which is a slow process.
Fresh Herbs: Parsley/ Oregano/ Thyme/Sage
Tapioca Flour or Corn Flour
Cranberry Jam or Other Jam
This dish is best made in advance leaving all the elements to cool down in the fridge overnight if possible. It is made from many layers so each is done individually. We want sweet sauted Onions wrapped in a Cashew Nut Butter Log. This in turn is wrapped in Chestnut Mushrooms, the Cabbage leave. Cranberry Jam, and Puff Pastry.
Sauté 4 Onions on a low heat until completely broken down to a sweet paste. This should take 45 mins.
At the same time as the Onions, we start the Gravy as it is a reduction that will take a lot of time. Add a handful of mushrooms to some oil in a pan. Add salt and pepper and stir allowing the mushrooms to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan. Add an Onion, 100g of Celery and 100g of chopped Carrots. Cook for 4 to 5 mins then add a good glug of wine. This deglazes the pan taking the caramelised veg bits from the bottom. Allow the the mix to sizzle for a minute as the alcohol will then burn off.
Add 1.5l of water to the pot and leave to simmer until it reduces by half.
Roast about 200g approx. of Cashews on a pan to gain a little colour, then put them in a blender with a good handful of herbs (about half of what you have. Blend and use a little Olive Oil to loosen if needed. Take the nit butter, wrap it in parchment paper and put in the fridge.
Take six Savoy Cabbage leaves and cut out the large stems. Put in boiling water til soft. When cooked remove from the water and if you want to male the green colour more vibrant but straight into iced water.
Put 300g of Chestnut Mushrooms in a pan with a little oil. Chop roughly with a knife while in the pan and then sauté. Season to taste. Drain the liquid and put the mushrooms in the fridge.
Take a sheet of Puff Pastry and lay it out on a sheet of Parchment Paper. Brush the pastry with a generous amount of Jam.
Lay Cabbage Leaves on the Jam. Allow about2 inches of space all around at the edgesfor folding later . Next put a layer of the Chestnut Mushrooms.
Place the Cashew mix on a sheet of Parchment Paper the same size as the Puff Pastry. Cover with another sheet and then roll flat. Put Sautéed Onions in the middle and roll into a log shape.
Place the Cashew Log in the middle of the Mushrooms and then carefully wrap the pastry around it using the Parchment paper.
Palce on a paper on a baking tray and brush with some of the Gravy. Put in the oven at 200C for a bout 20 mins or until nice and brown. Remove a allow to stand for 10 mins before cutting into slices.
Meanwhile finish the Gravy. By now it should have a deep flavour. You can add a spoon of Miso to make it more salty, a capful of Cider Vinegar can lift the acidity.
Put 2 teaspoons of Tapioca Starch in cup and mix with 100ml of water. Add the cold paste to the gravy and put on the heat. It will thicken very quickly.
Slice the Wellington and put on a plate showing the layers. Spoon some gravy over and serve with the usual Christmas fare such as sprouts and potatoes.